If you’re planning a construction project, find out about safety signs and regulations here.
We all know that organising a construction project, whether at home or on a public or commercial site, can be tiring and stressful. And in the midst of all that budgeting, paperwork, or hiring and firing you may find yourself forgetting some of the most vital and necessary aspects of any well planned project. This may include those all important warning signs that you are legally obligated to install under the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Such installation provides useful information for both employees and passing members of the general public who may
otherwise come into contact with dangers arising from your construction site.
Remember, it is you and your project manager’s responsibilities to make sure all signs are securely fitted and properly visible across and outside of the site. The average sign should be at least 2mm thick and made of sturdy, durable foam board or thin metal. Writing should also be bold and warnings easily understandable. There are a number of signs you may need, for a variety of different reasons, including:
- Signs aimed at the general public fixed outside the construction site, warning passers-by of potential danger on the private property and to exercise caution as they pass, and to keep out of the immediate surrounding area.
- Warnings against more specific dangers related to construction, including incomplete scaffolding, asbestos removal, the presence of forklift trucks, deep excavations or the possibility of suspended loads and falling objects.
- Cautions for both the public and workers of electrical dangers, such as areas of high voltage and overhead or loose and hanging cables.
- Reminders for all employees to wear the correct uniform, including headgear, boots, hearing protection and welding masks if necessary.
- Warnings of potential site traffic for the public, including heavy vehicles or the possibility of reversing and reminders for workers to drive slowly and safely along the correct paths.
- Cautions of the possibility of naked flames or a highly flammable area.
- Admissions of the presence of CCTV, which should help work as a deterrent against break-ins and as all citizens have the legal right to know whether or not they are under surveillance.
To make sure you don’t accidentally miss any high-risk areas on your construction site it is a good idea hire a Risk Assessment Surveyor to carry out a full inspection of the area you are going to carry out your project. Be sure to tell them exactly what kind of work is going to be undertaken and for how long it should last. To make sure you get a decent survey, check the contractor is affiliated with the Contractors for Health and Safety (CHAS) qualification body. If you haven’t had the area comprehensively checked and re-checked, you may find yourself having to deal with one or more accidents and the possibility of a lawsuit that your insurance company is unlikely to pay for.
How much do safety signs cost?
The average cost of a typical safety sign is somewhere between £10 and £50, but some of the larger or more elaborate models (usually with more than one warning) can be up to £300. As long as you make certain you have all the signs you need and that they are well placed across the site, you should have a project that runs smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to complete the job within budget and on schedule.