What is Good Housekeeping on a Construction Project?

Effective housekeeping can eliminate some workplace hazards and help get the job done safely and efficiently. Housekeeping is not just cleanliness. It includes keeping work areas neat and orderly; and it is ongoing not an occasional cleanup.

Poor housekeeping can frequently contribute to accidents and incidents on site actually making the work go slower or contributing to staff injuries.

There are different types of hazard types on the work site:

  • Tripping and falling hazards – anything on the floor that doesn’t belong there: machines, tools, cords, air hoses, scraps, boxes. You can protect yourself and others from tripping and falling hazards by not keeping anything-even temporarily-on the floor.
  • Impact and contact hazards-that is, objects that can hit you or that you can bump into
  • Puncture and splinter hazards exist when sharp-edged or pointed tools are left exposed
  • Electrical hazards-include extension cords, cords left near heat or water, overloaded circuits

Why Practice Good Housekeeping

Poor housekeeping can be a cause of accidents, such as:

  • tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs and platforms
  • being hit by falling objects
  • slipping on greasy, wet or dirty surfaces
  • striking against projecting, poorly stacked items or misplaced material
  • cutting, puncturing, or tearing the skin of hands or other parts of the body on projecting nails, wire or steel strapping

Effective housekeeping results in:

  • reduced handling to ease the flow of materials
  • fewer tripping and slipping accidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas
  • decreased fire hazards
  • lower worker exposures to hazardous substances (e.g. dusts, vapours)
  • better control of tools and materials, including inventory and supplies
  • more efficient equipment clean-up and maintenance
  • better hygienic conditions leading to improved health
  • more effective use of space
  • reduced property damage by improving preventive maintenance
  • less janitorial work
  • improved morale
  • improved productivity (tools and materials will be easy to find)

Who is responsible for good housekeeping

Good housekeeping is everyone’s responsibility from the Job Supervisor to the, Leading Hand it is each individual workers’ responsibility.

Good housekeeping must occur every day and must be constant and ongoing if it’s going to prevent and eliminate hazards in your work area

Work neatly and pick up after yourself.

Work smarter not harder

At the beginning of the day use the gear that is in the way this will make your mornings more difficult but your afternoons easier.

At the end of the day clean and clear the work site. Neatly palletised all loose gear that is was not used or that is not required for the day.

Remove all gear from the footpath or walkways. If you ever need to move materials or other tradespersons’ gear do this carefully.

Keep fire exits and all entry and exits clear at all times always ensure that no material or gear is blocking access to fire exits or equipment.

Report holes, loose boards, and other flooring problems so they can be fixed before someone trips and gets hurt. Throw away trash promptly and properly

hen handing over scaffold ensure that the gear is consolidated and is all out of harm’s way.

Prior to leaving the worksite for the day do an inspection to ensure the site is clean and the cleanup is complete.
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