• Peter Kirby

Preparing for the summer shutdowns on work sites

With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting above average rainfall for eastern Australia, the time is approaching for work sites to properly plan their summer shutdowns.

That means organising a few common-sense safety measures to limit risks to public safety over the break and prepare for summer storms and cyclones and the flooding they can bring.

If undertaking construction works, consider holes in the ground, such as trenches and swimming pools currently under construction may need special attention and all loose material should be secured so it cannot blow away in a storm.

Brace or secure fencing and partially constructed building elements, so they can’t be blown over. Also, secure or remove roofing sheets and other loose materials that have the potential to turn into missiles in strong winds. Backfilling excavations or covering them will minimise water hazards.

Be vigilant about securing your site as people may try to enter while it’s unattended – particularly kids if the site is close to playgrounds, sports ovals or other public areas. Children find building structures at the frame stage a very exciting prospect because they can climb on it. And while it is exciting seeing a new building or house being built and watching a vacant block being transformed into someone’s dream, the dangers to unauthorised people accessing the site are very serious. Make sure your site is securely fenced and gates are locked before you leave.

Good housekeeping isn’t just for Christmas though - before you start any construction, you should consider how you will store building materials and tools onsite. You need to designate storage areas that do not encroach on work areas, internal pathways, or public footpaths, and have a system to ensure storage remains adequate as construction progresses. You will also need to develop a system to manage waste so that skip bins are emptied before they’re overfilled.

If your business requires assistance in identifying the risks to summer shutdowns, feel free to reach out to the team at Better Safe Solutions

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