How To Set Up Your Construction Site

4 November 2022

As exciting as the moment you get your project greenlit might be, finally having the permit in your hand doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to get started on the tools. Before you get your site up and running, it’s crucial to make sure you’ve taken all the necessary steps to set up your site safe and securely. 

Blasting through the site set-up in a hurry is a mistake you don’t want to make, as it could lead to unsafe working conditions, which in turn result in poor-quality work and reputational damage – after a couple of decades building up your company’s name, it’s simply not worth it to jeopardize it all for rushed set-up. 

So, to help you make sure you get everything ticked off before the power tools start running, we’ve compiled a quick site set-up checklist specifically designed to make sure you hit all the key considerations in one go. 

Without further ado, let’s get cracking! 

#1 – Site Clearance 

Before you get your site ready for building, there are a number of key aspects that need to be considered, including any potential archaeological importance that the site may present, the environmental impact of the project not only on the land itself but the entire ecosystems that surround it, and the cleaning and clearing processes involved in the project’s development. 

When speaking of environmental impact, there are a couple of crucial aspects to consider, which include the presence of endangered species on site, and whether your project will directly influence any nearby water courses. This isn’t a step to be skipped, so make sure you conduct thorough environmental studies before proceeding with any construction projects. 

As regards sanitation and waste removal, it’s important to have systems in place from day one, and these may involve hiring equipment such as operated road sweepers and RORO skips, conducting soil testing, and devising processes for the removal of organic, soil, and hazardous waste.  

#2 – Creating Safe Access and a Secure Perimeter 

A vital part of any safe construction site is a well-defined and secured perimeter that both enables safe access to the building site and keeps at bay any risk of potential threats against the safety of both members of the public and the workers on site. 

Establishing a secure perimeter involves setting up robust fencing to prevent unauthorised access and guarantee the internal security of plant and heavy equipment that can’t be stored away, installing CCTV, setting up secure gates and making sure that there is plenty of clearance between the site and any public throughfares to prevent any passersby from being injured by machinery, equipment, falling objects or uneven ground associated with your construction project. 

If your project involves the use of vehicles, it’s also crucial to plan safe traffic routes that are properly demarcated, create space for walkways and crossings, designate parking spaces and set up road plates to guarantee safe passage through the site. For delivery control, it’s important to have systems in place for both offloading and storage, be that on a temporary or permanent basis. 

Lastly, ensure you put up sufficient signage and notices for everything listed above to provide information to those working on site about the details of the project, the potential hazards involved, and contact details for your company. 

#3 – Establishing a Workflow in Line with Health & Safety Rules 

It goes without saying that failure to comply with the relevant health and safety regulations can have dire consequences for any business, but it might just be that these are especially exacerbated when it comes to construction projects.  

With a multitude of risks lurking behind every corner, it’s absolutely crucial to conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify any potential hazards that can already be found on site, review the key tasks and processes that your project will involve, and document how the associated risks will be managed, by adding, for example, crowd-control barriers to the list of equipment required.  

Having this information under your belt will help you devise a workflow and routine that allows the project to be completed both on time and on budget while also conforming to the health and safety rules. 

However, we live in unprecedented times, and one now needs to add COVID-19 to the long list of risks commonly considered in construction sites. So, when you’re setting up your site and conducting your risk assessments, consider how you can keep viral transmissions to a minimum on-site by providing the appropriate PPE, establishing one-way systems and keeping indoor areas continuously ventilated. 

#4 – Welfare Facilities and Essential Services 

However important having the right tools for the job may be, keeping your workforce happy, healthy and properly looked after can be just as decisive when it comes to construction projects. 

Guaranteeing access to fresh water, cabins, changing rooms, toilets and resting areas will not only help in maintaining your crew’s welfare, but it is also a key part of access control and the management of the goods coming in and going out of site. Moreover, it’s also important to consider your lighting on site, to safeguard your workers, and your waste control and separation.  

To add to that, setting up a site office where you can have a sign-in register will also allow you to better manage who’s in and out, as well as give you a place where you can keep all of the project’s documentation together. 

#5 – Getting the Right Equipment 

Before getting the job started, it’s particularly helpful to figure out what plant equipment will be required for which tasks, which tools need to be always on-site and what PPE you need to provide to each worker. 

When looking at heavy machinery, it’s essential that you plan well ahead of time and get all of your arrangements in place as soon as possible. Equipment requirements will, of course, vary from project to project, but there are certain tools that no construction site can do without. When getting these assets together, you’d do well to get some extra equipment in, as there is no such thing as being overprepared in the construction business. 

One thing to never forget, however, is providing safe and appropriate PPE to each worker. While some items, such as hard hats, hi-vis clothing and safety boots, will always be required, some others like ear-defenders and dust masks are more task-specific, so make sure you have plenty of it to go around. 

Last but never least, you need to consider where all of this equipment will be kept when the site is not running. While a lot of plant equipment and heavy machinery cannot be stored away, most power tools, hand tools, PPE and materials can be stored out of sight and only accessed when needed, so you might want to consider a variety of storage options depending on your site requirements. 

With so many distinct aspects to focus on, getting your equipment delivered to your site on time should not be yet another thing weighing on your mind, and this is precisely where PAL Hire comes in.  

Forget sourcing your own equipment and save yourself endless hours spent on the phone – with PAL Hire, you have access to the UK’s largest network of equipment hire depots, meaning that for every single item you need, we can find. 

One call to PAL Hire unlocks the ability to focus on the project, as we look after every aspect of the hire: from the booking, to checking ETAs (to triple check equipment arrives when you need it) to collection, when the hired in equipment is no longer needed or the needs to be moved to your next project.  

Start your days off hassle-free with PAL Hire, a partner by your side to simplify your life.  

No more late cancellations, breakdown of equipment or supplier issues. Call our head office for a quote on 0161 482 6200 – PAL Hire Equipment Hire Done Differently.