MEL Health and Safety Consultants

HSE warn that Construction Sites are not Playgrounds

60 Children Seriously Injured on UK Construction Sites within the Last Two Years

A seasonal warning has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) urging parents in Scotland to keep their children away from construction sites. 

Warm weather and the approaching holidays will combine to see children looking for somewhere different to play; to many, a construction site will have all the appeal of an adventure playground.  The HSE has stressed however that dozens of youngsters are seriously injured on construction sites every year.

Building companies are being reminded that, even if no work is taking place, regular checks should be carried out to make sure people are not able to get onto sites and they are in a safe condition.

Jeanette Reuben, HSE Head of Operations for Construction in Scotland, said: “The recession has led to some sites shutting down in Scotland, which means there aren’t workers on duty to make sure children stay away. There should be good security fencing around construction sites, but children can often find their way onto them if they try hard enough.”

Scaffolding, excavations, fragile surfaces, electricity cables and stacked-up building materials are all potential dangers on building sites, she warned.

In the past two years, there have been nearly 60 serious injuries to children on UK construction sites, including one death. The HSE is therefore advising construction managers to stop work immediately if they see children trying to get onto a site. They should also make sure equipment and materials are locked away safely at the end of each day.