Highway Construction: Protecting the Public

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UK law dictates that all construction businesses must conduct operations without putting any members of the public at risk. While it’s easy enough to keep the public out of residential and commercial building sites the open nature of highway constructions can prove to be a little more difficult, especially when repairing or enhancing an existing road. If you manage a highway construction business we’ve put together a list of key guidelines that will help you minimise the risk of public accidents and injuries.

 Erect boundaries

Where necessary it’s advised to physically define site boundaries by erecting suitable fencing. This physical deterrent will immediately repel everyday members of the public and discourage any deliberate attempts to access the site. Before putting up a fence you’ll need to have a clear overview of the perimeter boundaries as well as an ongoing maintenance plan.

Brief any authorised visitors

 When welcoming authorised visitors onto the site it’s essential to provide them will a full safety briefing. You should also issue them with any necessary protective equipment such as a hard hat, goggles, ear muffs, gloves and steel cap boots. Most public visitors will also require full supervision at all times.

Use LED cone lights to create public awareness

 When speeding down a highway it can be difficult for drivers to spot construction work, especially in the dark winter months. Ploughing into a construction site at high speed can cause serious injuries and even death. Make sure drivers spot the hazard as early as possible by lining the site with LED safety cone lights.

Eliminate the risk of falling objects

 Airborne objects are one of the major causes of public injuries and fatalities. When managing a site it’s critical that you make sure objects cannot fall outside of the pre-defined site boundary. This can be done by using netting, covered walkways, fans, brick guards and toe-boards.

Don’t push perimeter boundaries

 While it can be tempting to utilise free space outside of your site boundary this poses as a serious safety risk. Always store materials inside the site and never let operations creep outside the perimeter boundary.

Always secure the site

 When work winds up for the day it’s important that the site is fully secured. This will stop unauthorised access and help protect vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and people with certain disabilities. Be sure to safely store building materials, immobilise vehicles, cordon off excavation sites andlock away hazardous substances.

By acknowledging these six simple safety tips you can instantly boost the public safety credentials of your highway construction business.

Staying Safe with a Small Workforce

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With less eyes and ears around to spot potential hazards, safety standards can slip on sites with a small scale workforce. According to the HSE the vast majority of fatal construction site injuries now take place on small scale projects such as home and workplace refurbishments. A huge 60% of these deaths are due to falls from ladders, roofs, scaffolds, platforms and skylights. Other common causes include excavation collapses, lifting operation accidents and electrocution.If you manage a site with just a handful of crew members read on for some expert tips on how to stay safe with a small workforce.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew:

While it can be tempting to take on larger scale projects you should never accept work which you are not qualified to complete. Before taking on any jobs you should make sure that you possess complete health and safety competency and all the legal certifications, as well as enough members of fully qualified staff.

Prevent unauthorised site access:

 Small sites rarely enjoy the rigorous access prevention resources that larger projects erect. Yet this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the requirement altogether. ‘Warning’ and ‘No entry’ signs are a passive way to ward off any unwanted traffic while fences should be used to cordon off any high risk areas.

Provide full site inductions for new workers:

 Small workforces must master the art of seamless teamwork in order to keep sites safe and accident free. When welcoming new workers it’s important to provide a full site induction to ensure that they have a thorough understanding of any risks or hazards. They should also be fully briefed on site rules and emergency procedures.

Collaborate with clients:

 Unlike large scale projects smaller contractors enjoy the ability to build close co-operation and co-ordination with their clients. It may seem like a small perk but up keeping effective communication with everyone involved in a project can significantly reduce the risk of on-site accidents and injuries.

Invest in WHI Safeguard LED safety lights:

 With fewer on-site team members there is a greater risk of dangers and hazards going unnoticed. As such it’s essential to ensure that small scale sites are adequately lit at all times. Without site-wide illumination you drastically increase the risk of slips, trips, falls and other accidents which could prove to be fatal. This is particularly important in the winter months when work begins and ends in darkness.

By following these five simple safety tips you can instantly boost the health and safety credentials of your small scale workforce.

Top 5 Construction Safety Tips

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As a contractor it’s your responsibility to comply with legislative duty of care contracts to employees and members of the public. Health and safety is of paramount importance and without adequate care your business could get stung by the national independent watchdog. This organisation is in place to minimise the number of on-site accidents and ensure that all contractors recognise the rules.

While their efforts have significantly reduced accident and injury rates over the past 20 years, construction is still considered a high risk sector. Despite the fact that construction workers account for just 5% of the total British workforce they make up 31% of fatalities and 10% of minor injuries. To help you safeguard your business, employees and members of the public we’ve put together a list of the top five construction safety tips that every site should adopt.

Ensure superior visibility at all times:

When enforcing a safe construction site it’s essential to ensure that superior visibility is maintained at all times. Whether the project is small scale or multilevel it’s critical that your workers are able to see what they are doing. LED safety lights are a great option, with low energy consumption and a lifespan of up to 4000 hours. This means that your business can save cash and save lives.

Protect the ears, eyes and head:

The ears and eyes are particularly delicate parts of the body and it’s important to protect them with ear muffs and goggles at all times, especially when coming into contact with intense noises and vibrations. All employees should also be issued with a hard hat to protect the head from any falling debris. When it comes to plummeting bricks, stones and other hard objects a hard hat could mean the difference between life and death.

Ensure all workers are adequately trained:

Thorough training is one of the keys to minimising the risk of accidents and injuries on construction sites. Never let a worker operate a crane, forklift or any other form of heavy machinery without full training and an up to date certification. Even simpler jobs should only be carried out by workers that have a thorough understanding of how to complete the task safely.

Issue employees with safety vests:

One of the simplest ways to reduce the risk of on-site accidents and injuries is to ensure that every employee is clearly visible at all time. Construction sites are often full of debris which can make it difficult to spot lone workers. Issuing all employees with a high visibility safety vestis a cheap yet effective way of ensuring no one goes unnoticed.

Maintain a clutter free work site:

One of the most common causes of construction accidents is stray building materials lying around the site. Whether it’s a small tool, a mislaid plank or an out-of-place wheelbarrow clutter can spell disaster for a construction site.

By following these five simple safety tips you can significantly reduce the risk of on-site accidents and injuries.