Team Up and Clean Up
Good housekeeping means different degrees of cleanliness and neatness to different people. What one person accepts as proper housekeeping may not be acceptable to someone else.
Housekeeping is influenced by two things: What we do or neglect to do and the weather. We can control most conditions of bad housekeeping and prevent their happening. Others, we can be on the lookout for and guard against or remove. While we can’t prevent bad conditions caused by the weather, we can often foresee them and plan the necessary action.
A general cleanup once a week won’t guarantee safety on a construction site. Housekeeping is a job that can’t be put off. We have to pick up and put in place as we go. Housekeeping is a responsibility not only of supervision but of each individual craftsman. Don’t wait for someone else to clean up. No matter who left it there, pick it up and put it in a safe place.
You’ve seen jobs where it wasn’t safe to turn around or even put your foot down without looking twice to be sure there wasn’t something that might cause an accident. A job like this is poorly run. Not only is it unsafe, it also makes for poor relations with the owner and the public.
Now, let’s cover a few specific items of good housekeeping practice:
- Put all scrap in its proper place
- Secure materials, to prevent shifting or rolling
- Keep toolboxes clean and orderly
- Never put a board, or other building material, with nails protruding down on the ground. Bend them over or remove them
- Don’t leave open containers of flammables: gasoline, paint, oil, grease, adhesives, etc.
- Store materials so there is always a clean path around and between work areas and in and out of the jobsite.