Be Safe This Summer!

By Sue Warwick National Sales and Marketing Director of Miller Homes.

Regardless of the weather the summer holidays are in full swing.

Children may be enjoying the break from school lessons but exasperated parents can quickly run out of ways to occupy their little darlings which can lead to mischief. Children at home have more time on their hands and one potential danger is venturing unsupervised on to building sites.

We know from experience that no matter how many fences guards or other security provisions housebuilders employ to prevent trespassers children will still try to get onto building sites. Each year we spend time in schools talking to local school children teachers and parents about the dangers of treating building sites as playgrounds. Miller Homes health & safety team recently worked with Crucial Crew and the Housebuilders Federation (HBF) to help develop an interactive game on the subject click here to view.

We also invite neighbouring schools to come and visit us on site and see us in action in a safe and supervised environment. And we work with parents and teachers who play a huge part in keeping children safe by letting them know that building sites aren’t suitable play areas and warning them of the dangers.

There are some basic warnings for adults and children alike that will help protect them from the potentially deadly allure of playing on building sites:

• Scaffolding and ladders may appear to be the best adventure playground in the world but falling from even the first storey of a scaffold is enough to seriously injure a child for life.

• Excavations or holes on a site are dangerous for two reasons. Firstly they can be tens of feet deep with no obvious route of escape – and secondly they can also part-fill with water making them even more hazardous.

• Although plant and machinery on site will always be switched off and parked when not in use there is a possibility that if manipulated they could move which given the size and weight of these machines can be extremely dangerous.

• Building materials such as bricks breeze blocks and roof trusses are an expected feature on building sites and although these will be stored safely and correctly for building use if climbed on and pulled about there is a real risk that they could collapse onto the individuals climbing on them and cause injury.

• The simplest way to pick up an injury is to trip or fall and building sites can be fraught with obstacles for excitable trespassing children.

It only takes five minutes to pass these warnings on which can help make for a happy and safe summer.