Are you a tidy person? Well if you are, you will find it helps you stay safe while working. Many injuries and accidents while working are related to poor housekeeping. By this we mean not keeping the workplace in good order and clean and tidy.
Each year around 1000 trips or slips on construction sites involve someone fracturing bones or dislocating joints. These incidents can cause permanent disablement and have a huge impact on both work and personal life. Many of these are caused simply because there is something in the person’s way, such as building materials or waste.
Take a look at this list of possible hazards and see if you are guilty of any of them!
- Leaving trailing leads and cables across the floor where you and others are working
- Not sweeping up and putting rubbish in the skip as you go
- Leaving tools and equipment on routes to and from the work area where they can stop escape in the event of an emergency
- Cluttering up the work area with tools and equipment so there is hardly any room to move
- Tool boxes left around to be tripped over
- Piling up deliveries around the work area
- Leaving wood off cuts and packaging materials over the floor
Well that’s just a few examples of poor housekeeping, so let’s look at how we can improve our standards and safety.
- Leave enough time to complete each task. When we are rushed and working at speed is can be difficult to stay tidy.
- Make a plan on how to deal with waste. How often to take it to the skip or waste bin and who is going to do it! It can be useful to have a bin with wheels kept nearby to take the waste away at a later date.
- Although this can be difficult to coordinate, try to have deliveries of materials as and when you need to use them. This avoids the problem of piles of materials around which can topple or obstruct access routes.
- A good alternative to those training power leads over the floor is to use 110 volt or battery-operated portable tools
This very useful guide from the HSE ‘High 5’ for small construction sites and businesses contains helpful tips and advice on good housekeeping.
What are your top tips to ensure your workplace is clean and tidy? Please let us know in the comments below.
Also don’t forget if you employ five or more people you must have a written health and safety policy.
The GGF has recently published a new updated version of the “Working at Height Code of Practice – Safety in the Domestic Replacement Window Industry” brochure.