8 Good Housekeeping Practices For A Construction Project

June 2, 2023


Good housekeeping practices are one of the most vital aspects of any construction project. Did you know that over 800 injuries involving walkways, floors, and ground surfaces have been reported due to construction sites violating and practising poor housekeeping?

That is why following good housekeeping practices is essential to prevent job site accidents, reduce waste, and keep the project site clean and organised. This article will discuss eight good housekeeping practices designed to help project managers, contractors, and workers maintain a clean and safe work environment, reduce waste and environmental impact, and ensure the success of the project.

  1. Develop A Site-Specific Housekeeping Plan
    Before starting any construction project, you must develop a site-specific housekeeping plan. This plan should be tailored to the specific needs and requirements of the project site, taking into account the project’s size, scope, and complexity. The site-specific housekeeping plan should then include a detailed outline of the specific housekeeping procedures that will be used on the project site (e.g., proper storage and disposal of materials, procedures for controlling dust and other hazards, protocols for maintaining equipment and tools, etc.).Furthermore, this plan should summarise the responsibilities of each team member, such as who is responsible for cleaning up debris and waste, who shall maintain the equipment, and who is responsible for ensuring that walkways and stairways are clear of hazards. For this to work, consider hiring site workers who are reliable, have a strong work ethic, have attention to detail, and are well-trained in proper housekeeping procedures. For example, if your construction project involves the use of scaffolding, you may need scaffolding labour hire services that are trained and experienced in setting up, inspecting, and dismantling scaffolds safely and efficiently.

    A comprehensive site-specific housekeeping plan will ensure everyone understands their role in maintaining good housekeeping practices.

  2. Keep The Site Clean And Organised
    Keeping the construction site clean and organised is crucial for maintaining good construction housekeeping practices. A clean and organised site not only promotes safety but also helps improve productivity and efficiency.To keep the site clean and organised, all debris, waste, and materials should be removed from the site regularly. This includes construction materials, trash, and other items not needed for the project. Tools and equipment must also be stored properly when not in use to prevent tripping hazards.

    In addition, the site should be swept and cleaned regularly to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating. This can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries and improve air quality on the site. By maintaining a clean and organised site, construction projects can be safer, more efficient, and more successful.

  3. Control Dust

    Dust can be a significant hazard on construction sites, causing respiratory problems and other health issues for workers and nearby residents. Dust can also cause damage to equipment and machinery, reducing their life span and increasing maintenance costs.

    To control dust on a construction site, there are several measures you can take. One of the most effective ways to control dust is to use water to suppress it. This can be done by regularly spraying water on the site or using a water truck. Dusty materials should also be wet down before they are disturbed. Another effective method is to use dust suppression products, such as dust control agents or dust suppression sprays.

    Besides using water and dust suppression products, you can use dust collection systems on equipment to remove dust from the air and prevent it from spreading to nearby areas. More importantly, workers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as dust masks, to protect themselves from dust.

  4. Manage Materials
    Proper material management is essential for maintaining good housekeeping in construction, as it helps reduce waste, prevent accidents, and improve efficiency on the construction site. To manage materials effectively, construction materials should be stored in a designated area that is easily accessible and clearly marked. This can prevent confusion to the site workers and ensure that materials are not misplaced or lost.Furthermore, construction materials and machinery should be inspected regularly to ensure they’re in good condition and are not damaged or defective. Any damaged or faulty materials should be removed from the site and replaced as soon as possible to prevent accidents or delays.

    Lastly, materials should be disposed of properly to comply with local regulations and, at the same time, prevent environmental damage. This can include recycling materials, disposing of hazardous materials safely, and properly disposing of waste materials.

  5. Keep Walkways And Stairways Clear Statistics show that 37.9% of construction fatalities are caused by slips and trips. That’s why the construction site, particularly walkways and stairways, should be kept clear of debris and materials to prevent slipping, falling, and tripping accidents. Here are some tips for keeping all walkways and stairways on the site clear and clean:
    • All equipment, tools, and materials should be stored in designated areas and not left in walkways or stairways. This can help prevent tripping hazards and ensure workers can move around the site safely.
    • Walkways and stairways should be well-lit to ensure workers can see where they’re heading and avoid hazards. You can install temporary lighting if necessary or ensure permanent lighting is properly functioning.
    • Inspect all walkways and stairways regularly to ensure they are in good condition and not damaged or defective. Any damage or defects should be repaired immediately to prevent accidents or delays.Keeping walkways and stairways clear is crucial for maintaining good construction site housekeeping. Clear walkways and stairways can help prevent accidents, reduce the risk of injury, and improve site accessibility.
  6. Use Proper Waste Disposal Methods

    All waste generated on the construction site should be disposed of properly. Otherwise, improper waste disposal can lead to environmental damage, contamination of water sources, and health hazards for workers and nearby residents.

    To practice proper waste disposal, all waste should first be separated into different categories, such as hazardous, recyclable, and non-recyclable. Then hire licensed contractors or rubbish removers to handle hazardous waste and other construction waste. That way, you can ensure that all your waste is disposed of correctly, safely, and in compliance with local regulations.
    Finally, workers should be trained in proper waste disposal methods and encouraged to take responsibility for disposing of waste properly. They should be held accountable for any violations of the site-specific waste disposal plan.

  7. Keep Emergency Exits Clear
    Regardless of how small or big your construction project is, it’s essential to have a designated emergency exit so all site workers can evacuate quickly and safely in case of emergencies. Just like how you maintain the walkways and stairways, ensure you also keep the emergency exits clear to prevent accidents and reduce the risk of slipping and tripping during evacuation.To keep emergency exits clear, all equipment, tools, and materials should be stored in designated areas and not left in front of or blocking emergency exits. Second, emergency exits should be clearly marked with signs and lighting to ensure they are visible and easily identifiable. This can help prevent confusion and ensure that workers can find the emergency exits quickly in the event of an emergency.

    Finally, workers should be trained in the location of emergency exits and the proper procedures for evacuating the site in the event of an emergency. Workers should also be encouraged to report any obstructions or hazards that they encounter near emergency exits.

  8. Encourage Teamwork
    Good housekeeping practices require teamwork and cooperation among all workers on the construction site. Encourage workers to communicate with each other and work together to preserve a clean and safe work environment.

Wrapping Up

Maintaining good housekeeping in construction is critical for the success of any construction project. By putting these tips into practice, construction sites can be safer, more efficient, and more sustainable for all site workers and nearby residents.