02-04-2014

As well as looking out for the welfare of their workers, small construction businesses have a responsibility to protect members of the public when they are working on a job.

They are required by law to ensure any work is done in a manner that ensures citizens are not put at risk. The client or project co-ordinator has to assess boundaries and access, as well as how any land surrounding the construction site it used. These aspects can then be used to establish measures to ensure unauthorised individuals cannot gain access to the site.

Contractors that use tool hire will need to ensure the equipment is stored and utilised correctly as materials and tools falling outside of the boundaries of the site can be one of the main causes of injuries to the public. They can also fall into trenches, while some individuals are hurt after being hit by moving vehicles.

Children in particular can be at risk on building sites as many will view the areas as exciting places to explore. Although there has been a decline in the number of young people killed or injured on construction sites, the HSE notes there is no room for complacency and this is why safety is paramount.

To prevent people from accessing a construction site without authorisation, there are certain things small construction companies should consider. The first is how densely the surrounding area is populated, as well as the nature of the project and whether it is likely to attract interest from members of the public.

By erecting a two-metre-high fence around the site, small businesses can help to tackle some of these issues. They must also ensure authorised personal are aware of the rules and who has permission to enter the premises.

The elderly and disabled people can also be at risk and if a project is being carried out at a site such as a hospital, their welfare needs to be taken into consideration when planning the work. Construction areas must be adequately secured at the end of the day, while any excavations and pits need to be protected with barriers.

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