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Does your health and safety supervisor know all three stages of clean up?

by , 06 September 2013
As a supervisor, you're responsible to ensure your workers are safe. You'll be held liable if anything happens to your workers while they're working. Don't take that risk. Ensure your workers use these three stages of clean up.


'As a supervisor, it's crucial that you ensure your workers keep to the three stages of clean up. This is a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA),' says the Health&Safety Advisor.

Revealed: The three stages of clean up

Make sure your workers adhere to these three steps:

Stage 1 – Before starting work:

  • Make sure your work area is clean. You must clean your work area before you start doing your work.
  • Put your tools and equipment in a position that won't make the work you're doing unsafe. Don't put your tools and equipment too close to where you're working.
  • Make sure your personal protective equipment (PPE) is clean and not damaged. If it's dirty, clean it. If it's damaged, ask your supervisor to replace it.

Stage 2 – While you work:

Teach your workers to 'clean as you go'. This is one of the best rules for preventing injuries and loss in the workplace.

'Clean as you go' is a simple process. To do it, your workers must:

  • Clean your work area after you finish each step of the work (when necessary).
  • Keep personal protective equipment clean while you do your work (clean anything that gets dirty during any step of the work).
  • Keep your tools and equipment clean (clean your tools and equipment when they get dirty during any step of your work).
  • If you have waste items, like wood chips or metal shavings that have been produced during your work steps, remove the waste and place it in the bin. You mustn't leave waste lying around your work area.
  • If you spill anything, clean it up immediately and dispose of it as per the waste disposal procedure.
  • Keep your work surface dry and clean; wipe it down regularly (if necessary).
  • Keep the areas around your workplace clean and free of clutter. Don't put things where they can hamper your easy movement.
  • If you have dirty or oily rags, put these in the bins provided for these items.
  • If you're using chemicals, make sure the container is properly closed when you're not using it.
  • Clean the chemical container after using it so no leaks or spills stay on the outside of the container.
  • If you're finished using any tools or equipment, put it back in its storage place.

Stage 3 – When you're finished working:

  • Clean up your work area.
  • Wipe down work surfaces.
  • Put any waste in the waste bins provided.
  • Clean your tools and equipment and pack them away in the toolbox/storage area provided.
  • Clean your personal protective equipment and pack it away in the storage area provided.

Remember to teach your workers how to follow the rules of clean up. Train them properly and give them a refresher regularly.

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