Children can be curious about heavy machinery, dirt piles, trenches and buildings under construction near their neighborhoods. It’s not uncommon for workers to show up at a job site after a weekend and find bicycle tire tracks cresting mounds of dirt, equipment controls readjusted and small foot prints trekking around the job site.
Job sites can be a dangerous environment for workers. But when children who do not understand construction job site hazards are added to the equation, there exists the potential for disaster. Job sites can be kept relatively secure with high fencing, posted no-trespassing and warning signs, by locking, protecting and storing equipment and tools at night, and wrapping hazardous areas, such as open pits or trenches, with orange guard fencing. Although none of these efforts can prevent a determined youth from entering and exploring a job site, it may cause some more responsible children from joining their friends and exposing themselves to danger.
From a child’s perspective, a job site can be a large playground. They will not recognize the area’s hazards. Even locked equipment can present a hazard because they may climb on it and fall or jump off, injuring themselves. They may see excavated areas and unfinished buildings as potential forts or play areas. Scaffoldings are visualized as gym sets for climbing and hanging.
In some states, if a contractor fails to take the proper safety precautions, the contractor will be liable for any injury resulting from the failure. In other states, liability is not automatic, but the failure can be used by an injured person as evidence that the contractor should be liable for the injuries in a lawsuit.
To discourage children from entering your job site, do not allow them to enter or visit the job site during working hours. Erect a fence around the job site that is posted with no trespassing signs. Mark excavations with signs and/or guard fencing. Cluster locked equipment in one area at night. Ask the local police department to periodically patrol the area around the job site to check for intruders. Erect wireless security cameras at strategic locations around the site to monitor activity. If necessary, have a guard patrol the job site after working hours.
Most children will respect builders’ wishes and stay out of job sites. But some will not, and these are the individuals who can get hurt or vandalize equipment.
Neff Rental promotes safety first at all its locations. For more information about Neff Rental, visit www.NeffRental.com, or call 888-709-NEFF.
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