Hoarding Cleanup Safety: With a small, seemingly infected cut on my left inside ankle bone, I think it wise to caution anyone involved in hoarding cleanup to pay attention to a few things (yes, common sense and yes, I have written this before….but, I chose to ignore it…in a hurry you know).
Protection: gloves, eye wear, long sleeves, proper shoes, masks on occasion, proper on hand first aid supplies to immediately clean and aggressively cover the cut, puncture or abrasion.
Like any job site, there comes a time when things happen that shouldn’t happen because someone ignored the basics. If you are working alone (heaven help you) or in a group, someone/all of you must be workplace safety fanatics to remind yourself and others to follow the rules: ‘don’t lift that alone’ ‘watch it, that’s slippery there’ ‘wear your gloves’ ‘let me help you’ ‘careful up there’ ‘let’s move the ladder’ ‘watch it, the pile is shifting’…on and on it goes on any given day.
Slips, trips and falls are common. Add to that cuts, smashed toes and hands, stuff falling against your shins and forearms and worse, and you begin to see an accumulation of dangers lurking.
A few suggestions that are obvious but help: immediately wash cuts and punctures well and treat with disinfectants…then cover with something beyond already dirty clothing or work gloves.
Clean as you go. All that stuff coming up often leaves lots of debris on the floor to slip, trip or fall over. Shovel up debris and sweep. Heavy brooms and dust pans are nearby.
Climbing into the drop box to lift heavy garbage cans full of debris is dangerous. Have help lifting that sometimes heavy can into the drop box, then careful while lifting the can up to dump it. Often we attempt to lift the can and dump it as far back onto the pile as we can. This can cause several things to happen: Sharp, penetrating items (glass, metal) will come avalanching down toward your lower extremities. You will lose your balance hoisting and swinging heavy garbage cans while standing atop stuff. Be careful as you fall to the side that you don’t fall into dangerous debris.
On and on it goes. And, the underlying foundation is this: you maybe tired, out of shape, already infirm or injured, mentally clouded and this sets you up for poor awareness. Believe me you can be fit and alert and you will still get hurt. So self talk or group talk…keep the safety chatter up…’let me help you’ ‘careful lifting that’…………………..