Organization of Laydown Yard Toolbox Talk

Learn about laydown yards on the jobsite and what hazards to avoid when going through those areas.

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Organization of Laydown Yard Safety Talk

If you have ever worked on a construction site before you know the dangers, you know the risks and you know the hazards, you also know how messy they can be. It is important to keep the laydown area of the site organized to keep the hazards and the injuries minimal. It is also common for property loss claims in a laydown area.

What Is A Laydown Area?

A laydown area is an area on a construction site that has been cleared where tools, materials, equipment, and vehicles are stored temporarily when they are not in use. They are typically outside the construction area so they are not in the way. Laydown areas are not just used in construction you may have heard the term used in manufacturing or oil field operations.

They are usually covered with rock and or gravel to ensure accessibility and safe transport and unloading of vehicles. If you are not familiar with where the laydown area on your job site you are working is located ask a supervisor or a coworker and they can show you.

Hazards Of Laydown Areas

A laydown yard has a long list of hazards that can be present. Most of the hazards depend on what is being stored there and the operations that are taking place in and around the area. Some of the common hazards that you should be aware of are:

Slip, Trip, And Fall Hazards

One of the most common hazards that are present when a laydown area is disorganized is slip, trip, and fall accidents. When an item is stored in a laydown area it needs to be organized and not just thrown anywhere and everywhere. Workers should be able to navigate the area and walk through without tripping over items that are out of place.

Struck-By Hazards

Equipment is often moving in and out of the laydown area throughout the day. Moving equipment presents a struck-by hazard for any worker or visitor that is in the area where it is moving.

Biological Hazards

When you are discussing hazards in the worksite, insects, and animals do not normally come to mind. When you are dealing with a laydown area however it is common to see some critters crawling around. These can include snakes, ticks, spiders, bees, wasps, raccoons, and other wild animals who are looking for food and trying to get out of the weather. The shelter of the equipment and the materials make perfect hiding places.


Although theft is not really considered a hazard it is a common occurrence in a laydown area. Materials, pieces of equipment, and vehicles are often left unattended making them an easy target for thieves to steal what they want.

Property Damage

Property damage is also not considered a safety hazard but it could lead to one. Lots of tools, materials, and equipment are stored in the laydown area and in one central location. Property damage can occur easily by moving vehicles or when equipment is being moved. They can strike or run over these items if they are not stored properly and organized or if the operator is not paying attention to where they are going. If tools, materials, and equipment are damaged in the laydown area and it is not noticed and workers still use these they could lead to injuries on the job site.

These are just some of the hazards that could be present in a laydown area. it is important that you make yourself aware of your surroundings and any other hazards that may be present.

Hazard Elimination in Laydown Areas

If you are looking for ways to make sure the laydown area where you work is hazard-free, stay organized, and practice good housekeeping techniques. Proper organization will eliminate most of the slip, trip, and fall hazards. A laydown area that is organized and kept up will also help eliminate the struck-by accidents that could happen with workers and objects.

Biological hazards are difficult to avoid but if you inspect your items that you plan on moving and using you may be able to notice critters before you are bitten or injured by one. Theft can not always be avoided because thieves are everywhere but you can help prevent it by keeping vehicles locked at all times. You can also lock any fence areas that may surround your site. Keep your eyes and ears open if you hear of anything missing and never discuss with others what is kept on your job site area. Property damage can be reduced if you and your coworkers keep the laydown area organized and neat also. if items are where they should be the chance of running them over or hitting them is smaller.

Organization Tips For A Laydown Area

Most of the time a foreman or supervisor has already organized a laydown area and has it set up the way it will work for the job site. However, it is essential that all the workers keep the organization up in the area and maintain it.

The space in the area can be small and house a lot of materials, tools, equipment, and vehicles. There are constantly things moving in and out and around so at times it is hard to see how to set the area up to help everyone. Some general tips for a setup include:

  • Make sure there is plenty of space between heavy equipment and materials that are moved frequently.
  • Place items that are not needed soon or items that are rarely used out of the way.
  • Make sure there are walking paths for all workers to access the areas and materials needed.
  • Use caution tape and barriers to keep people and visitors out of hazardous areas and where the heavy equipment may be traveling.
  • Discard or scrape any items that are unrepairable or simply trash them to avoid clutter.
  • Inspect and reevaluate the area to see if the setup can be improved.
  • These tips are easy to follow by everyone on the construction job site and in order to keep the area organized everyone has to pitch in together. It is easier to put things where they go as you are putting them up, not wait until the end of the day.

    Laydown areas and yards are often neglected because many workers just do not see the importance of keeping them up. Workers are more focused on getting their work tasks done and completed. With neglect comes unnecessary hazards that can result in injuries to you and your co-workers that are in the area. Do your part in keeping the laydown area neat and clutter free.

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