Have you ever thought of ways to make your job easier? Perhaps you've wondered if someone could come up with better tools and equipment and simplified construction methods. But there is another way too - one that not only makes a job easier but safer -practicing good housekeeping.

A nail in a scrapped two-by-four goes through a shoe and punctures a foot. A pile of trash catches fire. A cluttered walkway causes an employee to trip and fall. All these accidents are caused by poor housekeeping.  Some poor housekeeping accidents don't amount to much. A small cut, a scuffed elbow or a bruised leg. Others can have disastrous results involving the loss of life and property.


Housekeeping is a continuing process in which everyone must participate throughout the work day. Let's see how we can eliminate some of the most common housekeeping problems on the job:

NAILS: Stepping on a nail can cause a serious injury. Pull all nails from scrap lumber. Then throw the scrap in trash containers or pile it neatly where it won't be in the way.

METAL STRAPS AND BANDS: How many times have you gotten tangled up in this stuff? After removing straps or bands, pick them up immediately and put them in a trash container. It's easy to trip on banding if it is left lying around on the job. This goes for other scrap, too.

Have you ever stepped on a pipe, bolt, dowel, conduit, or small piece of reinforcing steel? You probably twisted your ankle or lost your balance temporarily. Keep round scrap material out of the way. Put it in the trash. Or, if it's going to be used, store it in a safe location.

EXTENSION CORDS: Another tripping hazard. If you must run an extension cord across the walkway, hang it from the ceiling where it won't cause anyone to trip. But, hang it high enough, so you won't hang the person who walks under it.

FOOD RUBBISH: Lunch bags and other food rubbish not only cause trips and falls, but fires also. Put them in trash cans after you have finished eating. Don't leave them around to clutter up the job or to attract animals and insects. It's especially dangerous to leave bottles lying around. They're not only a tripping hazard but can break and cut someone.

SPECIAL CONTAINERS: Some items should be stored in separate trash containers. These include oily or solvent-soaked rags and empty cans that contain flammable liquids, such as paint, thinner, and glue. Remember to keep these trash containers covered.

STORAGE AREAS: There are numerous storage areas throughout the job. Keep these neat. This not only is safer but enables you to find what you want more quickly and to get it more easily.

SLIPPING HAZARDS: During the course of a job, it is almost impossible not to have grease or tar on the floors of a new building, or on the job site. And, naturally, someone can slip and be hurt. So, clean up slipping hazards immediately. This also goes for ice during cold weather.

SAFE HOUSEKEEPING PAYS OFF It’s easier to work in a clean area than in a cluttered junk pile. And, as we have been stressing, a clean job means a safer job. Good housekeeping is up to each one of us.
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