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Cleanliness is crucial in lean construction projects. It impacts various aspects such as respect for people, stability, one-piece flow, visual systems, and continuous improvement. In this post we provide practical tips and strategies for maintaining cleanliness on the project site, offering actionable advice for project managers, foremen, and trade partners.

The key points covered include:

Importance of Cleanliness in Lean Construction:
Cleanliness is foundational to all lean principles.
No lean implementation is complete without a focus on cleanliness.
Definition of Cleanliness:
Clean floors, clean exteriors, entryways, bathrooms, roadways, and more.
The standard: If trash can be picked up with the left hand while walking, the project is clean enough.
Project-Level Cleanliness Strategies:
Include cleanliness expectations in trade partner contracts.
Organize the site for effective cleaning with proper equipment and disposal options.
Emphasize cleanliness from day one in worker orientations.
Maintain remarkable bathrooms or clean portta-potties regularly.
Operational Cleanliness:
Instruct hoist, forklift, and crane operators to ensure cleanliness in their respective areas before operations.
Constantly teach and reinforce cleanliness in daily worker huddles.
Use communication tools like WhatsApp to address and correct cleanliness issues promptly.
Setting the Example:
Superintendents and project managers should actively pick up trash and model expected behavior.
Keep personal spaces, such as desks and offices, clean as an example to others.
Trade Partner Involvement:
General contractor laborers can help maintain public areas not owned by specific trades.
Implement a zero-tolerance approach to cleanliness issues, stopping work if necessary.
Include cleanliness in the grading system for trade partners.
Foreman’s Role:
Foremen should start the day with 5S (Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain) in their areas.
Encourage workers to memorize the eight wastes and look for opportunities for improvement.
Set up work areas ahead of time with the right tools and equipment.
Enforce cleanliness as a top priority, shaping a mindset of continuous improvement.
Reward crew members for maintaining clean environments.
Cleanliness is not an option but a requirement for lean construction projects.
The job site should reflect the cleanliness of a manufacturing facility.
Control cleanliness to control everything; it is the basis for success in lean construction.


Cleanliness is the basis for all aspects of operational excellence.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
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-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!