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Mr. Clean



By: Mitch Bloomquist | Tilt-Up Concrete Association

“A clean jobsite is a safe jobsite,” says Preston Rothwell. “There are so many opportunities for accidents to happen when the jobsite is not clean.” Rothwell’s rule – anything and everything not immediately being consumed by the work being performed is a trip hazard at best.

A messy site can cause delays as the work force struggles with the inefficiencies of the clutter. Tools and materials get lost and damaged, causing cost overruns and injuries. A clean and organized jobsite will pay great dividends in onsite productivity, project cost and the less likely occurrence of an injury.

The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) in their Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, 1926.20 – General safety and health provisions, makes a clear statement as to the requirements for contractors to be conscious of the cleanliness of their jobsites.


Section 107 of the Act requires that it shall be a condition of each contract which is entered into under legislation subject to Reorganization Plan Number 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267), as defined in 1926.12, and is for construction, alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating, that no contractor or subcontractor for any part of the contract work shall require any laborer or mechanic employed in the performance of the contract to work in surroundings or under working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to his health or safety.

“I would have to say keeping projects clean has been an overwhelming factor in my safety record,” said Rothwell, “which is spotless just like my jobsites.” Early in his career, Rothwell came to the conclusion that jobsite cleanliness was more than a responsibility or a regulation his company had to follow.  He identified that it could be used as a tool to encourage organization, and that organization would lead to more successful jobs. This kind of organization gives him an insight into the level of preparedness and responsibility of an employee. “At Rothwell Construction, jobsite cleanliness is part of our culture,” said Rothwell. “Over the years we have created an environment where cleanliness is as important as the project we are building.”


Attitudes and habits on site are contagious. Once a few workers decide to let their workspace go, others follow suit. At some point, as Rothwell explained, the sense of responsibility and ownership is gone. When the whole site is a mess, there is no way to distinguish whose mess it is. When the site is clean, it is easy to identify an out of place item. It is also easier to identify who left the mess. According to Rothwell, once a culture of cleanliness is established, and it’s part of the crew’s mentality everyday, workers tend to police themselves. “It is what we do,” said Rothwell. “Those who come in the fold know that this project will be clean at all times. There is no learning curve. Everyday you walk on the project and all things are in their place, including the rubbish.”

Owners, code officials and building inspectors tend to appreciate the effort as well, said Rothwell. “Nothing says you know what you’re doing like a well-organized jobsite.”

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.