Housekeeping Program

Good housekeeping is a necessary requirement for maintaining safety at our facility. Clean and tidy operations hold fewer hazards for all employees. Accidents and injuries are avoided and productivity improved where good housekeeping is a daily occurrence. This document informs interested persons, including employees, that our company is complying with OSHA's housekeeping requirements, including:

  • 29 CFR 1910.22 - Walking and Working Surfaces -Housekeeping
  • 29 CFR 1910.38/.157 - Emergency Action/Fire Prevention.

Many other regulations also lead to housekeeping procedures. Common sense and safety concerns encourage standardization of housekeeping measures in the workplace. Principia has developed a set of written housekeeping procedures. In this way we have standardized housekeeping measures and are providing clear expectations and procedures for housekeeping at our company.

Good housekeeping is possibly the most visible evidence of management and employee concern for safety and health that a company displays on a day-to-day basis. Orderliness in our workplace contributes to a safe working environment by minimizing obstacles and potential safety and health threats such as spills, trip hazards, etc. In fact, we have nine good reasons for housekeeping:

  • Prevents accidents
  • Prevents fire
  • Saves time
  • Gives control to our workers
  • Increases production
  • Gives our workers the freedom to move
  • Gives our workers pride
  • Protects our products and equipment
  • Reduces our waste.

Our Written Housekeeping Program begins with a purpose statement. Then it provides a section to explain our expectations for a walk-around assessment. We have also included specific housekeeping procedures. Because no program can be successful without employee participation, we train our employees in the procedures. Plus, we have a system to promptly address and resolve any housekeeping-related accidents and hazard reports.

Purpose Statement

This document serves as the written procedures for general housekeeping at Principia offices and operations. These guidelines provide housekeeping standards in this facility to help ensure a safe work environment at all times in all areas.

Administrative Duties

The Safety Director, or designee, is responsible for implementing and maintaining the program. A copy of the plan may be reviewed by employees. It is located in Principia written Safety and Health manual and at our corporate office.

If after reading this program, if you find that improvements can be made, please contact the Safety Director, or designee. We encourage all suggestions because we are committed to the success of our written housekeeping program.

We strive for clear understanding, safe behavior, and involvement from every level of the company.

Walk-Around Assessment

Our Workplace Safety Director, or designee, and/or joint management/employee safety and health committee members walk(s) around the facility/job site for an assessment to identify main housekeeping issues. These persons look for a lack of order, un-removed spills or obstructions, or other hazards due to poor organization or poor housekeeping. They ask employees working in each area to identify and recommend corrective actions for their area. They also walk around the grounds to see if there is refuse or an untidy appearance due to storing materials haphazardly. In addition, they check the OSHA Form 200 injury and illness to see if one or more incidents such as slips, trips, falls, or other types of accidents were related in some way to poor housekeeping.

Housekeeping Procedures

It is the intent of this company to standardize housekeeping measures, meet OSHA requirements, and encourage safety. The procedures listed below cover many locations.

Storage and Scrap Areas

Our facility securely stores material by piling or arranging it in an orderly manner. Our housekeeping procedures for storage areas (which keep them free from accumulation of materials that constitute hazards from tripping, fire, explosion, or pest harborage) are:

Open yard storage housekeeping procedures include:

  • Combustible materials must be piled with due regard to the stability of piles and in no case higher than 20 feet.
  • Driveways between and around combustible storage piles must be at least 15 feet wide and maintained free from accumulation of rubbish, equipment, or other articles or materials. Driveways must be so spaced that a maximum grid system unit of 50 feet by 150 feet is produced.
  • The entire storage site must be kept free from accumulation of unnecessary combustible materials. Weeds and grass must be kept down and a regular procedure provided for the periodic cleanup of the entire area.
  • When there is a danger of an underground fire, that land must not be used for combustible or flammable storage.
  • Method of piling must be solid wherever possible and in orderly and regular piles. No combustible material may be stored outdoors within 10 feet of a building or structure.

Indoor storage housekeeping measures include:

  • Storage may not obstruct, or adversely affect, means of exit.
  • All materials must be stored, handled, and piled with due regard to their fire characteristics.
  • Non-compatible materials, which may create a fire hazard, must be segregated by a barrier having a fire resistance of at least 1 hour.
  • Material must be piled to minimize the spread of fire internally and to permit convenient access for firefighting. Stable piling shall be maintained at all times. Aisle space shall be maintained to safely accommodate the widest vehicle that may be used within the building for firefighting purposes.
  • Clearance of at least 36 inches must be maintained between the top level of the stored material and the sprinkler deflectors.
  • Clearance must be maintained around lights and heating units to prevent ignition of combustible materials.
  • A clearance of 24 inches must be maintained around the path of travel of fire doors unless a barricade is provided, in which case no clearance is needed. Material must not be stored within 36 inches of a fire door opening.

