The festive season is finally here, and many sites are closing to celebrate Christmas through to the new year. But before you leave to enjoy the festivities and a well-earned break, there are a few things you need to get into order. 
Even when your site is inactive, you still hold a duty of care, in order to keep the general public safe. 
This checklist will help you minimise any risks posed during the break by ensuring your site is as secure as possible, during your time away: 
Check your fencing 
You need to define your site boundaries, with the use of suitable fencing; this should reflect the nature of the site and the surrounding areas. Take a quick walk round your site to ensure that fencing is secure and undamaged. Children (and thieves) will often enter construction sites during quiet periods, and the best way to keep them safe from injury is to keep them out. 
Check your signage 
Warning signs are unlikely to deter someone determined to enter your site illegally, but they will help protect you and your company in the event that someone does injure themselves whilst trespassing. You should already have these signs in place – just make sure you check this before leaving and locking up before Christmas. 
Secure your plant and equipment 
Leaving tools and plant on a site overnight can seem risky enough but leaving them for days can be dangerous. Make sure you remove all keys from plant and tools are all secured, you and your workers will know how to use these safely, but an inquisitive trespasser will not. 
Keep temporary works secure 
Working at height is dangerous even with the right controls in place, so knowing how dangerous working on temporary work structures can be you should be ready to do what you can to remove the risk of unauthorised access to them. Make sure ladders are removed or boarded up, any unneeded structures to be dismantled and put into storage; for example, a mobile tower, and anything else you think may pose like a climbing frame to some if possible. 
If possible backfill all excavations, if this is not possible ensure there is secure fencing to prevent access 
All manholes MUST have proper covers and frames to stop access into confined spaces 
Material and Hazardous Substance Storage 
Ensure all hazardous substances are secured in suitable containers, this includes cement 
Ensure all ‘stacked’ materials are on suitable pallets and have been secured 
Make sure large pipes and manhole rings are secured with chock blocks or are laid flat so they cannot roll. 
We would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and we hope you stay safe during this festive season. 
If you would like to read more on Construction Safety check out our page: 
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