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.