Keeping your construction site uncluttered and clean is about more than just looking good and not irritating the neighbors—it’s about the safety of your workers. Trash, debris and even unused materials are accidents waiting to happen. That’s why OSHA has regulations about maintaining clean and orderly jobsites.
Smart storage — Construction often requires the presence of dangerous or flammable materials. Prevent mishaps by clearly labeling hazardous materials and storing them in an out of the way place. Non-hazardous materials can also cause accidents though. Consider how you’re storing tools and materials not in use. Make sure you leave pathways for workers.
Prevent vandalism — Vandal-safe storage containers are a good option for smaller materials and small tools. Security Keypads, particularly ones like Sentry Keypad that offers constant connectivity, are an excellent security measure for equipment that isn’t in use.
Separate your scraps — Different materials have to be disposed of in different ways. Separate leftover materials based on type to easily facilitate recycling or disposal. This will keep your site free from dozens of smaller piles of materials awaiting disposal, as well as minimize the risk of needed items being accidentally thrown away. Keeping trashcans and dumpsters onsite also helps keep clutter at a minimum.
Keep floors clear — Trailing cables and idle tools are a tripping risk. Dirty floors lead to mud being tracked throughout the jobsite and possible cross-contamination. Keep your site’s floors clean to minimize risk and assign crew members to regularly sweep as often as necessary.
Minimize dust — Anywhere with saws and drills running is bound to have a huge amount of dust. But prolonged exposure to dust can cause lung irritation and lead to long-term health complications, including asthma and cancer. Protective masks are helpful, but tend not to be worn enough. Regular sweeping or the implementation of a dust guard machine can help keep airborne particles under control. In an effort to combat the health complications silica dust can cause, OSHA introduced new standards further decreasing the acceptable amount of silica dust in the air. The new silica dust rule took effect on September 23, but construction companies making an effort to comply can get assistance from OSHA until October 23.
Have a cleanup schedule — Cleaning up should be part of your team’s daily routine. Every worker should have an assigned task to help keep your site as immaculate as possible. Give workers specific responsibilities like taking out trash, disposing of toxic materials, putting away tools and materials, and organizing the jobsite. Giving specific individuals tasks makes them more likely to be completed and when everyone pitches in, it takes less time and no one feels unfairly singled out.
Besides making it easier to find tools and equipment and keeping workers safe, jobsite cleanliness is OSHA-mandated. Don't put worker safety or your company at risk by racking up OSHA. Cleaning up might seem redundant when you're in the middle of a construction job, but the benefits are worth the hassle.
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