With a number of factors preventing people from travelling overseas, people are reverting to spending their hard earned money on home renovations.
If this sounds like you, there are several construction safety considerations to take into account before you get started to ensure the safety of people, particularly children.
In this blog we explore the importance of construction site safety when undertaking home renovations and our top tips on how to keep kids safe.
The Importance of Safety on Home Renovation Construction Sites
It’s so important to keep workers and people safe during any type of construction – renovating your home being one of them! When safety is top of mind you will not only reduce the amount of accidents that occur, but also avoid adding on extra time when having to deal with accidents.
Don’t let the idea of home renovations being a small construction site stop you from taking the necessary steps to ensure a safe area. Things like personal protective gear should be worn at all times, ensuring workers are trained in OH&S and know the construction code of practice.
Did you know the most common causes of serious injury or death are falls from heights, contact with electricity, being hit by fallen objects, asbestos exposure, manual handling, and many more?
When hiring professionals to renovate your home, they legally need to abide by the construction code of practice. If you are undertaking the renovations yourself, it’s important you have a good understanding of what health and safety requirements are – not only for you but for others near or on the site.
8 Safety Considerations to Keep Kids Safe When Renovating
Ensuring the right safety considerations have been taken into account when doing home renovations is so important, especially if you have littles one running around the house – which is sometimes simply unavoidable. Following these 8 health and safety tips will ensure your site is safe for young ones.
1. Arrange For Renovations to Take Place When Children Are Not Around
Easier said than done! Try to take advantage of school and day-care times and complete the bulk of your renovations during these periods. If that’s not possible try to see if a family member or friend can look after your children, especially whilst you are working on major construction work tasks when there is a high risk of hazards or accidents occurring.
If it’s not possible to remove your children from your home whilst renovating, then ensure that they are adequately supervised. Children need constant supervision around potentially high risk and dangerous environments, so make sure there is always an adult present and focused on children.
3. Cordon Off Construction Site Area
Make sure you section off the renovation area so that it is clearly separate from your construction free zone. You can use simple items like plastic sheeting and painters tape to do this. Perhaps use a child safety gate to close off smaller renovation areas to young children and ensure that you close over any gaps that are present.
If you have a larger construction area, you may want to consider temporary fencing to section off the zone. Some councils will even require this by law. If this is something you’re considering, contact our friendly team today to find out more.
4. Make a Child-Zone Room
If you’re renovating your entire house whilst still living in it choose a room that will be your child-zone room. Tell your children that you made this room for them to make sure they are safe and stay clear of any potential hazards. Be sure to make it fun with toys, tv, games, etc. That way your kids won’t want to leave.
5. Maintain Distance from the Path of Work
This goes for you and your children. You want to make sure you don’t get in the way of workers when they are carrying equipment and materials to and from the house. The last thing construction workers want to have to worry about is the hazard of little children running underneath them and potentially causing serious injury.
6. Secure Tools, Equipment, and Chemicals
It’s important that all tools are stored correctly and out of reach from curious hands when not in use. Also be sure to clean up loose debris and left over items like screws and nails at the end of each day to prevent unwanted injuries.
Always ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using chemicals on site and make sure that children are removed from the area. All chemicals should be secured in a locked space at least 1.5 metres high. Don’t ever try to remove dangerous materials, like lead paint and asbestos, yourself. Leave it to the professional asbestos removalists.
7. Safety Training and Education
For the older children, you can simply educate them on the possible dangers during this time and how they can avoid them by staying clear of where the construction work is taking place. Essentially, safety training for your kids! Spend time preparing them for the change and reassure them that this will only be a short inconvenience for a very exciting outcome.
8. Clean the Area Properly When You Are Finished
Renovation dust can be a pain! Just when you think you’ve removed it all, it pops up again. It’s near impossible to remove in the short term. Dust inhalation can be particularly damaging to small toddlers and babies, so you’ll want to do your best to keep it at bay. Ensure the construction site is properly ventilated and that all surfaces are cleaned on a regular basis. It may also be worth hiring a professional cleaner to give the area a thorough clean once renovations are complete.
These are just a handful of health and safety measures you can put into practice when doing construction work around the house to keep children safe from any potential hazards, and risk of injury.
Choosing the Right Contractor
Now that you have some safety tips to keep your children safe when conducting home renovations, it’s important you choose the right contractor for the job. The construction industry is large and there are a number of contractors to choose from. Here are some tips to ensure you choose the best construction company from the job.
1. Certified Contractor
When presented with a number of quotes it’s hard to get past the cheapest option. However, sometimes the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. Making sure the contractor you choose to go with is certified, meaning they are licensed, insured and are regulatory compliant.
2. Workplace Safety Practices
If you are worried, there is no harm in asking what their workplace safety practices are and if they have a record for injury or accidents on construction sites. It’s also a great time to ask if they are comfortable to work with children nearby and if they have done so before.
At the end of the day, keeping your children safe comes down to you and the safety practices you put in place. However, ensuring your construction contractor is certified and has relevant workplace safety practices in place can help as it means they understand what’s required to maintain a safe construction site.
For more tips check your state’s Kidsafe website:
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