Staying Safe On Busy Building Sites – It’s All Pure Common Sense

With all the heavy plant machinery flying around the building sites of the UK, it’s little wonder most consider such working environments to be inherently hazardous. Is there an abundance of equipment that could cause injury on a building site? Of course there is, but just because it could doesn’t necessarily mean it has to.

Accidents and injuries on building sites happen each year and probably always will…that’s a fact very few would deny. But at the same time, there’s also no denying that the overwhelming majority of accidents had nothing to do with the equipment on the site or the machinery in use – about 99.9% come down to pure human error. After all, it’s not like even the best telescopic handler in the business can drive and operate itself!

This is precisely why it’s vital to occasionally go back to the subject of common sense in the context of building sites in order to drive the message home that accidents really do not have to happen at all. And in terms of the common sense tips that hold the most potential of all for bolstering safety, the following come highly recommended from industry veterans:

1 – Pedestrian Areas Must Be Obvious

For example, the prospect of getting bashed or run over by a telescopic handler will of course immediately drop to zero if the machine is kept well and truly away from pedestrians at all times. The majority of building sites will of course have separate areas for machinery and pedestrians – the problem being that the lines between the two are often blurred or ignored. It’s a simple rule to follow – stay away from any machinery that’s in use and it’s impossible for it to harm you!

2 – Eyes To the Ground

Every piece of plant machinery has its own limits in terms of the terrain it can and cannot operate on. Some are fine on sand, others are at home on inclines and then there are those that need a rock-solid foundation below them. To ignore the terrain beneath the vehicle prior to using it is to potentially compromise its safety as a whole. And by the time you realise this is a big deal, it may have already dropped something very heavy on a person’s very fragile head.

3 – Inspections Are Mandatory

There isn’t a telescopic handler in the world that will last forever without needing the odd repair and a pretty on-going regime of servicing. There are two ways of spotting problems with machinery – you wait for them to cause a serious accident or you get into the habit of looking for them yourself. To get into a strict regime of inspecting machinery on a regular basis is to rule out pretty much any and every accident that could occur due to a major fault. And by having a telescopic handler regularly serviced, you have the potential to extend its life dozens of times over.

4 – Workers Should Be Certified and Trained

It’s a subject of heavy debate as to whether it’s important to train those that will be driving and operation machines like telescopic handlers, but in the interests of overall site safety the answer is pretty obvious. Training is really the only way of making sure that all drivers and operators build the best possible habits from day one and don’t end up inadvertently working in a manner they believe to be safe but is in reality anything but. What’s more, it’s suspected that this kind of training and certification will eventually be mandatory anyway, so it’s a good way of gaining a head start.

5 – Generate Discussion

The industry standard of having a single annual session going over safety guidelines is fundamentally flawed. The reason being that on-site safety should be discussed pretty much on a daily basis and kept in mind at all times by ever single worker. This is really the only way of making sure all site workers understand that safety is so much more than just a formality.

6 – Heed Warnings and Instructions

Last but not least, whether you buy a handler from UK Forks or pick up a second-hand machine from a private seller, it will always come with a pretty long list of warnings and operational instructions. These need to be followed to the letter as should it say for example that it’s capable of working on a 30-degree incline with a load of 7,500kg, this means that to exceed either of these even by the tiniest bit would mean to compromise the safety of everyone in the vicinity at the time. Again, it’s pure common sense and not difficult to do.