How to Remove Construction Drywall Dust and Debris (While Protecting Patients)

April 16, 2019   |    Like this? Share it.

Central Maine Medical Center Hallway Renovation

Debris and drywall dust clean up is vital on any job site. During construction and renovation projects, particularly in hospital settings, the accumulation of dust and debris can cause major health and environmental hazards. One feeds the other: how to clean up drywall dust is as much a challenge as keeping the worksite in proper order during construction. But it is necessary. The removal of debris and clutter from a job site is an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirement, meaning workplaces should not have an excess of easily removable dust and debris.

Therefore, drywall dust clean up should be ongoing as the job progresses. Without cleaning, drywall dust and other harmful particles can transmit through the air, saturate surfaces, and pose health risks. Throughout the day, during on and off hours of operation, hospitals (or even data centers, schools, municipal and business offices, and any environment under construction and renovation) remains vulnerable to dust.

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The Basics of Construction Debris and Drywall Dust Clean Up

One solution is for contractors to initiate a debris and drywall dust containment strategy in their plans before beginning the project. A coordinated clean-up plan should include everyone on a job site. Cleaning as you go is the best way to reduce debris accumulation and contain dust. Along with reducing respiratory ailments that often occur where poor ventilation is present on a job site, debris removal is a good protective measure to prevent tripping or slip and fall accidents. Contractors can realize cost savings and eliminate potential hazards to people and equipment. Doing so improves safety and efficiency, and reduces health risks and property damage as a result of poor ventilation.
Construction and post-construction cleanup can be broken down into several steps.

  • Assign Cleanup Tasks Daily: Staying organized on a work site is the key and should be in everyone’s job description. Members of the work crew should be assigned specific cleanup tasks each day so there is no confusion on who does what and that all tasks are completed. Rough cleanup at the end of the day prepares the job site for the following workday.
  • Keep Work Areas Clear: This is an easy way to keep people on the job site and in the occupied area safe. It is important to keep the work area and walkways on the site and peripheral area clear of electrical cords, exposed wires, and debris.
  • Do a Final Cleaning: Once the project is complete, the final cleaning should make a good impression on the client. It should include sweeping, mopping, washing off any surfaces, cleaning windows, and removing any protective plastics or drywall from the site.

How Can Construction Waste Be Reduced?

Different materials should be organized for disposal in different ways during the construction process. Recycling is an important part of the project. Sort loose floorboards, scrap material, old drywall and framing, metals, and concrete for pick up. Learn how of reducing waste at construction sites by reading the blog, Why Contractors Should Consider Using Reusable Dust Containment Instead of Drywall or the whitepaper below.

Understanding Environmental Considerations Before Executing an ICRA Protocol

Understanding Environmental Considerations Before Executing an ICRA ProtocolLearn why and how to expand the scope of the environmental assessment when developing an ICRA protocol. Explore considerations to ensure effective containment.

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Mentioned above are some basic ways to reduce dust and debris during renovation or on a construction site as well as minimizing the negative impacts they cause. What if there was a solution to containing dust, debris, noise, and other hazards to a work zone and protect the surrounding environment? A reusable temporary containment system, like the STARC System, can do just that while improving your company’s ROI and protecting your clients. Especially, if your business focuses on construction in sensitive work areas like healthcare facilities.

Eliminate Drywall Dust and Debris on a Construction Site

The STARC system is ideal for such construction projects adjacent to sensitive occupied work areas such as hospitals, clinics, labs, and other healthcare facilities. When working in patient occupied hospital environments, contractors are required to adhere to ICRA Class IV standards. To avoid the serious health and safety risks posed to patients, as well as disruptions that occur during renovation and construction projects from drywall dust and debris, the solution is simple.

Contractors who use STARC Systems’ temporary containment walls in healthcare facilities can eliminate the dust, debris, and disruption associated with typical drywall containment. The system eliminates the wide distribution of dust and other particles that can spread through the air and ventilation systems into patient, staff, and visitor areas. The sound attenuating modular walls can reduce renovation noise by up to 50%. The simple lift and drop panel connection creates an airtight seal and exceeds ICRA Class IV requirements with proper installation. The 3 layer panel construction is rugged, durable, and allows the reusable panels to be used on hundreds of jobs. The walls can be installed quickly and quietly allowing for labor and material cost savings on project after project, year after year, virtually eliminating future temporary containment costs.

Keeping the work area clean makes for a safe work environment for workers onsite and adjacent areas, and avoids setbacks in completing the job on time. OSHA standards for cleaning dust and debris in the workplace are designed to protect not only patients but everyone. Check out our last blog to learn more about how healthcare contractors can not only protect patients but increase patient satisfaction.

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