Sanitation and Safety Go Hand in Hand

Maintaining a clean, orderly work area should be part of every safety and health program. However, many housekeeping programs fail to take into account the areas of the workplace where employees don’t actually work. Break rooms and lunch areas can often become housekeeping nightmares. Remind your employees that these areas require attention, too.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have the appropriate number and types of trash cans available in employee lunchrooms, and anywhere else where food is consumed.
  • Be vigilant in your efforts to keep lunchrooms clean. Pay special attention to floors, making sure that spills are cleaned up immediately.
  • Kitchen countertops can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Make sure they are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Clean refrigerators at least once a week. Allowing food to remain in the refrigerator for an extended period encourages mold and bacteria growth.
  • Make sure microwaves are thoroughly wiped down at least once a day. Encourage employees to wipe up their own microwave spills.
  • Dispose of trash at least once a day. Empty lunchroom receptacles into outside dumpsters to avoid attracting insects, mice and other vermin.
  • Do not allow employees to leave dirty dishes or cups in or near the sink. Anything left at the end of the workday should be thrown away.
  • Make it a policy that food is not to leave a designated area. Eating in work areas increases the likelihood of a sanitation problem developing.
  • Instruct employees to clean their lunch tables after use. Wipe down tables at least once a day.
  • Keep appropriate cleaning supplies on hand to encourage workers to chip in with housekeeping.