02/20/2013 -- Take a good look around and individuals might find most of their work areas are too small for the amount of space they need.
When the facilities here were built, no one could have guessed people would need so much equipment, furniture, references and supplies to perform their jobs.
Desktop computers, printers, fax machines, storage cabinets for toner, paper, reference binders, cables and cords, specialized tools and equipment fill every office, shop, closet, and storeroom.
Nearly every storage lot and warehouse bay on the installation is at or near capacity with retrograde vehicles, parts and equipment.
Managing workspaces and storage areas has become critical.
Housekeeping is a continuous process involving employees and custodial staff.
Federal civil servants have an obligation to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars.
That means they should take care of materials, equipment and supplies as if they personally paid for it.
The orderliness and cleanliness of work areas are also a reflection on individual character and professionalism. It also reflects the pride and ownership members have toward the command.
Good housekeeping reduces accidents, improves morale, and increases efficiency and effectiveness. Most people appreciate a clean and orderly workplace where they can accomplish their tasks without interference or interruption.
It is important that individuals consider housekeeping as part of their jobs and not as a task someone else should do.
When every item has an assigned place there is less chance materials or tools will be taken or misplaced.
When aisle and floor space is uncluttered, movement within the shop or office is safer and employees can easily access and maintain their work areas. Organized work areas reduce obstacles that could contribute to a slip, trip or fall.
The risk of fire is also minimized when a workplace is kept free from accumulations of combustible materials that can burn, or in the case of chemical incompatibilities, spontaneously ignite.
Furthermore, an orderly work area permits easy exit in case of evacuation and makes it easier to locate and secure fire extinguishers and automated external defibrillators.
Throughout the next few months, the installation will be inspected by Occupational Safety and Health Administration Compliance Officers as part of an inspection program called FEDTARG12.
In addition, nearly all work areas in the MCLB Albany installation command will be inspected as part of the command’s Voluntary Protection Program Star Site on-site evaluation process.
OSHA realizes that clean and orderly work areas are safer work areas and there are numerous standards promulgated by OSHA to emphasize their position.
Housekeeping violations during the FEDTARG12 inspection can result in formal citations against the command.
Housekeeping violations during the VPP on-site evaluation could jeopardize the MCLB Albany installation command’s eligibility to receive VPP Star site recognition.
Good housekeeping is maintained, not achieved. Here is what people can do to help keep their work areas clean and orderly:
* Dispose of or recycle trash and debris.
* Turn-in unwanted or unused furniture, equipment, or supplies to Garrison Property.
* Keep aisles and passageways clear.
* Mark storage boxes with the content to know what is in them.
* Never store anything in or around doorways or stairways.
* Always close drawers and cabinet doors when not in use.
* Create order by having a place for everything and putting everything in its place.
* Have the self-discipline to clean-up after every shift.
* Ask someone to inspect your work area to spot hazards that might have been missed.
Good housekeeping not only reduces the risk of injury and fires, it increases morale and improves efficiency.
The condition work areas are in is a direct reflection of professionalism and organizational pride.
Whether an individual is responsible for a vehicle, desk, cubicle, work bench, warehouse bay or an entire building, the installation is relying on that person to make his or her part of the workplace as organized and safe as possible.