Recommended Reads | By Jenny Beswick | Read time minutes
All construction jobs, big or small, need a project manager. There are simply too many things to consider and co-ordinate, not only when it comes to the practical details of the work, but also in terms of ensuring the health and safety of your workers.
To neglect having someone in charge of the centralised oversight is a serious issue on site. If a project is not planned correctly from day one and someone is not directly responsible for securing and auditing the site, problems are sure to arise. Therefore, it is crucial to have a project manager employed who can set out the priorities and assign the right tasks.
Any minor lapses in health and safety regulations can lead to the shutdown of your project as well as causing legal trouble, ecological destruction, unnecessary expenses, and even serious injuries. Regular audits are a must and a crucial part of the project management process.
One of the important things not to forget is that self-management is always needed for every stage of a project. If you plan to take responsibility for auditing your own construction site, here are a few of the most important aspects to keep in mind.
1. Notices and Signage
While it may seem unnecessary for some smaller projects, posting safety notices is a necessity on every construction site. Clearly mark and identify all hazards and dangerous materials so there can be no mistake. Failure to communicate effectively is the single most common cause of accidents on construction sites. For everything from wet paint to toxic chemicals, clear signs make all the difference.
2. Isolating Areas
Most jobs inevitably involve multiple aspects that must be completed simultaneously. So to prevent workers from interfering with one another, it is important to isolate all areas with the potential to spill over or be damaged by an inadvertent intrusion. This usually means posting caution tape, warning cones, temporary barriers, and plastic partitions.
3. Creating Walkways
Keep busy workers from damaging your site and accidentally hurting themselves by building obvious walkways wherever possible. Not only will this preserve the petunias, it might also help labourers avoid falling debris and other serious hazards.
4. Chemical Containment
The importance of chemical containment ought to be fairly obvious, but it is all too frequently neglected on construction sites. Not only do you need to have systems in place to contain any chemicals you might use, but you also need to ensure your containers are well maintained and ISO certified.
5. Having a Plan
From emergency contact numbers to a large supply of first aid equipment and clearly marked evacuation routes, having a plan saves lives. Never underestimate the importance of being prepared.
6. Safety Equipment
Be strict and insist that workers wear proper and well-maintained safety equipment at all times. Even minor lapses can be disastrous.
7. Clean-up and Containment
Improper clean-up is another all-too-common cause of workplace health and safety violations. At the end of each workday, be sure that all construction debris and building materials are properly stowed, secured, and covered. An unexpected rainstorm or high winds can cause serious environmental damage, health violations, and destruction to your site.
Be aware that these seven aspects to consider when auditing, while extremely important on all construction jobs, do not comprise a comprehensive list of everything you'll have to monitor. The fact of the matter is that each job is different, and gives rise to a unique set of hazards and health concerns. So some construction jobs will require a more stringent auditing process than others.
The most significant thing to keep in mind, however, is that you'll need to consult local law and arrange to have regular official inspections throughout the planning and building process. Auditing is the internal process for ensuring you pass inspections with flying colours. But understand that internal auditing is never an excuse to omit the mandatory building inspections required by law.
Thank you to Jenny Beswick who wrote this article. If you are looking for Careers in Construction and want to develop your project skills on site, keep a look out for new job opportunities online.