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Winter Construction Debris Can Be Hazardous

Winter Construction Debris Can Be Hazardous

[This article first appeared in January 2017 and has been expanded and revised.]

Construction can be dangerous, especially during the winter months when inclement weather makes for hazardous work conditions. But managing construction debris can help.

The work of construction - especially heavy construction and road construction - is already dangerous as it is without having to navigate rubble, debris, and junk material on a job site. There's More to Job Site Safety than Following Regulations

Anyone who has worked on a construction site is familiar with safety regulations and best practices. Hardhats, boots, safety vests, and sometimes harnesses are all part and parcel of a job site. But, for some, the idea that construction waste removal can help minimize the dangers of accidents might seem like overkill.

But, according to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death in construction and in 2020, there were 351 fatal falls to a lower level out of 1,008 construction fatalities (BLS data).

And many of non-fatal accidents involving falls are the result of construction debris.

As one attorney's office has noted on their website,

OSHA requires that employers protect against hazards in the workplace. Despite this, slip, trip, and fall accidents happen, and people get injured.

Some common causes of slips, trips, and falls on construction sites include:

  • Slick spots on walking surfaces
  • Debris
  • Clutter


Construction Site Trips and Falls Can Be Avoided

Good contractors are always looking for ways to reduce their overhead by lowering labor and material costs. Part of the challenge is finding ways to speed up the construction process while minimizing man-hours and without sacrificing safety. That's because a good contractor knows that a laborer that is hurt or injured can cost not only time, but money.

Consequently, smart contractors work to be proactive when it comes to best practices in safety management.

Safety management includes ensuring that the construction site is kept as safe as possible. A large part of site safety is keeping the site as clean as possible. While it may seem a relatively minor thing to fall from a just a few feet, or to simply trip over some loose debris, it is precisely these types of "minor" accidents that make up the majority of fall injuries and construction deaths.

Untitled-1[Graphic courtesy of HSMSearch.com]


Falls are the Main Cause of Construction Accidents

According to statistics from OSHA, almost half of all fatal falls involved falls from 20 feet or less – and many of these were from less than six feet!

How is this possible?

Well, take into consideration that the average person’s reaction time is about half a second, the time it takes to fall four feet. Falling six feet means you barely have time to catch yourself, if possible.

And as a body falls the impact force increases. A 200 pound worker, for example, who is unfortunate enough to fall six feet will hit the ground with almost 10,000 pounds of force! This doesn't take into account what type of debris or material the worker falls on, either.

Broken concrete, rebar, cutoffs and lumber can all cause more damage than the fall itself.

However, by regularly cleaning and removing construction waste, debris and rubble the potential for trips, falls, and other related accidents, can be drastically minimized. Minimizing accidents on the job site will also minimize paperwork, lost labor hours, and related insurance and medical costs.

And, possibly, you might save a life, as well.


Construction Debris Can be Outsourced

Most contractors are quick to point out that they don't have the time or the spare manpower to continually clean up a site. The good news is that they don't have to. Outsourcing construction debris removal is simple if it's outsourced. 

The ideal set up for most construction projects, for example,  is to schedule a series of waste and debris clean ups and removal. And by making use of a reliable professional firm, the work can be scheduled and carried out with a minimal amount of disruption to the progress of the job.

In addition, outsourcing this task id construction debris removal allows contractors to keep crews working on the productive part of the project, which is building - not cleaning.

Trash hauling and site clean-up might be considered “part of the job” for contractors, but it really doesn’t have to be. When you consider that every hour your crew spends picking up debris, cleaning the site, and hauling and disposing of the material, is an hour NOT spent generating revenue on a project. And the bigger the job, the more the opportunity costs add up.

Add to that the possible costs of hazardous material disposal and even required training for your employees, the benefits of outsourcing these tasks become more attractive. There is more to proper debris removal than simply tossing it all into the back of a truck. Knowing what can be disposed of legally and where is a big part of what makes a professional firm a smart choice.

And simply taking everything to the local landfill – assuming there is one – is not always the most cost-effective means of disposal. Recycling and re-purposing many items and materials is a responsible approach for a business to take.


Finding the Right Firm is Essential

Once you have made the decision that outsourcing a series of site clean ups is cost-effective and will increase the safety factor, you need to determine which firm is the right one for the job. And while you can certainly find plenty of guys with trucks willing to do a “cheap” job, going that route will end up being anything but cheap.

Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly construction waste disposal services so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your project is complete. Whether you need our services several times during a construction project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the construction debris is out of your way so that you can get on with the job.

Our team specializes in construction trash removal. We can be at your facility in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.

One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at (707) 744-4254.




Winter Construction Debris Can Be Hazardous


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