6 years ago

The Essential Checklist for Education Construction Sites

School Construction in Essex

When undertaking an education construction project, the risk assessments and planned procedures must take into consideration the staff and students as well as the workers. As with all construction projects, the project management and health and safety of the site are of the utmost importance. But, there are several aspects unique to construction in schools that are important to bear in mind when planning and executing works.

As commercial construction experts, Davis Construction is highly experienced with construction projects for schools in Essex. In this blog post, we highlight the most important questions that need be accounted for, prior to working on a school construction site.

Is the Site Access Secure?

Work within a crowded educational establishment greatly increases the risk of surrounding dangers and unauthorised access compared to other sites. It is essential to establish safe access for the workers to enter the site that do not disrupt students and teachers where possible. This is best achieved by separating the construction team from regular school access points.

Throughout the project, there will likely be several deliveries, many of which come from heavy goods vehicles. These deliveries should be appropriately scheduled, ideally to coincide with lesson hours. This means school children will be inside, minimising risks to their safety.

Will Work Disrupt Lessons?

When working in a live environment such as an active school, its day-to-day running should be disrupted as little as possible. The management of noise levels is vital to ensure works do not interrupt the students or teachers during their lessons. Similarly, when completing dusty works, it is essential to adequately extract and suppress dust levels to minimise any inconvenience. 

Are the Students and Teachers Safe?

As well as ensuring secure access to the site, any construction project should also maintain safe boundaries around the works, including any temporary roads or access routes, which help to protect the staff and pupils. Make sure any gates to the site are always locked and there are appropriate measures taken to stop unauthorised access to the site.

At Davis Construction, we go above and beyond to ensure the best health and safety on every project, especially in schools where younger students are involved. We have designed a presentation that helps to make staff and students aware of how to stay safe by easily and effectively communicating the safety rules and boundaries in place.

Is There a Threat of Asbestos?

Although it is now well-known that exposure to asbestos is extremely dangerous, commercial construction companies used this toxic material extensively between the 1950s and 1980s. As a result, it is very common to discover asbestos when working on older or public buildings, especially schools.

This risk must be taken into consideration when executing demolition or refurbishment works and it is vital a thorough R&D survey is completed prior to starting any work. Any extra precautions or procedures needed must also be factored in to the cost and budget of the build.

Is the Timing and Cost of the Project Appropriate?

The very nature of a school establishment restricts when works can be performed, which results in a very tight timeframe for completion. The longest time that students and staff are absent from the site is six weeks, so any heavy demolition or disruptive work should be completed during this time. As there are sometimes hundreds of students and teachers who are reliant on the punctual completion of a school construction project to use classrooms and other facilities, it is vital there are no delays.

In the same vein, it is imperative to adhere to the agreed project cost. Schools are often following a very tight budget and work on grants. As we do with all our projects, Davis Construction ensure school projects are completed on time, on budget, and to a high standard, with meticulous planning and project management.  

As specialists in the education construction industry, we understand the importance of effectively planning and executing work on schools in Essex. If you would like to find out more about the services we offer, call us on 01702 601000, or email info@davisconstruction.co.uk.

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