ESD 112 Insurance Programs Safety Talks
Good housekeeping is the first and the most important step for preventing slip, trip, and fall incidents.

Poor housekeeping can be a cause of incidents, such as:
  • Tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs, and platforms
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Slipping on greasy, wet, or dirty surfaces
  • Striking against projecting, poorly-stacked items, or misplaced material
  • Cutting, puncturing, or tearing the skin of hands or other parts of the body on projecting nails, wire, or steel strapping
Effective housekeeping results in:
  • Reduced handling to ease the flow of materials
  • Fewer tripping and slipping incidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas
  • Decreased fire hazards
  • Better hygienic conditions leading to improved health
  • Improved indoor air quality
  • More effective use of space
  • Reduced property damage by improving preventive maintenance
  • Less custodial work
  • Improved morale and productivity
Self-inspections are a good method of recognizing and controlling hazards that are created by poor housekeeping. Concentrate efforts in high traffic areas, stairways, work areas and storage areas.

Good housekeeping includes:
  • Cleaning all spills immediately
  • Marking spills and wet areas
  • Mopping or sweeping debris from floors
  • Not storing materials in walkways
  • Ensuring stairways are free from obstructions
  • Requiring work areas and workstations that are uncluttered and organized
  • Inspecting flooring surfaces for holes, chips, uneven changes, or other trip hazards
  • Maintaining entryways, sidewalks, and parking lots
  • Securing (tacking, taping, etc.) mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat
  • Closing file cabinet or storage drawers
  • Covering cables and cords that cross walkways
  • Encouraging students to keep backpacks, coats, books, and other belongings off the floor and out of walkways
  • Keeping working areas and walkways well lit
  • Storing materials securely so they don’t fall over
  • Disposing of waste properly in designated containers
  • Reporting hazardous areas so conditions can be corrected
Housekeeping should be an ongoing process, not a one-time practice. Slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of school employee injuries. Establishing strong housekeeping practices is the key to an effective program to prevent injuries and every employee should play a part.
If you have any questions, please contact Trista Greenwood at or Wendy Niehaus at
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