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Written by
on 23 December 2016


Your pre-Christmas Construction site safety shut down checklist

Construction site safety at christmasThe holidays are finally upon us, and many sites are closing down between Christmas and New Year. But before you head home for a well-earned break, there are a few things you need to get in order.

Even when your sites are inactive, you still retain a duty of care. This checklist will help you minimise any risks posed during the break by ensuring your site is secure as possible this December.

Check your fencing

Take a quick walk round your site perimeter to ensure that fencing is secure and undamaged. Kids (and thieves) will often enter construction sites during quiet periods, and the best way to keep them safe from injury is to keep them out.

And don’t forget to check that your locks and doors are functioning correctly.

Check your signage

Your perimeter check should also include a review of your warning signage. Are potential hazards clearly defined?

Warning signs are unlikely to deter someone determined to enter your site illegally, but they will help protect your firm in the event that someone does injure themselves whilst trespassing. You should already have these signs in place – just make sure that the details are accurate.

Secure your tools and equipment

Leaving tools on-site overnight is risky, but leaving them for several days is downright dangerous. Make sure that you remove as many tools as possible from your site before locking up.

You should also ensure that any heavy equipment being left in place is properly secured against tampering or theft. Your workers may know how to use heavy equipment safely, but inquisitive strangers will not. Try to ensure equipment is left in such a way that it cannot be moved at all.

Prepare your security staff

Some high value projects will still need to be manned over the Christmas break, usually a lone security guard acting as a deterrent to casual thieves. These employees will also need some basic health and safety training to protect themselves while on site alone.

You also need to make sure these employees are properly equipped. A security guard died of carbon monoxide poisoning during the Christmas period of 2014 after trying to heat his office with a makeshift fire for instance. And provide them with emergency backup, an out-of-hours contact number should be sufficient.

Check your workers

The age of a quick half pint at lunchtime is now (thankfully) over. You need to check each of your employees is sober and fit to work before allowing them on site. It may seem harsh to turn a tipsy worker away, and it may delay production, but your site will be much, much safer as a result.

And once the festive period ends, you should probably repeat the assessment when workers return to start 2017 the right way – accident free.

Need more help and advice? Drop us a line

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.