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The Dangers of Clutter in the Workplace

Why a clean, tidy workplace is essential for successful businesses and their employees.

Clutter is an American problem as research has shown as many as 50% of the popular admits to hoarding junk and having a problem with clutter. While this can be a personal choice at home, however unhealthy, at work clutter simply has to be avoided to create a safe and manageable workplace. Cluttered, untidy workplaces are much more dangerous, pose higher risks and here we’re looking at the key areas in which clutter can become a serious issue at work.

From fire hazards to vermin infestation and the risk of crush injuries, workplaces should be kept clutter-free. Hoarding is not a habit any businessowner should take to their business and it poses real risks to yourself, your business, your staff and even neighboring structures. Below are those key areas in which clutter can become a risk:

Fire Risk

The biggest threat posed by untidy spaces and clutter in the workplace is fire. It’s the most dangerous risk for sure and many environments which are packed with hoarded items or simply badly organised files and papers create a huge risk should a fire start. The speed at which items catch fire is rapid and furthered when there are loose papers and similar lying around. What’s more, as items fall or begin to burn, fire exits, obvious escape routes and ways out quickly become obstructed.

Whether large piles are already blocking doors or are simply near doorways, they pose a significant risk and may limit ways out should a fire occur. In many premises, windows are inaccessible and this can impede the fire officers as well as make escape much more difficult. Firefighting and rescue attempts can’t happen as easily as they should and this in turn puts the lives of fire officers at risk as well as your staff and customers, if on-site.

The likelihood of fire is immediately raised when you have piles of flammable materials, especially when located near electronics such as photocopiers, computers and other related hardware. The risk of overheating is increased too. As a company who provides fire restoration services we regularly see the devastating impact of fire and believe businesses should do all they can to avoid the risks.

Structural Integrity

Piling items high against your walls and even to the ceiling puts immense pressure on the structure of your building. This is especially the case if you’re utilizing upper floors. Upstairs floors are not usually designed to sustain considerable amounts of weight and you could soon find your building is at serious risk of collapse, ceilings falling through or damage to the walls. Not only is this devastating for business it could result in fatal accidents and injuries to your staff and customers.

This is especially a problem for landlords who own apartment buildings. Tenants with hoarding problems can put the whole building at risk so it is important to maintain regular checks and support tenants who may have hoarding issues before they become a serious problem for the whole premises.

Another key concern when cluttered items build up is mold. Large amounts of clutter attract mold as ventilation is rarely adequate enough to deal with the situation. Damp goes unnoticed, leaks aren’t spotted and soon mold is able to grow and flourish. The health issues associated with mold are well-documented but it can seriously impact on your respiratory health, aggravate asthma and cause the development of dangerous respiratory problems and conditions. This isn’t the kind of environment anyone wants to provide for their employees and customers.

Trips and Falls

Trips and falls remain the main cause of injury in the workplace and an untidy or cluttered workplace is bound to result in higher risk of falls. Whether it’s loose wires or equipment left in the incorrect place, trip hazards need to be avoided to ensure your workforce are safe. Badly stacked items also risk falling and causing crush injuries or forcing people to jump or move hastily, again raising the risk of accident.

Businesses regularly face negligence claims and lawsuits from employees and clients who have been injured while at work. The chance of facing a claim is only higher if you do not provide a safe and clean workplace. What’s more, a cluttered workplace doesn’t paint a good picture even if you aren’t at fault in a negligence case, so it pays to create the best environment and cover all bases.

Creating a Safe, Healthy Workplace

It is very easy for businesses to fall behind when it comes to their general housekeeping. Not all businesspeople know the standards of cleanliness and tidiness expected and others would claim they do not personally have the time to keep on top of regular cleaning and clutter. The risks that come with working in an untidy environment are too high to ignore and for businesses where cleaning cannot be a personal priority, investment in professional help is vital.

At Penn Jersey we provide every kind of business cleaning service you could need and can help in the most cluttered spaces, ensuring they’re brought back to a healthy standard. We can keep on top of specific office equipment cleaning and provide daily or weekly contracted services for offices and other business premises. Our janitorial services are designed to ensure you have the best possible environment for your customers and staff. We utilize the best equipment and materials to ensure cleanliness on every level and we can take care of the daily housekeeping tasks to keep everything in good order. It is important you have a work ethic and environment which expects employees to tidy up after themselves too, avoiding any unnecessary stacking, paper build up or unclean desk spaces.

If you have a problem with clutter in your workplace, we can help and can organize regular or one-off cleaning services as soon as you need.

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