Construction sites are dangerous places to be, not just for those working on them, but also for visitors. As well as employee-related accidents, when you run a construction site, you need to be mindful of those who could be potentially injured as a visitor.
The risk of being injured as a visitor
Those visiting your site could, for instance, be injured as a visitor by:
- Falling objects
- Being hit by site or delivery vehicles
- Being hit by objects during the erection, dismantling or use of scaffolding
- Falling into excavations or manholes, down stairwells or off open floor edges
Other hazards likely to cause individuals to be injured as a visitor to a building site include slips, trips and falls, as well as:
- Toxic or otherwise harmful substances
- Energy sources, including gas, electricity, and oil-powered generators
- Equipment, machinery or plant
- Vibration, noise and dust
According to law construction site owners and operators must ensure they take every reasonable step to prevent construction site accidents. This includes protecting not only workers, but also visitors and other members of the public.
Prevention of building site incidents
Preventing anyone being injured as a visitor, worker or member of the public includes, for instance:
- Ensuring falling objects cannot land outside site boundaries by installing brick guards, netting and toe-boards
- Providing covered walkways and hard hats
- Ensuring pavements and other walkways are not obstructed to prevent injury by having to step out into the path of vehicles
- Clearly marking or fencing off excavations and manholes
- Restricting access to hazardous substances, energy sources, and machinery
Where dust or noise present a risk of personal injuries, dust masks or ear protectors must also be provided. Injuries by tripping, slipping or falling should be prevented by ensuring pedestrian areas and pathways are kept clear of trip, slip or fall hazards like clutter, grease, oil or water.
If keeping pathways dry is not an option due to weather conditions, wet areas should be marked to alert visitors to the risk of being injured by slipping.
Construction site mishaps
If you were injured as a visitor on a building site, you could be entitled to make a public liability claim if your accidental injury was caused by the site’s owner or any person other than yourself and occurred no more than three years ago.
Making a claim
You can get a claim for compensation started by speaking to Accident Advice Helpline advisors on our 24/7 freephone helpline. The numbers for mobiles or landlines are, respectively, 0333 500 0993 and 0800 689 0500. Calls are confidential and obligation-free. You can also get started by using our compensation calculator online.