The term housekeeping is typically associated with the upkeep of homes or hotels; however, housekeeping is an important aspect of workplace safety and accident prevention. This is especially true for the construction industry where cleanliness and organization decrease the risk of injury. In this article, our OSHA defense attorneys will discuss how to improve housekeeping as a means to maximize safety.
Simple Housekeeping Guidelines
Indeed, there is a lot going on at construction jobsites. Yet, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, more effective housekeeping is possible. Following are several ways to exercise good housekeeping habits.
- Debris: Debris can be found all over the construction site, resulting from the alteration, destruction, and repair of a building or structure. Keep all areas and surfaces clean and clear.
- Storage: Tools, equipment, and other materials can create all sorts of hazards from trips to falls to explosions. Proper storage on the construction site is critical.
- Disposal: Waste, scrap, and hazardous materials must be disposed of properly, regularly, and in designated areas.
- Hazards: Hazards vary on different construction sites, but be sure that protruding tools, chords, and materials are cleared or removed, provide adequate site lighting, and clear aisles, stairways, ladders, and passageways of obstructions.
The Result of Poor Housekeeping
When housekeeping is not a priority, it shows a lack of concern for worker safety. Jobsites that are not regularly maintained become a hazardous minefield. With these conditions, accidents are bound to happen. If you notice an increase in incidents such as slips, trips and falls, struck by falling objects, or workers reporting cuts, punctures, or tears incidents, it’s time to get your jobsite in order. Not to mention, these incidents are an OSHA claim waiting to happen.
Regular Housekeeping vs. Periodic Cleanups
The benefits of regular housekeeping will always trump periodic cleanups. Our OSHA defense attorneys know that everyone is busy, but periodic cleanups are ineffective and unsafe working conditions will always cost you more in the long run. Plan for housekeeping during the workday to maintain order. In addition to this, performing inspections is an important aspect of housekeeping. Inspections help to identify weaknesses in your safety practices giving you an opportunity to make improvements.
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.