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Housekeeping for Auto Repair Shops

Maintaining a clean workplace is as important as maintaining a clean home, especially if you want a safe work environment. Poor housekeeping at work can have severe consequences for safety. Injuries and even death can result from poor housekeeping, leading to OSHA citations. Safety is a shared responsibility.  We can create a better working environment if we keep our area in order. Housekeeping is everyone’s responsibility.  

  • A good safety practice starts with good housekeeping. Here are some guidelines to help you maintain your shop: 
    • Spills should be cleaned up immediately. 
    • Make sure that walkways and stairs are free of tripping hazards. 
    • Oily rags should be stored in a metal container that is covered and emptied every evening. 
    • The shop machinery should be periodically cleaned of excess cutting oils and filings.
    •  All tools should be kept in their place, and tools that need repairs should be red-tagged. 
    • Wear proper PPE.
    • Try to create a routine cleaning schedule.  
  • Maintain fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, first aid kits, and eye wash stations monthly. 
  • Regularly inspect all hand tools, portable power tools, and larger shop equipment. Develop a system for replacing items such as cords, guards, or other worn or damaged equipment, to ensure equipment is not scratched, scraped, etc…
  • Ensure the shop is secure when nobody is in it. You should never leave a machine running unattended. 
  • Use lockout/tagout procedures properly by following all the necessary steps. Don’t cut corners to save time. 

Poor housekeeping can be a cause of accidents, such as: 

  • Tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs, and platform 
  • Being hit by falling objects 
  • Slipping on greasy, wet, or dirty surfaces 
  • Striking against projecting, poorly stacked items, or misplaced material 
  • Cutting, puncturing, or tearing the skin of hands or other body parts on projecting nails, wire, or steel strapping. 
  • To avoid these hazards, a workplace must “maintain” order throughout the workday. Although this effort requires a great deal of management and planning, the benefits are many. 


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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