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Loading, Unloading and Storage of Materials


A construction site, especially a large one, is usually a hive of activity with people and machinery moving around. This inevitably increases the chances of an accident or incident occurring and so numerous health and safety steps need to be taken, such as performing risk assessments, implementing safety control measures and ensuring that employees have received sufficient health and safety training to make them fully aware of the dangers that are present on a construction or building site.

One significant safety issue comes from the delivery and subsequent loading or unloading of items to the site, whether it be delivering materials and equipment or removing waste.

To start with, deliveries or removals should be planned so that traffic in and around the construction site is minimised to as great an extent as is possible. If there is little space available or partially blocked roadways, the large trucks may have to perform manoeuvers such as reversing around corners where it is difficult to see structures or people that may be in the roadway. This greatly increases the chances of causing death or serious injury to a person.

If at all possible, loading or unloading should take place in a clearly marked designated area, away from other site operations, so that the chances of coming into contact with other people is minimised. It should also be supervised by a competent person.

Storage of Material

As well as the moving vehicles, there is also a hazard from the material during the unloading process and from its storage. In serious cases such as when large, heavy items are being moved by cranes or lifting equipment, there is the risk of fatalities or serious/permanent injury if goods are not properly secured. There is also the danger of manual handling injuries occurring to workers who are unloading or manually transporting the items to where they will be stored or moving them around the site.

There are health and safety issues to consider when storing items on site. It needs to be ensured that items which are stacked are stable and will not fall on top of somebody who happens to be walking below. Workers should also not climb or walk on top of material which is stacked as it could shift and cause them to fall.

Stored items should not block or obstruct routes of escape that will be needed in the event of an emergency situation such as a fire. Whilst this may be less of an issue if it is kept in a dedicated storage area, sometimes material is placed in other areas, particularly if it is going to be used soon.

The type of material being stored also needs to be taken into account. If it is hazardous, it may require specific precautions and control measures such as bunds for toxic substances or keeping separate from other substances to prevent a reaction.

Health and Safety Courses

At the BCF Group, we offer numerous accredited health and safety courses for construction industry workers including the CITB Site Management SMSTS and Site Supervisors SSSTS courses, and the NEBOSH Construction Certificate. We also have a range of other health and safety training courses which can be tailored to your specific requirements and cover issues which may be faced by construction site workers such as COSHH, manual handling training and sharps courses.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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