Whenever anyone discusses construction site safety, the welfare of scaffolders and construction workers is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Despite this, public safety around construction sites is just as important and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are some top tips that can help you keep your site safe for members of the public:
1) Follow the law
The law states that project clients must provide contractors with information about boundaries, access, adjacent land usage and measures to exclude unauthorised persons. This information should help the contractor when they start setting up the site.
Furthermore, it is handy to know that all construction sites require:
- Measures to manage access across defined boundaries, so that all possible entrance paths are accounted for.
- Steps to exclude unauthorised people.
2) Effectively manage site access
In any construction site, boundaries need to be defined physically – this is typically achieved through the use of fencing, hoarding or barriers. The type of fencing should reflect the nature of the construction site as well as its surroundings. Before deciding what type you’re going to use, you need to consider the shape and size of the perimeter.
You also need to ask yourself some questions before choosing your fencing, such as:
- How heavily populated is the surrounding area?
- Will the site attract children?
- Who will need to visit the construction site?
- What is the nature of the construction work?
When it comes to authorisation, the principal contractor must take steps to prevent unauthorised access onto the site:
- Certain people may have authorised access to the whole site, whilst others might be restricted to particular areas.
- Relevant site rules must be explained to authorised persons.
- Some authorised visitors might need to be supervised while they are on site or when they are visiting specific area
3) Be aware of potential hazards
It’s essential that you identify and remove hazards on your site that could impact or cause injury to members of the public. Here are some examples:
- Scaffolding: When erecting, dismantling or working on scaffolding structures, you must ensure that people – including workers and members of the public – aren’t struck by the equipment.
- Openings: If you have any kind of excavation, stairwell or manhole on your site, covers or barriers will need to be put in place to avoid people from falling.
- Falling objects: To avoid tools, building materials and other objects from falling onto members of the public, it is important that you have brick guards, debris netting and toe boards in place.
Other hazards include (but are not limited to) on-site & delivery vehicles, stored & stacked materials, machinery, dust, noise, electricity and hazardous substances.
George Roberts Ltd can help with your safety requirements
At George Roberts, we strive to offer scaffolding solutions with quality and safety at the heart of everything we do.