Whether it is because of the potential of economic uncertainty or the result of a long period of saving, you can’t seem to turn a street corner without bumping into some kind of renovation work at the moment.
Undertaking home renovations offers homeowners the opportunity to increase the value of their property and make better use of the space they currently have. This can be an incredibly exciting time, but it can also lead to a lot of stress and chaos if not executed properly.
One area that often gets missed, or not covered in enough detail, in the grand scheme of home renovations is site safety. Often regarded as ‘only important’ for major projects run by corporate builders. However, whether you are a major corporation or a small home renovator, you are still responsible for the safety of those on your site.
In this guide, we cover some of the most crucial site safety considerations when it comes to home renovation projects, including a look at Chapter 8 compliance.
It is important to remember that often your home insurance will not cover you for home renovation work and may even be entirely void during times of home renovation. Therefore it is important to check through your insurance documents and work out exactly what you are covered for. If your insurance does not cover your project in its entirety you may wish to purchase an additional policy during this time.
Public liability is another important insurance that needs considering during any major home renovation works. Many contractors will likely come with their own public liability cover. However, it is important to check this to make sure that every element of your build is covered. This is especially important if you are personally undertaking any of the work yourself.
Road Safety & Chapter 8
Many renovation projects will require a little extra room to get the job done. This often leads to small areas of public road being ‘borrowed’ while renovation work is underway. This may include parking skips, storing building products or even cordoning off areas for large vehicles to park.
When doing this, councils recommend that you follow the guidelines as laid out in Chapter 8 of the 2009 Ministry of Transport’s Traffic Signs Manual. This guide highlights exactly how those who are creating a potential obstruction or hazard on the road need to apply the correct signage, making the area visible to pedestrians and road users.
Chapter 8 goes into some detail about how to do this and should be read and considered when undertaking any work where it might apply. One way in which you can quickly comply with these guidelines is by using Chapter 8 compliant products such as the specialist safety barriers available on heatonproducts.co.uk.
Although the use of ladders is far from banned during renovation projects. Guidelines suggest that they should only be used where ‘low-risk, short-duration work and where a risk assessment shows that other more suitable work equipment cannot be used due to the layout of the work area’.
This means that for the majority of projects that include working at height, scaffolding will be required. When erecting scaffolding you need to select a builder or scaffolding contractor that is suitably qualified to erect it. Special licences are required to do so, which vary depending on the height of the scaffolding required.
Picking the right contractors is an important part of site safety during renovation projects. Asking a few key questions of your contractors will help you ensure that they are suitably qualified to undertake the work you are asking them to do.
When selecting contractors find out if they are insured to carry out the work. You may also ask them to provide you with evidence that they are suitably trained. This may be qualifications for many roles, or specific certification for roles such as plumbing, electrics or gas installation.
Home renovations are a great way to get more out of your home. By considering a few crucial safety elements you will lower the risk of anything unfortunate happening as well as covering yourself legally if they do.