Weekly Safety Topic – Keep It Clean

You may think that cleaning up or housekeeping is someone else responsibility. Maybe you don’t feel like it is your job. That type of thinking can lead to incidents that can get someone hurt­. Keeping your work area clean and hazard-free reduces waste, makes it easier to do your work, and lessons the likelihood of you or someone else getting hurt. Doesn’t that sound more important than just “cleaning up?”
Many construction sites today are going green. The most visible and common green practice is recycling unused building materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Materials such as cardboard, sheetrock, concrete, scrap metal, PVC pipe, wood, and paint can all be recycled or reused somehow.

The project may be able to receive a LEED certification by participating in such a recycling program, which certifies the building was built in an environmentally responsible, safe, and healthy manner. Reduce waste and ensure precision by measuring twice, cutting once, and ensuring that unused materials and usable scrap are disposed of properly.

Time is money, and injuries waste both time and money. Even though it takes time to bend nails over, throw out banding, and pick up short pieces of conduit, accidents and injuries take up more time and are far more expensive. Consider the savings in time, money, and misery when you clean up because you don’t fall and break a leg and don’t get a painful puncture wound in your foot.
Take the time to clean up the debris accumulated throughout the day on a busy construction site. Don’t let combustible materials pile up-clear them away throughout the day. Make sure the exit routes are always visible, even on small jobs. Things can go wrong unexpectedly. It’s your responsibility to be prepared to respond quickly. Keeping the work area clean helps reduce exposure to slips, trips, and falls.
Every day, people suffer injuries from slips and falls. How would you feel if a co-worker slipped on some plastic sheeting, fell, hit their head on a stack of tiles, and died? What would your family do if you died? Clean up as you go because the life you save may be your own.
Keep your work area clean by regularly picking up after yourself. Take your leftovers and scraps to the garbage can after your break. Do not bring too many materials to your workplace. Having the correct amount of material will reduce the amount of clutter you produce. At a minimum, always clean up at the end of each shift.