Construction sites can be dangerous places to work, with fatal incidents occurring every single month here in the UK.
In this series, we’re going to be focusing upon some of the main construction site hazards and detailing ways employers can ensure that their team remain safe at work.
With a plethora of equipment and vehicles needed on construction sites, moving vehicles are a common occurrence and a very prominent workplace hazard.
From forklifts moving materials and cranes lifting heavy concrete blocks to heavy plant transporting debris away from the site, the volume of traffic experienced on a construction site can be significant. This poses a real hazard, especially when you consider that much of this heavy plant and other vehicles are travelling along uneven ground and can be difficult to manoeuvre.
Sadly, fatalities can arise as a result of moving vehicles and in 2015 – 2016, over 11% of construction site deaths were caused by moving vehicles and heavy plant.
In order to ensure construction site safety, there are ways to minimise the risk of moving vehicles:
On any construction site, there are guaranteed to be areas where employees will be working and they should be cordoned off with barriers to stop any vehicles or heavy plant entering these spaces.
Protective plastic or metal barriers with reflective strips can be used to ‘gate off’ these areas and protect staff from the hazard of moving vehicles.
Another use for barriers is to create pedestrianised areas where workers can walk to and from other areas of the site without fear of encountering a moving vehicle.
Designated ‘crossing’ areas overseen by a trained foreman or site supervisor should also be used to protect staff in places where the paths of moving vehicles and employees could potentially meet.
Many accidents with moving vehicles occur because the operator has failed to see the worker on site. This is why Hi-Vis PPE such as vests, trousers, shirts and jackets are so essential to keeping staff visible on site at all times.
Hi-Vis PPE can suffer during the winter months and attract a build-up of dirt, mud and dust making the colour and reflective strips less visible to plant and vehicle operators. It’s essential that this type of PPE is regularly changed to keep construction site workers safe..