Lack of proper housekeeping on the job is one safety hazard common to all construction projects. Good housekeeping is one item that can help improve not only the safety on the job, but also the morale and productivity of the workers.

House keeping is everyone’s job, every worker, every trade, every supervisor and is something that must be done on a continuous basis.

The first rule is to perform your work neatly, then clean up after yourself.  Good housekeeping prevents injuries, saves time and prevents tool and equipment damage and loss.

Safe Practices and Behaviors

  • If you see a mess, take care of it.  Don’t wait for someone else to clean it up especially if someone could get hurt.
  • Keep all waste debris in neat piles and away from the immediate work area.
  • Do not allow trash and debris to build up.  Remove it from the job on a regular basis.
  • Keep aisles, stairways and walkways clear.
  • Store materials properly and only in the designated areas.
  • Place trash barrels where needed to eliminate food rubbish.
  • Keep tools and equipment stored neatly.
  • Coil extension cords, hoses, leads etc when not in use.
  • Keep extension cords or hoses from crossing walkways.  If necessary, run them overhead.
  • Keep exits free of obstructions.

Good Housekeeping

  • Prevent minor injuries like cuts and punctures
  • Prevent major accidents like slips, trips, falls and fires.
  • Increase job productivity by speeding up the movement of workers and materials on the job.

Remember:   Good housekeeping can have a significant impact on others and makes it easier for everyone to perform their work safely. We are all dependent on each other for safety. It's up to each of us to keep our worksite clean and orderly to make the entire site a safer place to work.

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Question for Discussion

  • In what areas of this project do we need to work on housekeeping?
  • Whose responsibility is it to clean these areas?
  • What do you need to be able to keep your work area clean?