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Shipyard Employment eTool: Shipbreaking
General Requirements Shipbuilding Ship Repair Shipbreaking Barge Cleaning

Working Conditions » Housekeeping


Figure 1: Fuel gas cylinders neatly organized
Figure 1: Fuel gas cylinders neatly organized.

Good housekeeping is important in preventing injuries caused by slips, trips and falls on slippery decks or cluttered walking or working surfaces. Poor housekeeping can block employee access to emergency equipment as well as exits. Failure to remove trash and other debris increases the risk of a fire and injury.



Good Housekeeping
Figure 2: Improper practice - Poor housekeeping
Figure 2: Improper practice - Poor housekeeping.

Figure 3: Work area kept clean of scrap debris
Figure 3: Work area kept clean of scrap debris.

Figure 4: Metal trees used to elevate hoses and cables over gangway
Figure 4: Metal trees used to elevate hoses and cables over gangway.

Figure 5: Gangway kept clear for easy egress from vessel
Figure 5: Gangway kept clear for easy egress from vessel.

Potential Hazards:

Cluttered work areas can lead to accidents and cause worker injuries, due to slips, trips, and falls, being struck by falling objects, impeded access to exit routes and firefighting equipment, and fires because of improper disposal of flammable or combustible materials such as rags, paper and cardboard).

Requirements and Example Solutions:

Good housekeeping conditions must be maintained at all times.

  • Adequate aisles and passageways must be maintained in all work areas. [29 CFR 1915.91(a)] Passageways may be restricted or blocked by:
    • Lines (electrical, air, gas)
    • Ventilation ducts
    • Welding leads
    • Equipment
    • Debris (scrap)
  • Hose and electric conductors must be elevated over or placed under the walkway or working surfaces or be covered by adequate crossover planks. [29 CFR 1915.91(a)] See Figure 4.
  • All working areas must be kept reasonably free of debris (scrap). [29 CFR 1915.91(b)]
  • Material such as drums and pipes must be stacked as not to present a hazard to workers. [29 CFR 1915.91(b)]
  • Means of egress must be maintained at all times to all exits and to all fire-alarm boxes or fire-extinguishing equipment. [29 CFR 1915.91(d)] See Figure 5.
  • Control slippery conditions in walking or working areas.
  • Remove or properly store cleaning rags and solvents in order to prevent fire hazards.
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