Building Site Safety and Security

SITE SECURITY: AN INTRODUCTION




Security is a major issue when it comes to building sites. It doesn’t matter how big or small the site is, everyone runs the risk. Theft is the biggest issue to contend with. It’s usually not the big-ticket items which get stolen either. It’s usually the smaller ticket items that get taken first. Things like tools and other accessories are the first things to go.

I’m not saying that big-ticket items won’t get stolen. Please don’t misunderstand this. All I am saying, big ticket items are more-or-less the second choice for things to take.

Who does this? Most of the time it’s people that end up passing by. They see something of interest. When they think no one is looking, they take the stuff. It’s not that uncommon on any building site.

What is also not that uncommon is the need to step up security. Fortunately, most sites don’t begin using the larger items till much later. Things like concrete and large blocks are the first to be used. Luckily, they are not as easily taken. Why? They are harder to lift. The blocks also create a disturbance when lifted. You can’t exactly steal a cinder block without someone hearing or seeing you, unless they are not in the area. Most of the time, the person will just pick up a small tool which is lying around and walk on by.

What can be done to step up security in the early stages?

–Only keep the valuable items on the site for a short period of time. Don’t bring them out until they will actually be used. Once they are used, remove them from the building site.

–Never leave power tools lying around, especially if they are yours. Take them home with you. I know this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised. Workers are tired at the end of the day. The last thing they want to do is remember something little. It needs to be done though.

–Get the windows and other vulnerable areas secured as soon as possible. This will help reduce the likelihood of someone trying to get inside. Unfinished buildings on a site are very vulnerable to the open eye. Anyone can get in.

–You may want to consider fencing off the area. This might be too expensive for some of you. The more expensive the site is, the more you should consider this option. This will keep people out. If you need the fencing for a relatively long time, say four or five months, your best bet is buy it yourself (rather than hire) and then resell when you’re done.

These tips will also help you come in under or on budget. When you have theft, you have to reinvest the time and money into replacement tools. This adds up. By following just one of these tips, you can cut down on your budget by at least 30%.

MAINTAINING SITE SAFETY




It’s very important that you maintain the safety of your site and workers at all times. Lots of things can happen. Below are some things to consider when investing in the safety of your site.

EXCAVATIONS
The trenches are usually pretty safe. The deeper the dig is, the more prone you and your workers will be to an injury. You must guard against things like people falling in, the area collapsing and tools getting lost. If you don’t really have knowledge in this area, find someone who does. Even if it means hiring extra personnel, the safety of you and your workers depend on it.

POWER TOOLS
Invest in the 110 volt tools, not the other ones. Make sure your team has knowledge and experience using every kind of power tool on the market. Have them trained better if need be.

ELECTRIC CABLES
Go cordless. Do yourself a favour and lose the long extension cords. They are a menace on the building sites. People can trip and fall over them. They can get run over by other vehicles. They can also get caught up in some electrical issue and be set on fire. Avoid all of this at all costs.

THE RIGHT SHOES
When working on a building site, you need the right kind of shoes. Your best bet is the steel-toe capped ones. Toes and feet are more likely to get broken here, when compared to other places. You are dressing for work and safety, not a fashion shoe.

WEAR YOUR HAT
Head injuries are some of the most common on building sites. Wear a pre-approved, durable hat at all times. Even if you are just going in to pick something up at the end of the day, wear one. You never know what will/can happen.

THE NAILS
This is a big one. It’s common sense, really. You’d be surprised how often people overlook this. If you see any loose nails just hanging around, remove them. Throw them out. It will save on other problems.

LIFTING
Remember, always lift with your knees. If the object is too heavy, get some help. Don’t try to be a hero here.

FIRST AID KITS
This might sound simple, but have at least one kit on the site at all times. Minor injuries pop up everyday. Most injuries can be treated with some ointment and a bandage. No one needs to go home. Just patch up the injury and you can go back to work.

CDM REGS

Construction Design and Management (CDM). There has been a lot of changes to these regulations over the years. The last change was made in 2007. The only major change is reflected in the health and safety of the building site. All plans need to be written down by the designer and confirmed by the main contractor.

The major changes include the domestic cases. If you are having work done in your own home, you don’t need to comply with the regulations. You don’t even have to register with the CDM. If the building site is more commercial, you need to register and comply with all rules. If you are not familiar with the CDM and it’s information, educate yourself now. You can also talk to someone who is already knowledgeable. He or she can tell you everything you need to know before your start building.

SUMMARY

Each building site has it’s own purpose and it’s own means to an end. Educate yourself and your team. Look into everything you will need to move forward. Take care of the safety precautions now, before you even start. We all have a job to do. As long as you comply with everything and make the site safe, the rest will take care of itself.






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