Rules to Build By

Thank you for volunteering your time and talents with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity! Working on a construction site can be dangerous; we ask that you be responsible for your safety and be conscious of the safety of others. We hope you enjoy your experience and it is injury free. The following are a few basic rules we ask you to “build by.” Please read this document carefully, and then sign your Release and Waiver of Liability. This form must be turned in before you begin any volunteer work (Pre-filling your Waivers speeds up registration, though if you forget to bring it, copies will be available at check in.)  Also, it’s important that you arrive to the worksite by 8am (or 9am on Fridays) in order to participate in the safety orientation.


Construction Policies

  • No one under the age of 16 is allowed on site – no exceptions. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability.
  • Volunteers ages 16 and 17 will be excluded from certain activities, such as but not limited to, working with power tools and working on rooftops.
  • No smoking allowed on site.
  • Report all injuries to the Atlanta Habitat houseleader immediately.

Proper Clothing

  • Volunteers should dress comfortably, but appropriately, for a hard day’s work. Loose clothing and improper shoes can be dangerous.
  • Work boots or no-skid, thick-sole shoes are preferred. No sandals or open-toe shoes.
  • Long pants and long sleeves are recommended as some construction materials can irritate your skin. Layering is good for added warmth in colder months.
  • Bring a pair of work gloves, if possible, and always wear sunscreen.
  • Eye and ear protection are available and should be worn on the site as needed.

Tools and Materials

  • Atlanta Habitat provides all tools needed for the build. Volunteers are welcome to bring tools, but Atlanta Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools. If you do choose to bring your own, please take time to clearly mark them with your name and phone number.
  • Always use the right tool for the job and ask for instructions before using a tool for the first time.
  • Tools should not be loose, dull or poorly adjusted. Please notify the houseleader if unsafe or damaged tools are in use.
  • Check for defective cords, plugs and switches; do not use anything that is unsafe.
  • Never remove or disable tool guards. Ask houseleader for help if a tool jams.
  • Support materials properly before cutting or drilling. If necessary, use both hands to operate a tool safely.
  • Never place tools where they can fall on someone or cause an accident, e.g. top rung of a ladder, rooftop, railings.

Ladders and Scaffolding

  • Many tasks preformed on site require a ladder and, in some cases, scaffolding.
  • Inspect all ladders before use.
  • Set ladder on solid ground. To level, dig a hole on the high side rather than building up the lower side.
  • Use the correct size ladder; never overextend yourself.
  • Do not stretch to the side, instead move the ladder (even if that means re-setting it.)
  • Never stand on top rungs of a ladder.
  • Keep ladder clear of any power lines.
  • Always face ladder and keep hands free while climbing.
  • Consult houseleader for proper scaffolding erection and bracing.
  • Inspect scaffolding before use; do not use damaged planks.
  • Scaffolding must be level before use.

A Clean Work Site

  • A clean site is a safer work place. As things can quickly pile up, it is best to clean up and put tools away continuously throughout the day.
  • Do not leave tools or materials where others can trip over them.
  • Organize debris. Please ask the houseleader for direction on what trash may be recycled.
  • Always backdrive or bend nails in boards.

Parking and Automobiles

Atlanta Habitat strongly encourages volunteers to carpool. Many sites have very limited parking. Also, remove anything of value from your car. Weather Conditions Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. In extreme conditions, such as ice and/or snow, you may call your houseleader before driving to the work site.


Weather Conditions

Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. In extreme conditions, such as ice and/or snow, you may call your houseleader before driving to the work site.