We often refer to site cleanup as housekeeping. People overlook this necessary job because they either don’t care, or they believe there are other, more important things to do. And sometimes, they add to an already untidy work area by littering.
One study revealed some of the typical reasons for littering, including:
- The area is already messy;
- The garbage can is too far away;
- The garbage can is already overflowing;
- The garbage can is marked for specific trash only;
- I’m only throwing away a small piece of trash;
- Everyone else litters;
- There are no consequences for littering; and
- I have more important things to think about.
The list could go on. People come up with countless excuses to throw their trash on the ground instead of taking the time to properly dispose of it. But the clean and orderly arrangement of your work area is vital to the safety of all workers.
Litter can cause severe accidents. Trash on the ground is a slip and trip hazard. Trash in the roadway is an accident waiting to happen. If you see a mess in your work area, take care of it. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Immediately clear scrap and debris from walkways, passageways, stairs, scaffolds and floor openings. Clean up spills of grease, oil or other liquids at once, or cover them with sand or other absorbent material until you can clean it up. If you’re driving, be sure your load is secure. An item in the roadway can damage someone’s vehicle or cause a wreck if someone swerves to miss it.
Litter looks terrible and sends an “I don’t care” message to others. This isn’t a positive reflection of ourselves or the project owner. A tidy workplace shows you take pride in your work and makes the work environment more pleasant.
Cleanliness is an expression of your attitude about yourself, your co-workers and your work environment, so do your part to keep your workplace neat and clean.