Healthwise: Clean Construction

By: Cheryn Stone Email
By: Cheryn Stone Email

May 5, 2010

Construction sites are dirty, but the hundreds of people at work on the site of the new Martha Jefferson Hospital on Pantops Mountain have to keep the area clean. Too much dust floating around could make sick patients even worse or contaminate the equipment doctors will eventually use in the new building.

In this week's Martha Jefferson Healthwise segment, CBS19's Cheryn Stone investigates how they keep the construction area sparkling clean.

Workers trek through mounds of dirt and construction equipment to build the new Martha Jefferson Hospital from the inside out. The site must be kept clean at all times, says Scott Heberlein.

"Controlling construction debris and dirt on a project site can be a challenge, as we are kind of battling the messy process of construction on an ongoing basis," said Heberlein, of Mortenson Construction.

Duct work that runs through the entire hospital will eventually connect the heating and cooling units in the finished building. Workers are instructed to keep it wrapped to ensure it remains clean.

"As they install, they only open up one end and they always keep the outside end capped," said Heberlein.

Heating and cooling units will not be turned on until construction is complete in June of 2011 and final cleaning has been done, again to ensure that no dust or dirt is transported through the new building when it is opened to patients.

Workers vacuum to get rid of dust from the ceilings and clean inside the wall cavities, and floor scrubbers keep the concrete clean too.

"Many of these items we would typically do to some level on most of our project sites, but because it is a health care facility, we take it to the next level," said Heberlein.

To maintain that level of cleanliness, workers end each daily shift with cleanup and have job-wide cleanup on Fridays. They say all the extra steps are necessary to ensure the foundation of the hospital is kept clean.


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