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All workplaces must keep work areas and worker facilities clean and in good condition. These areas include washrooms, locker room and lunch rooms. Poor housekeeping can frequently contribute to incidents by hiding hazards that cause injuries. If the sight of paper, debris, clutter, and spills is accepted as normal, then other more serious health and safety hazards may be taken for granted.
To ensure proper housekeeping in the workplace, employers must make sure:
- bright or well lit;
- well ventilated, and
- free of insects or vermin of any kind.
- kept clear of obstructions;
- free of ice, snow or other slipping hazards, and
- sprinkled with sand or another appropriate abrasive material to provide a firm footing when needed.
- Small tools and gear shall are put away at the end of each work shift.
- That tools or other objects are not left where they could endanger workers.
Employers must provide a changing room, if health or safety reasons make it necessary, for workers to change into work clothes from their street clothes.
Employers must also make sure that:
Workers are responsible to take every reasonable precaution to protect their own occupational health and safety and that of other persons at or near the workplace. This responsibility includes following housekeeping rules and procedures meant to keep the workplace clean and tidy.
Part 2 TOILET AND WASHING FACILITIES
Section 2.2 Toilet facilities
2.2 Every employer shall at each workplace provide proper toilet facilities which shall be maintained and kept clean and shall have adequate provision for privacy, heat, light and ventilation.
Part 4 LUNCH ROOMS OR EATING AREAS
Section 4.1 Lunch and rest room
4.1 In every workplace the employer shall provide a clean lunch and rest room that
(a) does not have a door opening directly into a toilet facility;
(b) is separate from any place where there is the possibility of food being contaminated by a dangerous substance;
(c) is not used for any purpose that is incompatible with its use as a lunch room;
(d) is adequately provided with
(i) light, heat and ventilation,
(ii) hand cleansing and drying facilities in close proximity,
(iii) sufficient tables and seating facilities for the use of workers,
(iv) suitable covered receptacles for the disposal of food; and
(e) is kept in a sanitary condition.
[EC2021-126, s. 3]
Part 5 HOUSEKEEPING - GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 5.1 General safety requirements
5.1 In every workplace the employer shall ensure that
(a) all personal service rooms such as locker rooms, lunch rooms, canteens, wash rooms and rest rooms shall
(i) be kept free of insects or vermin of any kind,
(ii) be maintained in a bright, clean and sanitary condition at all times, and
(iii) be adequately ventilated;
(b) surfaces of walls and ceilings, including windows and skylights, shall be kept clean and in a good state of repair;
(c) the floor space of any building or work area shall not be so crowded with machinery, products or materials as to constitute a hazard to workers;
(d) sufficient space shall be provided around individual machines or process units to allow for normal operation, adjustments and repairs;
(e) protruding nails in boards, walls, lumber or scrap materials shall be removed so as not to constitute a hazard;
(f) floors shall be even and free from anything which may create a stumbling hazard;
(g) floors shall be kept dry and in a non-slippery condition except in areas where floors remain wet because of the work process;
(h) where a worker is required to work on a wet floor, suitable foot wear shall be worn;
(i) every precaution shall be taken to prevent gasoline, oil or grease being spilled on floors; if gasoline, oil or grease is spilled on floors so as to constitute a slipping or fire hazard, the area affected shall be cleaned up immediately;
(j) combustible materials such as shavings, waste, oily rags, etc., shall not be allowed to accumulate on floors, benches or in places where they would constitute a fire hazard;
(k) flammable rubbish, weeds and grass shall not be allowed to accumulate in yards around buildings or around flammable material storage;
(l) waste chemicals such as heat producing (oxidizing) compounds shall be disposed of in safe areas;
(m) suitable receptacles of substantial construction which shall not leak shall be provided for the disposal of rubbish;
(n) waste material and debris shall be removed daily, or more often if necessary, from the building or structure to a suitable disposal area to prevent a hazardous condition;
(o) waste material and debris shall
(i) not be permitted to fall freely from one level to another, and
(ii) be lowered by chute, or in a suitable container;
(p) work areas shall be cleaned as often as necessary considering the nature of work carried on;
(q) where cleaning must be done during working hours i.e. sweeping, every effort shall be made to prevent dust;
(r) scrap materials, parts, etc., shall be properly disposed of when a job is completed;
(s) every scaffold, runway, stairway, passageway and ramp shall
(i) be kept clear of obstructions at all times,
(ii) be kept clear of ice, snow or other slippery materials, and
(iii) when necessary to ensure firm footing, be sprinkled with sand or other suitable abrasive material;
(t) small tools and gear shall, at the end of each work shift, be collected and stored in a suitable place;
(u) passageways shall be sufficiently wide and shall not be blocked by the piling of material, but shall be kept clear of obstruction at all times.
[EC2021-126, s. 3]
Section 5.2 Care of tools
5.2 No persons shall place any tool or other object where it may endanger other workers.
[EC2021-126, s. 3]
Section 5.3 Changing room
5.3 The employer shall provide a changing room if the nature of the work by a worker makes it necessary for the worker to change from street clothes for safety or health reasons.
[EC2021-126, s. 3]
Part 11 VENTILATION
Section 11.4 Maintenance
11.4 The employer shall ensure that all parts of ventilation systems are maintained, cleaned and that ventilation openings are always free of any obstruction or source of contamination.
Part 15 ACCESS TO WORKPLACES
Section 15.1 Safe access
15.1 The employer shall ensure that all places where work is performed shall have safe means of access and egress from each floor appropriate to the conditions of the work area and
(a) emergency exits shall be designed and marked to provide quick and unimpeded exit;
(b) doors shall not open directly on to stairways, but shall open to floors or landings having a width in excess of the swing of the doors;
(c) transparent glass panels which could be mistaken for doorways shall be clearly identified.
