Every year, poor housekeeping and storage account for a significant percentage of accidents and  injuries in construction.

We all know how fast rubbish accumulates on site—scrap lumber, broken bricks, pieces of drywall,  trap-bands, and packaging.

How can you concentrate on your work when you’re worried about slipping, falling, or tripping over garbage and debris? Production and installation time go up while quality tails off.

Construction rubbish is often irregular in shape, hard to handle, and full of sharp objects. One of the biggest problems is packaging. Too often it gets removed from material and left wherever it falls.

This creates tripping and slipping hazards. It also makes other hazards hard to see. Even worse, it invites more mess. When a site isn’t cleaned up, no one cares about leaving garbage where it drops

When that happens, you can’t see faulty wiring, protruding nails, damaged flooring, and missing scaffold planks.

Mess also makes it difficult to use material-handling equipment. As a result, more material gets handled manually. This increases the risk of injury and damage.

Housekeeping means cleaning up scrap and debris, putting it in containers, and making sure the containers are emptied regularly. It also means proper storage of materials and equipment.

Effective housekeeping and storage prevent accidents and injuries.
• Clean up as work proceeds.
• Keep equipment and the areas around equipment free of scrap and debris.
• Keep stairways, ramps, and other travel areas clear.
• Secure loose or light material stored on roofs and open floors to keep it from blowing away in the wind.
• Never let material fall from any level of the project. Use an enclosed chute or lower the material in containers.
• Keep material at least 1.8 meters or 6 feet away from floor and roof openings, floor and roof edges, excavations, and trenches.
• Store material so that it won’t roll or slide in the direction of the opening. Use blocking if necessary.
• Before handling used lumber, remove or bend over any protruding nails and chip away hardened concrete.
• Remove flammable rubbish and debris immediately from the vicinity of welding, flame cutting, propane heating, and other ignition sources.