Aisles, Walkways, and Floor

Our facility does the following things to keep aisles, walkways and floors clean and open:

  • Provide sufficient safe clearances and access to any and all work stations and work areas, fire aisles, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, electrical disconnects, safety showers, other emergency aids, doors, and access to stairways.
  • Clearly mark to distinguish walkways from areas not for pedestrian traffic.
  • Keep aisles and walkways free of physical obstructions that would prevent access, including path-blocking objects, liquid or solid spills, and other obstructions.
  • Keep aisles at least 3 feet wide where necessary for reasons of access to doors, windows, or standpipe connections.
  • Keep stairs clean, dry, and free of waste, well-lit, and provided with adequate hand rails and treads that are in good condition.
  • Keep floors clean; dry (dry as possible); slip-resistant; and free of waste, unnecessary material, oil and grease, protruding nails, splinters, holes, or loose boards.
  • Provide an adequate number of waste receptacles at accessible locations throughout all work areas.

Our housekeeping procedures for our production areas include:

  • Maintain adequate lighting systems in a clean and efficient manner and replace bulbs as soon as possible after failure.
  • Properly maintain walls.
  • Keep windows clean by washing them regularly.
  • Keep blinds clean by washing regularly.
  • Properly maintain doors and windows in a good working order and repair any damage to doors and windows as soon as possible.
  • Provide adequate ventilation to all work areas to keep air free of dust and other contaminants.
  • Maintain and clean all ventilation systems and HVAC systems at regular intervals.

Loading Docks

Our housekeeping procedures for loading docks are:

  • Keep all loading dock areas free of unnecessary materials accumulation.
  • Have emergency spill kits and other spill clean-up equipment and materials available in the loading dock area.
  • Clean up spills as soon as they occur.
  • Keep all overhead doors clean and free of rust or dirt at hinges.

Outside the Facility

Our housekeeping procedures for keeping our grounds and building faces/sides neat and orderly include:

  • Keep the parts of buildings that are visible to public roads cleaned by washing them at regular intervals.
  • Keep the other parts of buildings cleaned at regular intervals.
  • Keep all doors and loading docks completely free of debris, shrubs, or other obstructions.
  • Maintain visibility through all windows by washing at regular intervals.
  • Keep doors and windows properly maintained in good working order.
  • Repair any damage to doors and windows at regular intervals.
  • Provide any stairs or platforms adjacent to or leading into the building(s) with adequate rails, adequate treads to climb, and an area clean and free of materials.
  • Keep grounds neat and orderly, free of refuse and unnecessary materials.
  • Store materials outdoors only in designated areas of the grounds.
  • Provide designated walkways through grounds, preferably paved and kept clear of snow, ice, materials, or any other physical hazards.
  • Provide a lighting system that is adequate to allow employees to navigate around the grounds as necessary at dusk and after dark.
  • Maintain a neat landscaping appearance--trim lawn, trees and shrubs in such a way as to minimize any possible safety hazards.
  • Trim grass short enough to prevent trip hazards to employees.
  • Prevent trees and shrubs from obstructing doors and windows.


All of our employees, including maintenance and contractor employees, need to fully understand the safety and health hazards of poor housekeeping and improper chemical storage to protect themselves, their fellow employees, and the citizens of nearby communities. While training in Hazard Communication will help employees to be more knowledgeable about the chemicals they work with as well as familiarize them with reading and understanding MSDS's, we will also train them as part of our Housekeeping Program, covering housekeeping procedures and safe work practices, hazard reporting, and other areas pertinent to housekeeping.

Our Safety Director, or designee, trains employees on housekeeping procedures. He/she trains new employees at the time of their initial assignment..

Employees sign documentation upon completion of their training. All training and retraining records contain the identity of the employee, the date of training, and the means used to verify that they understood their training.


Our facility uses contractors to perform work in and around processes that involve housekeeping procedures. Our goal is to hire contractors who accomplish the desired job tasks without compromising the safety and health of employees.

Our facility obtains and periodically evaluates the contract employer's safety performance and programs in accordance with our Contractor Safety policies.

We inform and train contract employers of the known hazards which could develop from poor housekeeping, but which relate to the contractor's work and processes.

We ensure that the contract employer advises our organization of any unique hazards presented by the contract employer's work by maintaining and promoting communication and an open door policy for the identification, and mitigation of recognized safety and health hazards.

Employee Participation

Our employees are a significant ally in implementing and maintaining an effective housekeeping program for the facility. Principia strongly encourages employees to participate in:

  • Conducting and developing the housekeeping program elements and hazard assessments as well as incident investigation findings.
  • Obtaining access to the housekeeping program including any hazard analyses.

Incident Investigation

Incident investigation is the process of identifying the underlying causes of incidents and implementing steps to prevent similar events from occurring. With our incident investigations, we intend to learn from past experiences and thus avoid repeating past mistakes. Some of the incidents could be "near misses," meaning that a serious consequence did not occur, but could have.

The Safety Director, or designee, is responsible for promptly addressing and resolving an incident report's findings and recommendations. Our organization ensures that all affected personnel, whose job tasks are relevant to an incident finding (including contract employees where applicable), review the report.