Maintenance Area Safety Principles

Maintenance Area Safety Principles

​​Facility maintenance tasks are diverse and can include such activities as materials and chemical handling, equipment moving and set up, equipment and facility repairs, and cleaning and grounds maintenance. Maintenance tasks can be performed safely when safety principles are applied throughout the day. Some tasks may carry greater risks for injury if specific procedures or instructions are not followed. Safe work procedures separate from these principles have been developed for these tasks. 

General maintenance safety principles would include: 

  • Protect your hands and feet from cuts, punctures or burns by wearing appropriate gloves and footwear when handling sharp, rough, hot or heavy materials. 

  • Do not use tools or equipment while on medication that could impair judgement or cause drowsiness. 

  • Keep hands or other body parts away when cutting, drilling or performing other tasks that could cut, puncture or cause a crush injury if the tool were to slip. 

  • Before using any tool, electric, gas or non-motorized, check to ensure it is in proper working order. Ensure there are no cracks, splits, damaged guards, damaged cords or any other damage/excessive wear and tear that could lead to an injury if it was used. 

  • Always ensure manufacturer’s specified guards are used on equipment & wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as noted in the operator’s manual. 

  • Switch hands, feet, etc., or alternate tasks if a task requires you to perform the same motion for prolonged periods (examples could include shovelling, mopping, using pliers, etc.) 

  • Use tools only in the manner they have been designed to be used. 

  • Ensure appropriate ventilation and/or PPE if working with chemicals. Follow manufacturer or workplace label and/or SDS for PPE requirements. 

  • Flammables, combustibles, toxic or corrosive materials must be stored accordingly 

  • Clean up any spills immediately to reduce the chance for slips. Mark wet floors with caution signs. Refer to SDS sheets & WHMIS protocols for cleaning spills & when transporting, disposing, or refilling chemical containers. SDS sheets are located at _______________________. 

  • Respect your body and reduce risks for strains and strains: 

    • Work in an upright, posture. Try to avoid slouching, twisting and over-reaching. 

    • If you must lift, carry or move an item, first consider its weight, size & shape. Get assistance or use a lifting aid/cart for multiple/heavier /awkward items. 

    • To lift or carry loads, use a wide stance, try to keep your back upright & straight, keep the load close to your body and use your feet to turn instead of twisting. 

    • Bend your knees and use your legs to lift or push rather than your only your arms. 

    • Store heavier stock at hip to chest height to make lifting easier. 

  • Keep your work area free of clutter. Put away sharp items, tools, equipment, chemicals, etc. into their appropriate place as soon as you are finished using them. 

  • Report any additional safety concerns to your Supervisor.​

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