Whether you are managing a huge construction company or simply running a small team of decorators, huge messes are certain to occur. There are tools to look after, supplies to manage, and dust, debris, and waste to clear up. This is all part of the process, and it is definitely something that cannot be overlooked or forgotten about. Keeping everything tidy is almost as important as doing the job right. This should be a top priority for site managers and all staff. So, whatever kind of site you are working on, read on for expert tips on how to keep your construction site clean and junk-free.

Cleanliness and Site Safety

Cleanliness is important for two reasons. Firstly, keeping a site clean helps ensure that you and your whole team are doing the job properly, neatly, and professionally. Installing new windows, for example, in a dusty and dirty room will leave you with smudged, dirty windows. Much like painting a room that’s not clean will probably leave you with an uneven and dirty paint job. So, keeping it clean helps get the job done properly.

However, there is another, arguably more important reason, and that’s site safety. As a site manager, it is your responsibility to keep everyone safe at work, minimizing risks and dangers along the way. A site left unkept and messy could result in an accident or serious injury to your staff or the general public. Avoid piles of trash or misplaced items to help keep you and those around you safe at work.

Designate Area For Trash Cans

For general waste, there’s still nothing better than waste bins. Simple construction trash containers do exactly what they are designed to do, keep hold of rubbish and keep your site tidy. The easiest thing to do is to designate an area of each construction location dedicated to trash cans. This can be set in the corner of each floor for a multi-level site or in the garden of a home renovation project. 

Wherever you place these containers, keep them out of the way of access routes and storage areas, while encouraging your construction staff to use them regularly. As soon as the waste is created, it should be ferried out to the trash containers straight away. Once they are full, you can dispose of the waste in a bigger container or have the single containers removed and replaced by a waste management company. 

Stack and Store Materials Together

Whatever the size of your project, you will likely have a selection of materials you need to use. From floorboards to glass panes, nuts and bolts to communal tools. All of these materials and tools pose a trip hazard if not stored properly. Keep everything neat and in one area to reduce the risk. 

You also need to be sure that heavy items such as breeze blocks or other large items are stored at an appropriate height. No one should have to lift something heavier than safe from a height above their waist. This helps reduce the risk of back injuries, falls, or items dropping on your workers’ heads.

Return Tools Immediately

When working construction, there are more tools and items on-site than possible to keep track of at times. There will be drills, nail guns, disc cutters, and other handheld items all over the place. Once again, these tools left unattended in unplanned places can result in severe injury or even death. 

There should always be a safe storage place for tools on your site, no matter what. Plus, it’s key to encourage your staff to return them to their designated area as soon as they are used. It’s a simple thing, but one that can improve site safety massively.

Cable Management

Many of these tools come with power cords. Often, your site will have multiple power sources running across the site to help people use their tools wherever they need to. Cables are one of the main sources of trips and fall in the workplace, as they drag across the floor becoming tangled and untidy.

To avoid this, you can opt for one of two techniques. The first, and most recommended, is to buy and use cable tidies. These platforms allow you to safely run cables within them, whilst also providing a flat surface for your builders to walk on. If you can’t get hold of these, using tape will do. Tape all your cables down nice and tight to the floor, providing as flat a surface as possible. 

Replace or Repair Tools

Damaged items are dangerous. Whether it’s a drill bit or a disc blade, even the slightest damage can lead to a fatal accident. Everyone must know to repair or replace parts as soon as they are damaged. Do not leave it for someone else. Do not assume the next person will notice. Replace damaged items immediately, keeping everyone safe.

Clear As You Work

Simple but effective: clean as you work. Whether you have designated on-site cleaners or not, this needs to be drilled into everyone. As soon as any mess occurs, clean it up! It’s quite simple really. Even a pile of sawdust could lead to a trip or slip whilst carrying heavy goods. As soon as a mess is noticed, it should be everyone’s responsibility to manage and clear the mess. 

Issues With Poor Site Cleanliness

As mentioned, this is important for many reasons. The most problematic of all is site safety. If you are found to be not keeping your site clean and this leads to an injury to staff or the public, you’re likely going to find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit. This could end up being a hugely costly exercise. So, encourage cleanliness and you’ll have better peace of mind knowing you’re doing your best to keep everyone safe.

There is nothing complicated about following these steps. It’s as simple as cleaning as you go and keeping trash out of the way of workers. Doing so will make your site more efficient whilst also keeping everyone much safer. 

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash




I've been writing since 2008 about a wide range of topics. I also love making furniture in my spare time, and birdwatching with my wife near our home in southern England.

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