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Jobsite Housekeeping Toolbox Talk

 

Housekeeping is everyone’s job - every trade, every worker, and every supervisor. Good housekeeping does more than prevent injuries - it can save you time, and it can keep your tools from being lost, damaged, or destroyed. Spending just 5 minutes picking up debris could prevent an injury that keeps a co-employee, or yourself, off work for weeks or even months.

 

What can you do to prevent slips, trips, and falls?

  • If you see a mess, take care of it. Pick up anything you see lying around that could create a hazard.

  • If you find someone’s tools or equipment laying around, move them out of the way. Put them somewhere safe, but visible if possible.

  • Immediately clear scrap and debris from walkways (areas of foot and equipment traffic, etc.)

  • Try to keep storage areas and walkways free of holes, ruts, and obstructions. f Immediately clean up spills (if substance is hazardous, notify supervisor immediately)

  • Coil up extension cords, lines, hoses, etc. when not in use.

 

Other housekeeping safety exposures include:

  • Nails protruding from surfaces - Remove or bend down nails before discarding scrap material

  • Combustible debris and materials - Dispose of them in the proper containers

  • Protruding objects - i.e. make sure exposed rebar is capped

 

Material storage housekeeping guidelines include:

  • Manually stacked lumber should not exceed 16 feet - Mechanically stacked lumber should not exceed 20 feet - Stacked bricks should not exceed 7 feet  

  • Plan ahead before stacking any material - Make sure the stack is on a firm, stable surface and there is clearance for equipment and workers around the material

  • Wear heavy gloves and safety shoes when handling scrap material

 

Good housekeeping habits include:

  • Remembering it is part of your daily job duties

  • Developing a routine cleaning schedule f Report overcrowding or unsafe conditions

  • Clearly mark physical hazards or areas of concern

  • Clean as you go... A clean job site is a safer job site. Take pride in your work and do your part to keep the job site clean.

 

How do we implement an effective housekeeping program?

Housekeeping order is "maintained" not "achieved." Cleaning and organization must be done regularly, not just at the end of the shift. Integrating housekeeping into jobs can help ensure this is done. A good housekeeping program identifies and assigns responsibilities for the following:

  • Clean up during the shift

  • Day-to-day cleanup

  • Waste disposal

  • Removal of unused materials

  • Inspection to ensure cleanup is complete

The orderly arrangement of operations, tools, equipment and supplies is an important part of a good housekeeping program.

 

Final Word:

 Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation, it is not a hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally. Periodic "panic" cleanups are costly and ineffective in reducing accidents.

 

Sources:

http://ghilotti.com/assets/downloads/tailgate-topics/011906%20Tailgate%20pdf%20Docs/jobsite-housekeeping-0106.pdf

http://www.scsaonline.ca/pdf/2_Housekeeping_Feb2012.pdf