Keep visitors to your residential building site safe

3 minute read

Visitors – such as purchasers and their children, suppliers and even trespassers, can get hurt on building sites and it is the Home Builder’s responsibility to keep them safe. Of particular importance is the safety of the home purchaser who visits the site. Most purchasers will want to visit the home while it is under construction, but strict rules regarding their safety must be enforced.

Accessing the home under construction is dangerous for many reasons, such as: unfamiliar busy construction sites, not having proper safety wear, unprotected openings, unstable stairs, etc.

The contractor can achieve residential building site safety in two ways – through control and communication.

Control:

  • Create procedures/guidelines for who, when, and how a person may access a job site
  • Children should not be allowed on the job site.
  • Only allow visits by appointment.
  • Require visitors to wear safety equipment, such as hard hats.
  • Control the job site through alarms, motion sensors, fencing or enclosing the building.
  • Correct or protect areas where visitors could be hurt.
  • Holes in the floor/ground should be covered or fenced.
  • Balconies, second or higher floor exits or roofs should be marked, fenced, and/or enclosed.

Related articles:

Communicate:

  • Let the purchaser, subcontractors, and suppliers know what visitors may enter the job site, when and how.
  • Understand the purchaser’s needs, desires, and vision for the building. Provide the purchaser with regular updates and/or progress reports.
  • Tell the purchaser what you expect of him/her and how the building process will work.
  • Understand and agree on how many times the purchaser will have access to their new home.
  • Set up appointments with the purchaser to view their building.
  • Inform visitors that this is an authorized access site only and that they must check in with the contractor.
  • Communicate to the general public regarding restricted access.

More tips:

  • Develop a brochure that will inform your customers about your job site policy.
  • You could include information such as: supervised access to the job site, children on the job site, workplace safety and health act requirements, company safety policy, etc.
  • Check your Workplace Safety and Health Act for age restrictions on job sites.
  • Provinces have different guidelines for age restrictions, requirements for contractors, etc.
  • Include a clause in your Sale Agreement that will restrict your liability if a purchaser is injured on the job site.
  • Agree to and sign a Site Visit Policy for you and the Purchaser. This gives you the opportunity to discuss visiting the building site during the sale process.

It’s extremely important to ensure your building site is safe. It’s equally important that you have a good working relationship with the purchasers. Their safety and satisfaction are vital to your success.