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Weekly Toolbox Talk: Housekeeping and Trash Removal

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There are several dangers on job sites simple because of the nature of construction work. When the natural hazards found on construction jobs sites are compounded with clutter and debris, the hazard level increases and the potential for an accident or an injury substantially increases. A construction site with poor housekeeping creates an unsafe and less productive working environment.

Keeping a construction site clear of debris can significantly reduce the probability of accidents and injuries from occurring. Everyone on the jobsite must do their part to ensure that the worksite is clean and orderly. A clean worksite is a safe worksite. The most common types of injuries that occur on a jobsites are slips, trips and falls. Most of these injuries can be attributed to poor housekeeping. As a result of a slip, trip or fall, workers could suffer cuts, severely sprain ankles, wrist and other joints, break bones or even fall down and strike their head, resulting in a major head injury.

Here are a few tips how to keep your work area safe and clean.

Trash Removal:

  • Always were your proper hand protection when handling metal and trash.
  • Plan for the adequate disposal of scrap, waste and surplus materials
  • Store trash inside trash buggies with heavier loads first than light material on top
  • Do not overload the trash buggy
  • Guard the area where materials could fall
  • If trash buggy has to be lifted to dumped into trash container, verify with supervisor and GC what are the proper site specific guidelines for that particular job, some jobs might recycle materials
  • Do not try to pick up a trash buggy by yourself, get help or use a machine to dump the trash.
  • When using a ramp to disposed the trash, push the load do not pull and keep the turning wheels on the back facing the operator.
  • If trash buggy begins to fall, LET IT GO, DO NOT TRY TO STOP THE MOVING LOAD. You can get struck by or caught in between by the load.
  • Trash buggies can be unstable depending on the load, always look out for a clean path, free of holes, penetrations and debris.
  • Keep hoses, power cords, etc from laying in heavily-travelled walkways or areas. 
  • Secure loose or light materials to prevent them from flying away from trash buggy when transporting them close to windy conditions or heavy weather.
  • Remove or bend nails protruding from lumber
  • Keep an eye on metal studs or sheetrock that contain screws.
  • Always be aware where you place your hands and feet when moving the trash buggy, you can crush your hands or feet.
  • Do not use trash buggies as work tables; they can become unstable and drop tools and materials. Trash buggies are not design as work tables
  • Warm up, Stretch and Flex before and after you perform any physical work

Everyone can work together to keep the worksite a safe work environment simply by cleaning up after themselves and disposing of jobsite waste properly. Try to clean up as you go and you will see the difference at the end of your shift.

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