Securing construction sites with fencing or hoarding is not just about keeping intruders out; it is also vital for ensuring the safety of the general public and passers by. Furthermore, there are a number of requirements that are enforced by regulation and law that builders and construction firms must adhere to. In this article, we find out a little bit more about the regulations, and what they can mean for those in the construction industry.
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 stipulates that all employers and the self-employed must take reasonably practical steps to ensure the health and safety of the general public. As such, this Act implies the need for hoarding or fencing around the perimeter of construction sites, even if it doesn’t explicitly state it.
Where the need for secure fencing around construction sites is made clear is in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
Regulation 13 (6)
This regulation sets out the requirement for a contractor to take “reasonable steps” to prevent unauthorised access to the site. This could mean preventing members of the public from entering the construction or building site as they pass by, or even ensuring that only authorised workers and delivery drivers are allowed on site. While a perimeter fence or site hoarding will stop anyone accessing a site, this regulation is largely here to ensure there is some sort of controlled access system in place as well as the fence, either through a secure gate, security guard or a turnstile system, for example.
Regulation 27 (2)
This particular CDM regulation deals with assessing the health and safety risks of a construction or building site and providing adequate signage or fencing. To use an example from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) itself, pavement works in the street might be surrounded by temporary barriers, while a larger construction site is more likely to require hoarding because of the higher risk of potential hazards.
Securing the site perimeter – advice from the Health and Safety Executive
In their ‘Protecting the public’ book, the HSE set out a summary of what contractors are required to do in terms of planning, provision and maintenance of site perimeters. Sufficient planning must be carried out, including identification of the hazards and assessing the risk, defining the perimeter of the site to be protected and identifying what hoarding, fencing or other type of identification or security is needed. The contractor must then provide by erecting the chosen fencing, as well as displaying sufficient warning and information signs. Finally, the site must be maintained by making sure the fences etc are regularly inspected for necessary maintenance work, and modified accordingly as the site’s use changes.
For more information about these guidelines, visit http://www.hse.gov.uk
Not only does appropriate site hoarding and perimeter fencing get you on your way to meeting the requirements of the CDM and HSE regulations, it can also provide a whole host of other benefits, including security against damage or theft by intruders. It can also help make the site look less intrusive and more aesthetically pleasing to those living in the vicinity of the site. If you’re not sure what types of hoarding or fencing might be best for your needs, take a look at our article on different types of security fencing in our Knowledge Base.