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What goes into safely and effectively managing plant and pedestrians onsite?

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Did you know that, on average, twenty people are killed by being run over, crushed or otherwise injured by plant and vehicles in Irish workplaces every year, while many others suffer serious injuries?

Pedestrians on a construction site are classified as any person who is travelling on foot. These include employees, suppliers, members of the public, or visitors to the site. In particular, visitors not directly involved with the project, or who are unfamiliar with the working activities on a construction site, can create risks for themselves and others.

Where mobile plant and vehicles are in operation, human beings are especially vulnerable. This is why proper controls must be put in place to safely protect them from harm.

Safety is all about planning, planning, planning

Space can very often be at a premium on an operational construction site, with different workers and contractors carrying out overlapping and dependent tasks, all with their own vehicles, plant, and equipment to help them in completing their work.

However, by law, pedestrians must be able to circulate safely both in indoor and outdoor places of work. Pedestrian routes must be clearly identified and be of appropriate dimensions for the number of users and the work activities. Vehicle routes must have sufficient clearance from doors, gates and routes used by pedestrians. Where vehicles and pedestrians share routes, there must be adequate safety clearance between the vehicles and the pedestrians. Where self-propelled work equipment is in use, procedures must be in place to prevent pedestrians from entering the work area. If employees must enter the work area, appropriate procedures must be in place to protect the employees from harm.

Managing pedestrian visitors to the construction site

Visitors should be furnished with the same personal protective equipment (PPE) as employees. Potentially dangerous or prohibited areas should be highlighted with signage and barriers. That being said, the number one priority with pedestrian visitors to your site is to never leave them unsupervised and able to wander the location unaccompanied. They should be escorted all the time by someone who can make sure visiting pedestrians do not have access to these areas.

All workers operating plant and vehicles must be certified

“Reversing with poor visibility whilst operating a vehicle is the number one cause of pedestrian accidents on construction sites.”

All operators of work-related vehicles or construction plant must be competent, authorised and trained to operate the equipment. Operators must be in possession of a valid Construction Skills Certification Scheme Card (CSCS) for:

  • Telescopic Handler

  • Tractor Dozer

  • Mobile Crane

  • Crawler Crane

  • Articulated Dumper

  • Site Dumper

  • 180 Excavator (Backhoe)

  • Mini Digger

  • 360 Excavator Tracked/Wheeled

The importance of the Construction Site Traffic Management Plan

The Construction Site Traffic Management Plan (CSTMP) helps the Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS) and contractors to identify hazards and apply appropriate controls so that the movement of vehicles and pedestrians on a construction site are managed and coordinated. All work-related plant and vehicles must be:

  • Of good design

  • Maintained in good working order

  • Properly used

  • Operated by trained personnel with valid CSCS card where operator visibility is restricted

As stated previously, safe and suitable pedestrian access routes must be provided, work-related vehicles and pedestrians kept apart, and pedestrian routes organised and controlled. These are all mandatory components of the CSTMP.

The CSTMP is something that must be brought to the attention of all personnel working on site during the course of the safety induction.

Technology underpins our culture of safety and quality

At Built Interiors, we’ve created an online safety induction for all staff, visitors and subcontractors to complete before they come to site. A good safety induction covers important safety topics such as confined spaces, hazards, how to report an incident, how to act and behave in the workplace, what to do when something goes wrong, understanding important safety policies and procedures, and getting an acknowledgement that everyone has understood these areas.

Built Interiors Project: David Lloyd Leisure

This project in Clonskeagh, Dublin called for the renovation and repurpose of our client’s existing leisure facility and health club. The work was carried out in a live working environment and involved the refurbishment of an area of approximately 42,000 square feet.

Working in an occupied, live area such as this presents additional challenges and it called for meticulous safety planning and management. Our site team provided the design team with full and detailed method statements that had to be adhered to for tie-in works, and where new installation had to be connected into existing live services. Meanwhile, all persons entering the site, including contractors and subcontractors, were given site-specific induction training focused on the live working nature of the building. No workers were permitted to start work until they had received this induction training.

We’ve Built a great safety record

At Built Interiors, our 20-year background in construction management means we understand all of the intricacies and logistical challenges working on sites of all shapes and sizes. We have years of expertise in the refurbishment and fit-out of buildings, both occupied and unoccupied, with experience planning, managing, monitoring, and coordinating health and safety on greenfield or brownfield sites.

If you’d like to find out more about how we manage safety in relation to pedestrians and plant on our construction projects, get in touch with us to discuss your next building project today.

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