No matter how small the property development project, the potential for construction casualties increases with the arrival of darker evenings and worsening weather conditions.
This year, the end of daylight saving takes place when clocks go back an hour at 2am on Sunday 29th October.
Few statistics record accidents on construction sites after the autumn time change, but road casualties recorded by RoSPA and telematics companies are a guide to the potential risks that construction workers face in dim light and inclement weather.
Every autumn when the clocks go back and it gets darker earlier in the day, road casualties rise, by as much as 30% between the hours of 5pm and 8pm, and overall 10% in the month after the daylight saving change.
In addition, more thefts occur during the darker late afternoons and early evening times following the clock changes.
VPS Site Security are highlighting their Stay Alert, Don’t Get Hurt Daylight Safety Campaign with these 5 simple steps that can help construction sites reduce the hazards of working with little daylight:
1) Prepare – issue a safety alert on Monday October 23rd and remind people on Friday 27th.
Warn workers of the risks of the clocks going back – changes to their sleep patterns can affect their alertness. People may think they are gaining an extra hour’s sleep, but often they over-compensate by staying up later than they usually do, increasing the changes to their sleep rhythm. Construction workers need to be aware that dusk comes an hour earlier, when more accidents occur and they may be less alert, so they need to take extra care, particularly in the first week after the change.
2) Check lighting on the site
Check to see if there is sufficient lighting on-site that lights the work areas for people to work safely. Bring in extra lighting if necessary, or introduce extra floodlights as part of the Safety Alert, a way to draw attention to the added risks of the end of daylight saving.
If you are using timers for the lighting, or arranging them to be turned on manually, ensure the timers are brought in-line with the daylight-saving changes. Turning them on before dusk again raises the alert and awareness.
3) Stay ahead with improved safety and security: If you haven’t already, consider installing CCTV or video-verified camera systems, which not only protect a site from intruders and unauthorised trespassers, but also provides a safety audit for the site, and helps encourage preventative interventions before an incident occurs.
4) To reduce opportunist crime, check your perimeter – inspect all fencing and access points thoroughly, and check them regularly. Rectify any detected weaknesses or tampered areas immediately. Sometimes you are too close to your own site to see the wood for the trees – an independent assessor can offer a free assessment and review of your safety and security.
5) Use the Stay Alert, Don’t get Hurt Safety Campaign poster – available to download for free on the VPS Site Security website. Copy it and display at every site.
About VPS Site Security
VPS UK originally built its market leading position as a specialist in providing protection for vacant commercial and residential properties. It has seen its remit develop into added-value security, grounds maintenance and safety options for some occupied premises too, and for the construction sector, with its innovative, award-winning JCB Smart Tower technologies.