Most people think housekeeping only includes cleaning up the office or work area. But, in the construction industry, housekeeping refers to much more. It encompasses all activities related to keeping the worksite clean, safe and organized.
Unfortunately, many construction companies still don’t take job site housekeeping seriously. This often leads to ineffective housekeeping practices that can lead to accidents and injuries. In 2017 alone, falls, slips, and trips account for the second top injuries sustained in job sites, all of which you can avoid with an effective housekeeping program in place.
An effective housekeeping program in your construction company can help avoid accidents and injuries and improve productivity and morale. Housekeeping also helps create a professional image for your company, instilling confidence in clients, employees, and the general public. But the question is, what else can you do to improve your housekeeping?
Set Housekeeping Standards
You must set standards for housekeeping in your company. This way, everyone knows what you expect them to do after using any tool and equipment if they find any debris, and so on. Some of the housekeeping standards you need to set for your company include:
- Every worker must clean up their own mess
- Return all tools and equipment to their proper storage areas after use
- Remove debris from the work area immediately
- Keep all areas clean and free from clutter
- Report any unsafe condition to the supervisor immediately
Creating housekeeping standards also helps establish accountability within your company. For instance, if someone fails to follow the standards and an accident happens, you can quickly point out who’s at fault. This will more likely make your workers more careful in following the standards next time.
Don’t forget about reinforcing these standards. All your efforts would go to waste if you only set the standards and never reinforced them. Constantly remind your workers about the importance of following the standards through training, toolbox talks, and regular reminders.
Conduct Regular Inspections
It’s not enough that you set housekeeping standards in your company. You should also conduct regular inspections to ensure your employees follow these standards. These inspections will help identify any potential hazards in the worksite and any areas that need improvement.
When performing inspections, don’t just settle for routine checks. It also helps if you do random inspections to catch your employees off guard. This way, you can quickly identify which regularly follows the standards and which ones need improvement.
You should also involve your employees in these inspections. Ask for their suggestions on how you can further improve job site housekeeping in your company. This makes them feel appreciated and valued and more likely to cooperate in following the standards.
Provide the Necessary Training
Your employees can’t follow the standards if they don’t know what these are. That’s why it’s providing training to everyone in your company is an excellent investment.
Provide employees with the necessary training fro them to know what they need to do in case of an accident. Don’t forget about keeping your training programs up-to-date and in line with the latest OSHA regulations. Doing so will make your employees more knowledgeable about job site housekeeping and keep them safe while on the job.
You can provide this training during orientation for new hires and annual refresher courses for all your employees. Conduct toolbox talks on job site housekeeping from time to time and remind your workers of the importance of following the standards. You can also create posters or other visual aids that you can place in strategic areas on the worksite as a constant reminder for your employees. This will be their constant reminder that they must always follow the standards.
Invest in Products That Will Boost Job Site Safety and Cleanliness
You may already have the usual cleaning supplies in your construction company, such as brooms, mops, and buckets. You even have storage areas for these supplies and designated housekeeping staff. But is this really enough to keep your job site clean and safe?
If you want to take your construction company’s housekeeping to the next level, consider investing in products that will make the job easier for your employees. For instance, you can get tire socks for your scissor lifts. These sock covers ensure your indoor construction site stays clean since your scissor lift won’t leave a trail of scratch marks, scuff marks, and debris over newly poured slabs. With such an investment, your team won’t have to redo their work and will have less area to cover once they finish their task.
You can also consider aerial shields and jackets to cover boom baskets, scissor lifts, and control boxes against dust, debris, and elements. Covering your equipment after and when not in use helps keep the job site cleaner. Your employees won’t have to waste time cleaning their equipment before and after use, which can be very time-consuming.
This shows that construction site protection products not only help maintain your equipment and protect surfaces on your job site. These can also make your employees’ jobs easier by reducing their cleaning time. As a result, they can focus on their work and be more productive. Just make sure you buy from reputable vendors, and you can be sure about the quality of your investment.
Maintaining a clean and safe construction site requires a lot of effort. But if you have the right tools and follow the proper procedures, then it won’t be as difficult as you think. Just remember to constantly communicate with your employees, provide the necessary training, and invest in products that will make their job easier. Do all these, and your company will soon have an effective housekeeping system.