How to Keep your Job Site Clean and Safe

Mud Season Ahead: How to Keep your Job Site Clean and Safe

If there’s one constant in the world, its mud. Especially in New England, mud season in the spring and early summer, it’s something you can count on. Unfortunately, mud can cause some serious problems, from material damage to slips and falls. It can also flow into ewer systems, gumming up the works and creating a visual blight on the neighborhood. We can’t avoid the impending doom of mud season, but we can give you tips on how to keep your job site clean and safe.

mud on construction equipmentThe first step in mud management is not making it in the first place. Take time to walk around the site and add protective material in sensitive areas or in areas that will have heavy traffic. If the drive into the job site involves gravel or dirt roads, consider placing geogrids to better distribute the load of equipment and vehicles across more of the soil, preventing ruts and ditches from forming. Avoid doing grading work while the site is wet, or when wet weather is expected, and take steps to protect exposed soil from wind and water erosion.

If your equipment or vehicles gather mud in the tires and on the undercarriage, you’ll want to remove it before leaving the job site. This prevents the mud from being deposited on the road, creating safety hazards for other drivers on the roads. One thing you can do is create a space there the tires and the vehicle’s undercarriage can be washed off before entering the highway. This can as simple as a hose with a power nozzle to wash off the mud, brushes to scrub off the mud, or similar options. If you use water to clean the mud, be sure the clean-out the area has a good drainage system available for the water to run off without creating more mud, and more problems. If you still have mud when you enter public roads, you may want to add a road sweeper to provide additional cleaning when needed.

When dealing with foot traffic, some soils can become very hazardous with mud, causing slip and fall accidents. Whether it’s a patch of slick mud or mud building up in the treads of your boots, slipping can cause serious injury, especially when working with or around heavy equipment and power tools. Providing a boot brush for removing mud, using metal grating for additional traction, or even laying down planks or geogrids are all excellent options to consider when figuring out your job site mud plan.

And after all your planning, what if you still get mud on your job site? Don’t panic! These options can’t completely eliminate the chance that you’ll end up with mud, they will vastly minimize the amount that forms. Try to limit how many times materials are moved to reduce traffic and chance of the material getting muddy. Create a wash station to remove mud in a well-drained area. And don’t forget to use a stiff brush to remove dried mud from any surfaces!

Though mud season is a pain, it doesn’t have to be dangerous or any more dangerous than necessary. Taking these small steps can not only help keep your site clean, but it can ensure the safety of your workers, and yourself.