Housekeeping Training Guide
(Taken from the "Tailgate Meetings that Work : A Guide
to Effective Construction Safety Training" series)
Robin Baker, Robert
Downey, Mary Ruth Gross, Charles Reiter
Labor Occupational Health Program
(LOHP) School of Public Health,
University of California, Berkeley Ca.
talks were developed for use under California OSHA regulations. The
complete set is available from the Labor Occupational Health Program
at UC Berkeley. For ordering information, visit the website (www.lohp.org)
The American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
has adapted these talks to apply to federal OSHA regulations. To contact
ACGIH, visit its web site (www.acgih.org).
Before you begin
- Does this topic
relate to the work the crew is doing? If not, choose another topic.
- Did you read
this Training Guide and fill in the blanks where the
appears? (To find the information you need, look over the Safety Walkaround
Checklist for this topic.)
well talk about housekeeping. Some people think its a waste
of time. But if you spend five minutes picking up junk and litter, you
might keep someone from slipping or tripping. You could prevent an injury
that keeps them off work for weeks or even months. Five minutes to save
months off workits a good investment. And next time, it could
be you who gets hurt.
Housekeeping is everyones jobevery trade, every worker,
every supervisor. And its a job you should do every daynot
just once a week or when a project is over. The first rule is to do your
work neatly in the first place, and clean up after yourself. Good housekeeping
does more than prevent injuriesit can save you time, and it can
keep your tools from being lost, damaged, or destroyed.
You or a crew member may want to add a personal story about the hazards
of poor housekeeping.
with the crew any housekeeping problems you have found at this particular
THE CREW THESE QUESTIONS:
After each question,
give the crew time to suggest possible answers. Use the information following
each question to add points that no one mentions.
1. What can you
do to prevent slips, trips, and falls?
- If you see a
mess, take care of it. Dont wait for someone else to clean it
up. Pick up anything you see lying around, especially if it could trip
someone or fall on them.
- If you find someones
tools or equipment around, move them out of the way. Put them somewhere
safe, but visible.
- Immediately clear
scrap and debris from walkways, passageways, stairs, scaffolds, and
around floor openings.
- Make sure the
ground is level and well-graded within six feet of buildings under construction.
- Keep storage
areas and walkways free of holes, ruts, and obstructions.
- Clean up spills
of grease, oil, or other liquids at once. If its not possible,
cover them with sand or some other absorbent material until they can
be cleaned up. Someone might slip.
- Coil up extension
cords, lines, welding leads, hoses, etc. when not in use.
- Make sure theres
adequate lighting. If a light is out, report it. Replace it immediately
if you can.
2. Besides slips,
trips, and falls, what other kinds of injuries can good housekeeping prevent?
Nails and fastener
Fires and burns
- If nails are
protruding from surfaces, remove them or at least bend them down.
- Remove nails
or fasteners when opening crates, cartons, kegs, or when stripping small
- Remove or bend
down nails before discarding scrap material.
Head and body injuries
- Immediately remove
combustible debris and materials from buildings and structures. Get
them off the site promptly.
- Keep containers
of flammable liquids tightly closed. Store flammables in approved cabinets.
Dispose of them in separate waste containers, not with other trash.
- Dont throw
materials, waste, or tools from buildings or structures to an area where
workers may be located.
- Where the potential
for injury exists, remove or flag protruding objects.
- Make sure there
are protective caps on exposed rebar.
3. When you stack
material, how high can the stack be?
- No higher than
7 feet for bricks, 16 feet for manually stacked lumber, and 20 feet
for mechanically stacked lumber.
any other stacking height limits on this site:________
4. What are some
other rules to keep in mind when you stack material?
- Plan ahead. Before
you stack any material, figure out how the stack should be arranged.
That makes it easier when the time comes to break it down.
- Stack everything
- Make sure theres
clearance around the stack, so workers or equipment will have enough
room when they break it down.
- Make sure the
stack is on a firm, stable surface that can hold the weight.
- Make sure piled
or stacked material is stable so it wont fall, slip, or collapse.
- Reinforce the
stack to stabilize it.
5. How can you
protect yourself when handling scrap material?
6. Good housekeeping
includes good sanitation. What sanitary facilities are we required to have
on the site?
- Follow all the
stacking rules we just discussed.
- Wear heavy gloves
and safety shoes when you handle scrap material.
- Before you pile
up material for disposal, remove or bend down any nails or fasteners.
- Enough clean,
private toilets with toilet paper
- Washing areas
with soap and water
- Enough pure drinking
water (from fountains or single-use cups).
- Water that isn't
drinkable must be labeled.
sanitary facilities on this site (if not obvious):_____
Most of the safety measures weve talked about are required by Cal/OSHA.
We have to take these precautionsits the law. I have a Checklist
of the Cal/OSHA regulations on housekeeping. If youd like to know
more, see me after the meeting.
(Only if applicable.)
Besides the Cal/OSHA regulations, we have some additional company rules
company rules. Be sure to include specific instructions on where
to stack or store materials, proper disposal and cleanup methods,
Do you have any other concerns about housekeeping? Do you see any problems
on our job? (Let the steward answer first, if there is one.)
What about other jobs youve worked on? Have you had any experience
with housekeeping that might help us work safer on this job?
OF THOSE WHO ATTENDED THIS SAFETY MEETING
Meetings That Work : Collection
Published in June, 1994 by: Labor Occupational Health Program, School
of Public Health, 2515 Channing Way, University of California, Berkeley,
CA 94720. Phone: (510) 642-5507.
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