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Workplace Safety

Great Housekeeping Leads to Safety and Efficiency

By April 1, 2015No Comments

Job sites become messy and trashy fairly quickly, especially when inside work begins in earnest or site conditions are muddy.

Critical needs include:

  1. Keep floors clean.
  2. Keep trash removed or at least in barrels.
  3. Keep stairways and exits clear.
  4. Keep storage towards the middle of rooms.

Clean floors reduce the risk of tripping, slipping or falling. Dangerous sharp objects may be among the trash on the floor. Cuts, scrapes and puncture wounds increase on sloppy sites. Trashy work sites are a greater fire hazard too; a carelessly discarded cigarette or hot tool in a trash pile can ignite the jobsite.

Smoking should be banned completely on some sites, and tightly controlled on others with a designated area, plenty of butt pails, and a maintenance schedule to keep it clean.

Plenty of trash barrels scattered throughout the site makes disposal convenient. Designated recycling barrels for plastic, glass, wood scraps (which can be used on site) and metals and copper helps achieve LEEDs points, if desired, and a lunch fund for special events like building completion.

The object of these barrels or any other “straightening up” idea is to keep as little trip hazard on the floors as possible without adding to the cost of labor on site for specialty maintenance workers.

Life and safety rules which become compromised on sites frequently involve doors and fire escape routes. Vitally important to keep hallways clear of debris and stairwells and doors fully operational. Create a zero tolerance policy for leaving anything in a hallway, stairwell, or blocking a door, for any length of time.

Closely associated with hallways and stairwells is the need to store materials in the middle of floors. Work is generally performed on the perimeters of the rooms. A clear path around the room must be maintained for workers to access an exit without climbing over supplies.

Take a few moments during the design phase to regulate debris and housekeeping on the site. Be sure all contractors understand the importance of cleanliness and orderliness. Safety and efficiency improve with proper housekeeping.