10 tips to keep your site ship shape


In accordance with the HWSA (The Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities), it is your responsibility to maintain a good standard of “housekeeping” across your construction site.

Each year, thousands of incidents involving trips and slips take place across construction sites. A common reason for these accidents can be poorly placed material and waste obstructing a person’s way.

Ultimately, the standard of housekeeping you achieve on site will be affected by how effective you are at

  • Materials storage
  • Waste management
  • Health and safety

In this post, we will show how assessing the way you store materials and manage waste can effectively upgrade your construction site to safe-haven status. And if you’d like more support, download our handy checklist for keeping your site safe & secure – just fill out the form on the right.

Tip no. 1: Storage areas

Ensure your storage areas are designed to accommodate different materials. Designate storage areas for plant, materials, waste, flammable substances e.g. foam plastics, flammable liquids and gases such as propane and hazardous substances e.g. pesticides and timber treatment chemicals. Storage areas must also be labelled with signage.

Tip no. 2: Keep pedestrian routes clear

Do not allow storage to ‘spread’ in an uncontrolled manner on to footpaths and other walkways. Do not store materials where they obstruct access routes or where they could interfere with emergency escape. Pedestrians can also be informed through signage. Hollywood Monster stock a variety of safety signage to meet this need!

Tip no. 3: Planned deliveries

Plan your delivery dates to keep the amount of materials on site to a minimum. A clear space means a safe space.

Tip no 4: Storage height

If materials are stored at height e.g. on top of a container, make sure necessary guard rails are in place if people could fall when stacking or collecting materials or equipment. Signage can also be used to specify and warn others about storage height. Hollywood monster also provide a range of these signs. Remember that different signs are used for different purpose. For example, aluminium signs are preferred for longevity.

Tip no. 5: Flammable materials

These will usually need to be stored away from other materials and kept safely away from anything that may cause accidental ignition. Ensure that those in the area are made aware of flammable materials through signage, which Hollywood Monster provides.

Tip no. 6: Work areas

Make clearing waste a priority for all trades. Check that everyone is aware of what is required that it is being done.

Tip no. 7: Trailing cables

Wherever you can, try to use cordless tools. This reduces the risk of tripping over cables. When cables are used for temporary lighting or mans-powered tools run them at high level, especially along corridors

Tip no. 8: Wet or slippery surfaces

Treat slippery surfaces with stone (for mud) or grit (for ice) or provide temporary covering. Signpost any slippery areas and make sure footwear with a good grip is worn.

Tip no. 9: Uneven surfaces

Many slips and trips occur when people are walking on uneven surfaces. The risk can be reduced by providing walkways that are;

  • clearly designated as a walkway;
  • provided with good conditions underfoot;
  • signposted and provided with adequate lighting.

You can also use mechanical lifting aids rather than carrying unwieldy loads that block the view ahead and make sure everyone wears suitable footwear with a good grip.

Tip no. 10: Changes in level

Where you cannot avoid small changes in level, such as in doorways, consider installing ramps. If you cannot do this, use signs to warn workers to look out for the change in level.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful, but if your appetite for tips has not yet been satisfied why not download our handy checklist for keeping your site safe & secure – just fill out the form on the right.

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