Alec Caldwell talks about unwanted visitors on work-sitesCanadian Contractor
Under the law, a contractor has to do everything they can to ensure the safety of those who visit their work-site. Even people who were not invited to show up!
People who appear unannounced on work-sites can cause you safety issues. Some even trespass after hours. Securing your site properly can help you, providing you leave no gaps they can squeeze through. If they bypass your barrier, you still could have issues, especially if you have fall hazards like the one in our photo. Our photo shows non compliance with safety standards and remember, those found guilty of causing injury or death are open to prosecution.
Lots of people can gain entry to your work-site, unannounced. On a daily basis this can include various trades, utilities and cable TV personnel, architects, interior designers, building inspectors, delivery personnel, not to mention passersby and nosy neighbours….
It’s up to you to make sure that each of these people is safe. No matter whether they “should” or “should not” be on your jobsite, you are required to protect them.
Here’s an example. When contractors re-shingle residential homes, it’s not unusual for homeowners to climb up (uninvited) workers’ ladders to check out what’s going on above.
Yes it’s their home (main residence) but the roof is under construction, so it’s officially a work-site under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (in Ontario – or your province’s equivalent). The Act says you’ve got to protect the public’s safety – and this includes the homeowner. Keep them off the roof at all times while the work is being carried out.
Recently a visitor to a self-storage facility in North Bay (Ontario) fell through an open hole in the floor of a storage unit, after he came to the facility to examine a truck that was being stored there. He fell about 6 feet to the concrete floor below and died. Charges were laid for failing to ensure that an open (hole) on the floor of a storage unit was protected by a guardrail or floor covering. See full details
Those charged in this North Bay fatality will soon have their day in court. Remember, the criminal code in Ontario has been toughened up to include those found guilty of causing workplace deaths. If these individuals are convicted, they will very likely do jail time. Don’t mess around with safety, even the safety of visitors you don’t necessarily want to be your jobsite in the first place.
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