Good Housekeeping Is One of Your Job Responsibilities

Good housekeeping at work means keeping both the facility itself and your own workspace clean, neat, and orderly. The reason housekeeping should be a priority is because it is the first line of defense in any company’s accident prevention strategy.

If housekeeping is to be effective, it has to be ongoing, not an activity that’s performed before management inspects the premises. Failure to keep up with necessary housekeeping tasks can result in employees:

·   Tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs and platforms

·   Being struck by falling objects

·   Slipping on greasy, wet or dirty surfaces

·   Hitting against projecting, or poorly stacked items

·   Cutting, puncturing, or tearing the skin of hands or other parts of the body

To properly maintain the facility, materials, supplies and parts must be stored in their designated storage areas when not in use, tools and equipment must be arranged in an orderly manner and placed away from traffic areas, scraps or debris in the department must be removed on a daily basis, and stairways and platforms must be kept clear. Attention should also be paid to keeping the aisles and passageways clear. Never store or stack materials in aisles.

When you keep the facility clean, you lessen the chances of both employee and visitor accidents because you will have removed the things that cause slipping, tripping, and falling. You have also lessened the likelihood that people will be involved in “struck by,” “striking against,” and “caught-between” accidents.

If your work area is in disarray because of a project you are working on, or if you cannot immediately clean your workstation, make people aware of the danger by posting signs that alert them to the potential risk.

In addition to accident prevention, there are other benefits to maintaining good housekeeping: 

·   There is an easier flow of materials, which reduces handling and saves time.

·   Clutter-free and spill-free work areas expedite movement, again saving time.

·   There is a decrease in the number of fire hazards.

·   Exposures to hazardous substances are reduced.

·   There is a better control over tools and materials because you know where to find them.

·   Without obstacles in the way, it is easier to clean and maintain equipment.

·   The environment is more hygienic, which improves health.

·   There is a more effective use of space.

·   The likelihood of materials and equipment being damaged is reduced.

Excessive Holiday Drinking and Driving Don’t Mix

The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day include the most important entertaining season on many people’s social calendars. While these festivities are a wonderful part of the holiday season, they do bring with them a very serious problem-partygoers who drink too much and then get behind the wheel of a car.

Many people downplay the issue, but statistics prove how serious it is. According to the Community Alcohol Information Program (CAIP), a non-profit agency that provides alcohol education, assessment and evaluation services to persons convicted of alcohol-related offenses in New Hampshire, two million alcohol-impaired driving collisions occur each year in this country. Accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers are the most frequently committed violent crimes in America today.

CAIP offers these other sobering statistics about drinking and driving:

  • The average alcohol-impaired driver arrested on the highway has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .20%, more than double the level for presumed intoxication in most states. This level represents 14 drinks of 86-proof liquor (or 14 beers) in a four-hour period for a man weighing 180 lbs.
  • Between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. on weekends, in some parts of the country, 10% of all drivers are legally impaired. Most Americans drink alcohol, and more than 80% admit to driving after drinking.
  • When drinkers are at the presumed level of intoxication, the risk of their causing an accident is six times greater than for non-drinking drivers.

Some people persist in drinking and driving based on myths about how the body reacts to alcohol and its ability to overcome alcohol’s effects. Scientific studies supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provide important information that belies two commonly held beliefs about drinking and driving:

  • Myth: You can drive as long as you aren’t slurring words or acting erratically. Fact: The skills and coordination needed for driving are compromised long before the obvious signs of intoxication are visible. In addition, the sedative effects of alcohol, combined with late night hours, place you at much greater risk of nodding off or losing attention behind the wheel.
  • Myth: Drink coffee because caffeine will sober you up. Fact: Caffeine may help with drowsiness, but it doesn’t counteract the effects of alcohol on decision-making or coordination. The body needs time to metabolize (break down) alcohol and even more time to return to normal. There are no quick cures.

Alcohol affects the brain and body long after you stop drinking. Any alcohol that remains in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate through the body. That means judgment and coordination can be affected for hours after you’ve taken that last drink. Also keep in mind that alcohol heightens feelings of stress or anxiety, which can lead to violent behavior.

Does this mean you can’t have a few drinks at a holiday party? No, but what it does mean is that you need to be responsible if you do drink. Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Know your limits and never drink more than you can safely handle.
  • Don’t get behind the wheel if you drink. Ask a sober driver to escort you home.
  • Don’t drink if there is someone at the gathering with whom you have a grievance.
  • Offer to be a designated driver for a friend.
  • Call law enforcement if you see someone driving erratically.

Keeping these tips in mind can help avoid tragedy during the holiday season.