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From Chaos to Clarity: Tackling Venue Clutter for Safety’s Sake

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Let’s talk housekeeping. I know it’s not the sexiest of topics, but it is a very important one in the ongoing safety of your venue. So many venues I go to have storage issues – there’s never enough storage, right?! But so much of the valuable venue real estate, inside and out, is congested with old, obsolete, broken and accumulated stuff. You may have shelving that is broken or just plain unsuitable for what you are trying to store.

Not only are these piles of stuff an eyesore, but they can be a significant safety and hygiene hazard such as:
• Falling objects
• Stock being damaged
• Manual handling injuries from poor storage practices such as heavy items stored on high shelves
• Walkways and fire exits being congested or blocked for safe and quick access
• Fire hazards from accumulated items or not being able to access hydrants or hose reels
• Mould growth from dark, damp conditions
• Insects and rodents love these areas – it’s a real love nest for them. Eek

Image of a messy office area

How to manage this issue? It always seems to be in the ‘too hard basket,’ or there are more pressing concerns. However, once you have cleaned out the unwanted items and given the areas a very thorough clean, you’ll have so much more space to use effectively.

I do suggest planning a specific timeframe to concentrate on the task of clearing out the rubbish. Organise a skip bin or a recycling / upcycling company to assist. Old gaming machines can be taken to a facility with crushing facilities. If you are disposing paperwork, ensure you are aware of the record retention timeframe requirements such as AML/CTF paperwork which needs to be kept for at least 7 years.

Make sure the workers who are doing the work are properly kitted out with good quality gloves, enclosed shoes and masks / goggles in case of mould, bacteria and biological hazards. Clearly communicate what is to go and what is to stay and ensure there is strong supervision. Don’t forget the hydration and sun safety requirements too!

Once the clean up has been done, ensure you have processes and inspections in place to keep it clean, safe and hygienic. Remember that it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep the workplace safe and tidy on an ongoing basis.

Clean Up Australia Business Day is coming up on 27th February and it’s a great time to clean up your venue, get rid of those piles of old, broken furniture, accumulated boxes, discarded items and anything else taking up valuable real estate in your venue.

Is your venue in need of a WH&S Compliance and Safety audit?

Michelle Bates is DWS’ in house WH&S & Compliance Officer and brings over 20+ years experience spanning over multiple industries. 

Learn more about Michelle here, or get in touch with her today via email. 

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