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'A clean job is a safe job' is an old saying that has been around for many years. You may or may not agree completely with the saying, but if you have ever worked at a construction project that was cluttered with scrap material, you do know that good housekeeping plays a big part in maintaining a safe worksite.

OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1926.25 Housekeeping requires that 'During the course of construction, alteration, or repairs, form and scrap lumber with protruding nails, and all other debris, shall be kept cleared from work areas, passageways, and stairs in and around buildings or other structures. Combustible scrap and debris shall be removed at regular intervals during the course of construction. Safe means shall be provided to facilitate such removal. Containers shall be provided for the collection and separation of waste, trash, oily and used rags, and other refuse. Containers used for garbage and other oily, flammable, or hazardous wastes, such as caustics, acids, harmful dusts, etc. shall be equipped with covers. Garbage and other waste shall be disposed of at frequent and regular intervals.'

Housekeeping starts at the beginning of the shift and needs to continue throughout the entire workday. Don't let scrap materials build up; dispose of them daily. Another common housekeeping problem arises with the use of welding leads, air compressor hoses, and extension cords. If placed improperly they become tripping hazards. Keep walkways free for passage. When stripping forms remember to pull the nails out or bend them over. A protruding nail can cause a nasty puncture wound.

Scrap cardboard and packing materials left lying around provide excellent fuel for fires. Pop cans, lunch bags and food scraps or wrappers will attract rodents. Avoid potential fire and health hazards by disposing of these items properly.

Housekeeping is a never ending process. Do your part by keeping your work area and adjacent walkways and stairs clean and orderly.

No doubt about it - if everyone does their share, good housekeeping will make Your Job a Safer Job!