Construction sites can be incredibly hectic, with multiple workers carrying on different but simultaneous tasks. If proper housekeeping is not routinely enforced and these groups don’t clean up after themselves, it becomes increasingly difficult and dangerous to maneuver the jobsite. What seems like minor trash and debris can quickly pile up to become a hazardous obstacle course.
To help prevent situations like these, today’s article will review three housekeeping rules for a safe and tidy construction site. If you need any further assistance complying with the OSHA standard pertaining to housekeeping on construction sites (29 CFR §1926.25), get in touch with an Alabama OSHA lawyer from Cotney Construction Law.
1. Store Materials Properly
One of the most frequent accidents caused by poor housekeeping is construction workers running into poorly stacked items, projecting objects, or otherwise misplaced materials. To best ensure that your workplace is free from hazards, you’ll want to comply with the OSHA standard regarding general requirements for storage on the jobsite (29 CFR §1926.250). This means, among other things, ensuring that all materials stored in tiers can be stacked, blocked, or otherwise secured to prevent falling, sliding, or collapse. Generally speaking, you’ll also want to make sure that any and all materials stored on the jobsite are not placed within close distance of aisles, passageways, or inside floor openings. This is to ensure the safe and free movement of any construction workers on the site.
2. Eliminate Fire Hazards
When it comes to flammable or explosive materials, such as gasoline, oil, and cleaning agents, you’ll want to comply with all requirements laid out in OSHA’s Hazardous Materials Standard (29 CFR §1910.106). This standard is rather extensive; however, you should always be sure to implement the following precautionary measures:
- Avoid contaminating articles of clothing with flammable liquids
- Store flammable materials in designated locations away from ignition sources
- Move combustible materials to an assigned safe storage area when unneeded for the job
- Ensure clearance of at least 18 inches between materials and automatic sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler controls.
- Report and rectify any fire hazards in electrical areas as soon as possible
3. Properly Dispose of Debris
Finally, another great way to ensure your jobsite stays safe and tidy is to plan for the appropriate disposal of any scrap, waste, or surplus materials. This means complying with 29 CFR §1926.252 and ensuring that you never permit debris to fall freely from any level of the project. Debris shoots are a safe and effective means of removing this material from an elevated worksite; however, protective guards should also be in place in any areas where the material could potentially fall. Essentially, you’ll want to have safe methods in place to facilitate the removal of any and all debris, including scrap lumber with protruding nails, garbage, and hazardous waste. For any further assistance complying with any of the OSHA standards outlined in this brief article, contact an OSHA attorney with Cotney Construction Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.