Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry


July 13, 2012

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Since when is ‘housekeeping’ construction work?

“Housekeeping” isn’t a word that most people associate with construction work. For most of us, housekeeping means keeping our homes presentable – and it’s not a task we want to do. You’ll rarely hear someone say, “I’d rather be housekeeping.” But, thanks to the tendency of things to become more – rather than less – disorganized over time, housekeeping is the best way to keep us from being buried in clutter. Housekeeping keeps us safer too.

It’s a good idea to keep tools, scrap lumber, and other debris out of work areas, passageways, and stairs. It’s also a requirement in Oregon OSHA’s construction rules: 1926.25, Housekeeping (Division 3, Subdivision C), summarized below:

  • Forms and scrap lumber with protruding nails and all other debris must be cleared from work areas, passageways, and stairs.
  • Combustible scrap and debris must be removed safely at regular intervals.
  • Containers must be provided to collect and separate waste, trash, oily and used rags, and other refuse. Garbage and other waste must be disposed of at regular intervals.

Other Oregon OSHA construction rules that deal with housekeeping include 1926.20, General safety and health provisions; 1926.51, Sanitation (Division 3, Subdivision D); and 1926.250, General requirements for storage (Division 3, Subdivision H).


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