Part 25 FIRE PROTECTION
Section 25.4 Requirements
25.4 Fire extinguishers shall be
(a) protected from mechanical injury;
(b) located for easy access at suitably marked stations; and
(c) maintained in good operating condition.
Part 27 DEMOLITION
Section 27.5 Debris piling
27.5 No person shall stock or pile any material or debris in the project so as to endanger the safety of workers.
[EC2021-126, s. 3]
Section 27.14 Debris removal to ground
27.14 (1) Rubbish and debris shall be lowered to the ground level in suitable containers or chutes.
(2) Objects larger than rubbish or debris shall be lowered by cranes, hoists or other mechanical means.
Part 33 POWERED MOBILE EQUIPMENT
Section 33.15 Precautions on slope, bank
33.15 Where powered mobile equipment is used on a slope or bank which may give way, the employer shall ensure that adequate precautions are taken to stabilize the slope or bank, as the case may be, and to distribute the load of the equipment.
[EC2021-126, s. 29]
Part 43 HANDLING & STORAGE OF MATERIALS
Section 43.9 Hazardous liquid storage
43.9 The employer shall ensure that tanks used for storing non-flammable hazardous liquids shall meet the following requirements:
(a) labelled to identify the contents and indicate the nature of the hazard involved in handling it as well as instructions for handling of the hazardous liquid;
(b) located above ground or floor level;
(c) so supported that leakage from any part of the tank will be noticeable;
(d) surrounded with pits, catch basins or depressions of sufficient size to hold the entire contents of the largest tank in the event of rupture;
(e) covered with protective paint to prevent corrosion from moisture or fumes; and
(f) provided with stairways or permanent ladders and platforms where necessary, for convenient and safe access to all parts of the tanks with standard safe railings on both stairways and platforms and preferably with floors or platforms constructed of grating.
Section 43.17 Storerooms for flammable liquids
43.17 Where barrels or drums containing flammable liquids are stored in special storerooms inside factories or in small isolated storehouses, the storeroom or house shall be of fire-resistant construction and the floor of the storeroom or house shall slope to a drain pipe leading outside to a catch basin which shall not be connected to a sewer.
Section 43.21 Cleaning
43.21 Empty barrels or drums which have contained acids or other non- flammable liquids, if to be re-used, shall be promptly cleaned and stored apart from other containers.
Part 44 STORAGE BATTERY ROOMS
Section 44.1 Charging batteries
44.1 (1) The employer shall ensure that storage batteries that discharge flammable gases are kept electrically charged only in rooms or areas designed for that purpose.
(2) The employer shall ensure that the room or area required by subsection (1)
(a) is adequately ventilated to prevent the accumulation of flammable gases;
(b) is free from all sources of ignition;
(c) is marked at the entrance with a notice prohibiting smoking or open flames;
(d) has a floor of non-sparking material and with adequate drainage;
(e) when storage batteries are mounted in trays or on a rack, has level trays or a level rack constructed or covered with non- sparking material and of sufficient strength to carry the weight of the battery;
(f) has an adequate supply of fresh water for flushing and neutralizing spilled or splashed electrolyte;
(g) has wiring which complies with the CSA Standard C22.1-18, Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1 (24th Edition), Safety Standard for Electrical Installation, for the method of wiring in storage battery rooms;
(h) if equipment is used for hoisting or handling batteries, has equipment of adequate capacity;
(i) is not used for general storage.
(3) The employer shall ensure that
(a) storage batteries are kept clean and free from dust;
(b) vent openings in batteries are kept clear to prevent pressure build up in the battery during storage;
(c) a storage battery is adequately secured;
(d) smoking shall not be allowed in battery storage rooms;
(e) floors in storage battery rooms or areas are washed promptly when spillage occurs;
(f) when a storage battery is of no further use, it is disposed of in a manner which prevents spillage of electrolyte.
(4) The employer shall ensure that only competent persons are permitted to change or charge batteries.
[EC2021-126, s. 38]
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
R.S.P.E.I. 1988, c. O-1.01
Section 16 Duties of worker
16. (1) A worker, while at work, shall
(a) take every reasonable precaution to protect the worker's own occupational health and safety and that of other persons at or near the workplace;
(b) cooperate with the employer and with the other workers to protect the worker's own occupational health and safety and that of other persons at or near the workplace;
(c) wear or use such individual protective equipment as is required by this Act and the regulations;
(d) consult and cooperate with the committee or representative, if any;
(e) cooperate with any person performing a duty or exercising a power conferred by this Act or the regulations; and
(f) comply with this Act and the regulations and any policy or program established by an employer pursuant to this Act or the regulations.
(2) Where a worker believes that any item, device, material, equipment or machinery, condition or aspect of the workplace is or may be dangerous to the worker's occupational health or safety or that of other persons at or near the workplace, the worker
(a) shall immediately report it to a supervisor;
(b) shall, where the matter is not remedied to the worker's satisfaction, report it to the committee or the representative, if any; and
(c) may, where the matter is not remedied to the worker's satisfaction after the worker reports it in accordance with clauses (a) and (b), report it to an officer.
(3) Clause (2)(b) does not apply in respect of a complaint of harassment in the workplace.
[S.P.E.I. 2018, c. 45, s. 4]
- Prevention of Slips, Trips and Falls
- Workplace Housekeeping - Basic Guide
- Workplace Housekeeping - Checklist for Construction Sites
- Workplace Housekeeping - Checklist for General Inspection
- Workplace Housekeeping - Checklist for Stockpiling
- Workplace Housekeeping - Checklist for Workplace Housekeeping