Understanding the Risks
You can’t mitigate risks until you have a firm understanding of what they are. While onsite risks to your workers may be immediately apparent, those that can affect other people can be harder to ascertain.
Common risks to the public include materials or tools falling outside the site boundary, people falling into trenches, and people being hit by moving plants or vehicles.
It’s also important to understand the unpredictable nature of children who may want to access your construction site, irrespective of your hazard warnings.
Knowing the Environment
Once you understand the common risks inherent in construction sites, you can look at your specific environment. You’ll need to consider any risks to those in adjacent buildings, how attractive your construction site, work vehicles, and tools may be for children, and the population density of the area surrounding your site.
Construction of Fencing
It goes without saying that fencing should be constructed wherever a risk may be possible. However, it’s important that the type of fencing is determined by the nature and type of construction work you’re undertaking. This will require planning the perimeter, and providing and maintaining the fencing itself.
Managing Access to Sites
With the above factors considered, you now need to turn your attention to the site itself.
Every construction site is different, but they all have a number of commonalities when it comes to implementing safe boundaries. These are the measures you will take to clearly define the boundaries and the steps you will take to exclude unauthorised people from your site.
You’ll also need to consider the difference between the project boundary and the site boundary, not to mention the use of adjacent land.
Working Within Your Boundaries
There are numerous and varied hazards on every construction site, and you’ll need to consider those specific to yours. If using scaffolding or similar access equipment, care must be taken in both the erection of these and with safe placement of the objects they’ll hold.
Toe-boards, brick guards, and netting can stop objects falling from scaffolds onto passers-by.
Covered walkways provide another solution, especially in heavily built-up areas. Where possible, store or stack materials in a secure compound or within the boundary.
When it comes to site vehicles, take care to not obstruct pedestrian walkways, as this can result in pedestrians being forced onto roads where they may be struck by passing traffic.
Barriers and covers are vital for manholes, stairwells, or open floor edges, and as many of these as possible should be contained within your boundary. Don’t forget the little things such as hazardous substances, spillages, noise, dust, vibration, and electrical equipment.
While you can’t stop the less tangible of these from escaping your construction site, the effective construction of perimeter fencing can minimise associated hazards.
Care for Vulnerable Groups
Areas such as schools and hospitals will require careful consideration when planning and constructing your boundaries. Not only do the boundaries need to be strong enough to deter children, you’ll need to keep hazards as secure as possible.
At the end of each day, ensure building materials and hazardous substances are stored where they can’t be accessed, vehicles are immobilised and isolated, and access ladders to scaffolds or excavation trenches are removed. Lock the site securely at the end of each day and be careful about who you let on-site during business hours.
For more security advice, get in touch with UK Roller Shutters today by calling 01384 221743 or contact us here.