When you’re working on a construction site, there’s always a possibility that you could be digging into hazards. While you can manage a lot of your risk while you’re at the site, it’s a different story once you get home. Bringing dust and debris into your home can put you and your family at risk. Here are five ways you can help to minimize it.
If you’re trying to keep things simple by driving home in your work gear and washing it when you get there, it might be time to rethink your approach. Look at it from a standpoint of contamination. If you know that you are working with chemicals that could be seriously harmful in another environment, you would probably change your clothes before and after working on that particular task. To prevent the spread of toxic metals in your home, make a habit of changing into your work clothes when you get to work. That way, you can change back into your regular clothes before you leave for the day.
Keep Your Vehicle Clean
Working in dirt or mud creates many opportunities to track the mess into other areas, like your vehicle. While you can avoid much of it by changing into your work clothes at work, that doesn’t solve the problem entirely. In fact, your work vehicle might be another source of contamination. If you can, leave your work shoes in another location, and change into a different pair before you go home. If your business has you going from one site to another throughout the day, plan to clean out your vehicle more frequently. Investing in a small, handheld vacuum with a HEPA filter could make a significant difference in keeping your vehicle cleaner and safer.
Leave Gear and Clothing Outside the Home
Eventually, you’re going to need to clean your work clothing and gear. The best solution to this problem is to have cleaning facilities in your workspace, so you don’t even have to take them home. Adding a laundry facility with a sink might not be as difficult as you think, and many industrial workspaces already offer them. If you don’t have a workspace outside the job site, you may need to come up with creative solutions to keep dirty work clothes out of your house. For example, a mudroom or laundry facility in your garage could allow you to clean the clothing without having to bring it inside the house for washing.
Test Soil Samples
Although you could be working with toxins and not realize it, there are a few ways that you can improve your knowledge. It’s common to test soil samples for contaminants before construction. Even if you’re not involved with that directly, you may be able to consult the findings of a soil testing report. You might already know to look out for lead since it can create a variety of health problems in humans and pets. But you may also need to look for other toxins, like arsenic or chromium.
Watch for Unexplained Illness
Many toxins cause problems based on accumulation, not necessarily immediate exposure. This means that you might have long-term health problems as a result of long-term exposure, even if you didn’t know about it at the time. For example, lead dust is associated with various health problems, including developmental delays in children, organ damage, and certain types of cancer. These often have multiple causes, but it’s important to pay attention when they start to appear. If one or more members of your family seem to be sick all the time without an obvious explanation, it may be time to change your practices.
Working in construction can be risky, but there are lots of ways that you can reduce it. To learn more about running a contracting business, contact CSLS today!