Image showing construction site workers sweeping and tidying up materials

While cleaning up might seem like a secondary concern on a bustling construction site, taking the time to remove scrap materials, dispose of debris properly and store tools securely is crucial. These practices aren’t just about keeping things tidy; they’re essential for preventing accidents, injuries and environmental hazards.

In many cases, incidents involving slips, trips and falls could have been prevented if the site had simply followed better housekeeping practices. Take note of some top tips in this week’s blog.

A wake-up call

In 2006, inspections at over 900 sites (conducted by the HSE as part of its ‘Good Order’ initiative) revealed that less than a quarter of construction sites met proper housekeeping standards! In fact, over 130 sites had to be shut down due to hazardous conditions. Hopefully things have improved since then!

At Sheriff Construction, we stress the importance of a clean work environment so here’s our quick refresher guide.

Keeping the site clean, safe and healthy

  • Ensure clear passage: Walkways and stairs should always be free of clutter so look out for things like leftover materials, waste and even extension cords. Remember also to separate pedestrian paths from work zones.
  • Get trash under control: Regularly remove scrap, debris and rubbish from the site. Utilise designated bins and chutes whenever they are available. Don’t ignore the small things like dirty rags that might accumulate. To prevent any rubbish from building up, follow the “See it, sort it!” motto.
  • Organise the workspace: Pay attention to proper storage procedures for tools and materials. Items that are not in current use should be stored away to both prevent tripping hazards and keep them in good condition.
  • Spills happen, but don’t linger: Chemical spills pose a serious threat to health and the environment. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of materials following industry regulations for the substance. Remember to seal product drums and containers tightly to prevent leaks, evaporation, spillage and contamination.
  • Have a clean break: Areas designated for changing or eating should also be kept clean and tidy. Dispose of all food scraps and packaging properly so nothing is left to accumulate. After all, everyone deserves a clean space to relax.
  • Look after sanitary facilities: Maintain clean and hygienic restrooms. Be mindful of others who will use the facilities after you.
  • Remember this is everyone’s responsibility: Site cleanliness and safety starts with each individual. Familiarise yourself with procedures for waste management and material storage. Take part in housekeeping risk assessments and understand that keeping the site clean is an everyday task. If you encounter an issue that’s beyond your control, report it to site management.

Although it’s unlikely construction sites will ever be known for their pristine environments, following these guidelines can create a safer and healthier workplace for everyone. Share your own tips for keeping construction zones clean and tidy by commenting over on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

Feature image: BudimirJevtic/