From schools and colleges to care homes and hospitals, construction work is sometimes necessary in sensitive environments. Typical construction projects involve contractors assessing sites, quoting on work, and setting a date when work commences.
Yet, in sensitive environments, the process is more complicated.
When construction involves refurbishment or extension of occupied premises, contractors face unique challenges. Whether work takes place in schools where pupil safety is a concern or in caring facilities where residents suffer mental or physical impairment, all efforts must be made to ensure risks are mitigated.
The Construction Design & Management (CDM) Regulations of 2015 outlines the responsibilities of contractors and clients undertaking building work. They insist the best levels of safety are maintained on site to reduce potential risks.
Minimising all interaction between contractors carrying out work and building users is vital. It reduces risk, but also stress for those receiving care in a sensitive environment. This can be hard on smaller sites, but all efforts must be made to segregate.
Corridors may require closing, or entire wings and floors to reduce risk. Onsite, contractors should use signage and barriers to block access to areas where work is being carried out.
Construction projects that involve a sensitive work environment must use a logistics plan. This document is drawn up by the client and contractor. It details set access and egress routes onsite. When possible, a contractor’s routes should be separate from other building users.
The logistics plan will name set areas for deliveries, parking, and external and internal storage. No-go areas, sanitary provisions and fire safety routes for contractors will also be listed. As a construction project progresses, plans must be reviewed and revised.
To complete projects with minimal disruption, clear lines of communication are crucial.
Regular meetings between contractors and the clients are key. These can be formal or informal. They enable staff to comprehend the work planned and where it will take place. Meetings also inform them of when and how work may impact the school or care home’s daily operations. Residents or pupils and their families must also be kept aware of work to reduce risk and concerns.
A contractor’s competency doesn’t concern their workmanship quality. Instead, it refers to their capability to plan and manage onsite work efficiently with no risk to health and safety.
The CDM regulations demand that care homes and schools only appoint competent construction contractors. Correct certification to perform work is essential. Contractors must also be experienced at working in sensitive environments. This ensures a full understanding of all risks involved and ways to avoid them.
From civil engineering to construction work at Lydon Contracting, we offer tailored service packages covering all needs. Please do get in touch with our experienced team to discuss your project.