Organized Laydown Yards
A laydown yard is an area outside at a worksite where tools, materials, equipment, vehicles, etc. are stored until they need to be used. They are most common on construction sites, but other operations such as manufacturing or oil field operations have laydown yards as well. There can be many hazards to employees, as well as property loss incidents in these areas.
- One of the most common hazards present in laydown yards with poor organization are slip, trip, and fall hazards
- When the items stored in the laydown yard are poorly organized or just thrown everywhere, workers who must navigate the area are more likely to experience a slip, trip, or fall
- Struck-by hazards: laydown yards often have equipment moving in and out of them throughout the day
- Moving equipment presents a struck-by hazard for any workers in the area
- Biological hazards: insects and animals are not often considered when discussing the hazards of a laydown yard
- Critters such as snakes, ticks, spiders, bees, wasps, raccoons, etc. love the shelter of equipment and materials stored in these areas
There are several measures that can be taken. The most obvious measure is to have a secure fence around the laydown yard. Depending on what is stored in the laydown yard, barbed wire and a fence cover may need to be used as well. Any item stored in a laydown yard should never be placed right against the fence. Always lock up laydown yards at the end of the shift. Another good practice is to never discuss the items that are stored at a worksite with individuals who do not work there. The knowledge that certain items are at a worksite can entice someone to break in.
- Have plenty of space in between heavy equipment or materials that need moved frequently
- Place items that are not needed soon or frequently out of the way of items that need accessed more often
- Leave walking paths for workers to access items
- Place caution tape or other barriers to keep people out of hazardous areas or where heavy equipment travels
- Discard or scrap any items that are deemed as unrepairable or trash to avoid unnecessary clutter
- Periodically inspect and reevaluate laydown yards to improve on their setup