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10 Signs of a Safe and Well Run Building Site- Your Safety during Home Renovations FAQ

Site Visit Safety Illustration

Site Visit Safety Illustration

The obvious signs of compliance may indicate a strong health and safety culture on your project, but they could equally conceal a cynical and pragmatic attitude to the rules. Builders’ providers sell “kits” for site safety which include standard safety notices, hard hats and hi-viz vests; it is easy to buy safety equipment and official- looking work clothes. It is much harder to find intelligent and conscientious staff to work safely in a pressurized and rapidly changing work environment.

Look for these signs of a safe and well run site:

  1. The site will be extremely clean. It should be swept regularly so that sharp objects on the ground are visible
  2. While the site may seem littered with tools and waste material, each area should only have signs of one trade actively working at any given time. Trades should generally not overlap.
  3. Tools and machinery should be well maintained with no obvious damage and should have sufficient power and capabilities for the task at hand. Specific power tools should be accompanied by appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as gloves, goggles or masks.
  4. The site should have a clear sense of organization: some areas will be set aside for storage of new and waste material, others for parking and ongoing tasks
  5. Staff will be methodical and workmanlike in their movements
  6. There will be a clear sense of order. When you ask “who’s in charge” everyone onsite will point to the same person!
  7. The site will not be over- crowded and those present will communicate well with their colleagues
  8. Safety equipment will be available for use as needed, or individual staff will have their own: goggles, ear protection, dust masks, hard hats and hi-viz vests.
  9. Staff should be trained and or supervised for the work they are doing. When you talk to them they will be serious, well informed and engaged with their work
  10. Any ladders should be secured top and bottom; all scaffolding should be well constructed, fitted with guard rails and tied in to existing structures.

The main contractor assumes most responsibility for site safety during construction but everyone has a responsibility to point out any obvious dangers, and report to the Health and Safety Authority if the danger is not addressed.

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