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A Home Preservation worksite safety

We have focused our safety articles so far on new construction. A number of RV Care-A-Vanners work on Home Preservation projects as well.

These present some unique safety challenges as you are working around or in an existing structure. Instead of a controlled job site, you are in someone’s yard or house and subject to the homeowner’s existing conditions.

Some safety items to keep in mind on these types of projects are:

  • Yard cleanup projects

    • Yard tools and power tools
    • Yard tools not being used should be keep out the way where people walk.
    • Turn the shovels and rakes face down. Most people who have worked around yards extensively have at some point stepped on the exposed tines of a rake and had the handle fly up and either near miss or hit them in the face.
    • Be careful where you swing weed cutting tools so you don’t hit a coworker.
    • Cutting branches on trees in a yard cleanup project may require that you clear people from the area underneath.
    • It goes without saying that safety glasses and gloves are prudent safety items to wear.
    • With power tools the issues become more complicated. If you are plugging in electrical tools like a hedge trimmer, remember that the outlet is probably not GFCI protected. You’ll need to have the affiliate provide a corded GFCI breaker.
    • Some tools may be gas powered like line trimmers. These can fling gravel and bits of branches at yourself and coworkers. Make sure your coworkers are out of harm’s way and you should be wearing a face shield, not just safety glasses.
  • Other types of projects, like roof or siding repair, require that you follow the typical safety procedures under new construction. Two items to be aware of here are:
    • On re-siding projects be aware of lead based paint in tearing off old siding. This may require lead paint abatement procedures which are too extensive to go into in this month’s article.
    • On roof repair you will be tearing off old roofing and taking it off the roof.
      • The roof will have old staples and nails sticking up on the roof decking and the shingles falling to the ground will cause a walking and trip hazard.
      • Dedicate a person or two to clean up the shingles on the ground right away to keep the walking area safe.
      • Also, wear tough soled shoes on the roof to prevent a shoe penetration.

These are some of the safety issues to be aware of on Home Preservation projects.

Keep safe,
Frank Peccia, Safety officer
Keizer, OR