Is Your Construction Site Hazardous to Health?

Many construction sites operate in populated areas. This could be housing estates, hospital grounds or city centres. This means that as well as considering the health and safety of the workforce, site managers also need to protect the public.

Health and safety regulations state that construction companies must conduct business without putting the public at risk. This means visitors to the construction site and anyone else who may come into contact with the site or its perimeters.

If you are managing a construction site then you will need to consider some key health and safety issues including:

  • Boundaries – the boundaries of a construction site will need to be clearly defined with barriers, fencing and gates, etc.
  • Access – access to construction sites must be restricted to authorised personnel only.  Steps must be taken to prevent access by unauthorised people.

Hazards to the Public

Health and safety for construction projects cannot be overlooked. This is an essential step in the planning and management of any construction site that will help to avoid accidents and injury. Construction sites are potentially dangerous places as they often house a number of hazards such as scaffolding, heavy materials and plant machinery. Putting in place measures to reduce hazards and mitigate risk is the responsibility of any construction project manager or site officer.

There some specific risks that could affect the general public including:

  • Boundaries – falling materials or equipment outside of the site boundary can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Protect the public by ensuring that access to the boundary line is restricted and all scaffolding is secured. Safety nets can be installed on overhead scaffolding in high foot traffic areas to help protect against falling debris. Ensure all workers are trained in the proper handling and storage of tools, materials and equipment.
  • Slips, Trips and Falls – ensure materials, tools and waste products are stored securely out of the way. Assess the perimeter of the site and check for any potential trip hazards such as loose paving stones and broken kerbs, etc. Good housekeeping on and around the site will help to prevent slips and trips.
  • Working at Height – falling from Height – restrict access to scaffolding by removing ladders and padlocking access routes when not in use. This will help to prevent unauthorised access of high level working areas.
  • Safe Working with Workplace Transport – Vehicle Movement – take additional caution when moving vehicles and plant machinery around your construction site. All drivers must be properly trained and aware of safety procedures. Create designated turning areas onsite to prevent the need for reversing out onto public routes. Place warning signs to alert the public of potential vehicle movement.

Health and Safety for Construction

Health and safety for construction is an important part of any project plan. Reducing hazards and limiting risk is a key way to protect the general public and workforce from accident and injury.

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