Housekeeping on the job is everyone’s responsibility. Keeping the jobsite clean will help eliminate some hazards so you do not get hurt. It can also help you get your job done faster. On the other hand, poor housekeeping contributes to accidents, creates hazards and causes you to spend valuable time searching for parts and tools.
Housekeeping is not just about cleaning up at the end of your shift or about the final cleanup when the project is finished. Housekeeping is most effective when it is an ongoing effort throughout the day, every day. Picture a jobsite with trash piling up, scrap lumber on the ground, and crates and drums just lying around. That mess is dangerous, it slows you down, and it is an invitation to an OSHA inspector to come in and look for other hazards that are not being addressed.
Poor housekeeping leads to serious accidents and injuries. You can trip and fall because someone left banding on the ground, or ran extension cords across the stairs. You could be hit by falling objects, slip on muddy stairs, or get cut by protruding nails and sharp materials. Scrap and debris create fire hazards. Garbage attracts bugs and rodents.
Follow these good housekeeping practices:
– Keep your work area neat and orderly. Organize tools, supplies, equipment, and scrap.
– Clean as you go. Do not wait until the end of the day or the end of the week to clean up.
– Sweep up chips, shavings, and sawdust.
– Keep piles neat and tidy. This applies to new materials and to scrap and waste too.
– Put waste materials into the proper bins or dumpsters as you work. Many projects separate waste into containers for concrete, metal, and woos for cheaper disposal.
– Avoid the mess by taking only as much of a material or chemical as you need.
– Keep floors and walking surfaces free of cords, tools, and other tripping hazards.
– Remove combustible waste like lumber, paper, and cardboard from your work areas so they do not become a fire hazard.
– Keep scrap lumber that has protruding nails or screws away from work areas and walkways. Remove nails, screws and any other dangerous objects from lumber before it goes in the dumpster so no one gets cut.
– Clean up spills immediately- and properly.
– Dispose of rags soaked in any flammable liquid in a steel safety can with a lid that closes tightly.
– Report bathrooms or portable toilets that need to be cleaned or need towels or hand sanitizer.
– Keep break areas clean. Pick up dropped food. Put wrappers and unwanted food in the trash.