Open worksites present many potential dangers for nearby pedestrians, which can lead to disruption, injury, or even legal action. To avoid these, it is imperative that certain precautions are taken.
Some of the dangers, like unstable surfaces or excessive noise, are seemingly obvious, yet there are many risks that workers often overlook. It cannot be assumed that a risk will be noticed by a pedestrian, no matter how obvious it may appear. It is not only adults that have to be considered in terms of safety, but also children and those who are distracted by other things, such as their mobile phones or music.
With such dangerous conditions, this kind of risk assessment can help to make a project run smoothly from start to finish. So here are some of the most important ways of keeping an open worksite safe:
- Clearly marking the borders of the worksite with barriers, fences, or signs
- Ensuring that all equipment and debris is contained
- Ensuring that the worksite does no force pedestrians close to the road
- Checking for hazards
Barriers, Fences, and Signs
If a worksite is not clearly marked, anyone who is no enough paying attention could quite easily walk right through it without any kind of necessary protective gear. People may also be tempted to chance it if the site would otherwise cause them to have to take a longer route around it. Thus it’s important to put up barriers such as isolation safety barriers as it minimises confusion and causes pedestrians to treat the worksite with more care.
Containment of Equipment and Debris
With many of the materials and equipment used being potentially harmful to anyone who isn’t familiar with them, leaving them unattended is simply an unnecessary risk. It’s by far safer to ensure that all unmanned equipment is turned off and in sight of a worker at all times, as well as to make sure that all loose materials are kept in check.
People can be generally impatient, especially when walking outside in winter, so if your worksite asks them to either cross a road or walk off the curb to circumvent it, a large proportion of them will put themselves in danger to save time. So, wherever possible, a worksite should try to inconvenience the public to the minimum. Enough space should be left on the pavement for at least a pram or have an alternate route clearly marked, in order to keep the chance of road accidents as low as possible.
Though a check list of hazards should be followed to ensure that safety regulations are being met, there are some hazards that are more prevalent than others on an open worksite: those that may cause injury to a pedestrian. These include tripping hazards, slippery surfaces, and electrical equipment left operating. Not only could these lead to disruption of the work project, it could also have serious legal repercussions. To protect those at risk around you is to project your business.