Working In and/or Around Schools

Date: September 27, 2022

Phillip Thomas, Risk Control Consultant

Recommended Safety Practices for School Construction Sites

School is back in session, which means when working in and/or around schools, there are many things to consider beyond typical crew safety. You have public safety of paramount importance, and even more specifically, children. You must consider much more than you would if working on an open site. The unique attributes that make up risk control in these areas can create a successful project with proper mindfulness. Remember, just like in residential areas, there are an increased number of people who may be more curious and unaware of the exposures present on a job site. Review these recommended practices to help create a safe work environment for everyone.

Construction Work in Schools

Safety in construction starts with a plan. Not only do workers need to keep a safe environment for everyone, but they also must prevent disruption from learning throughout the project. When doing construction work in schools, remember:

  • If working overhead during operational hours and occupied, control the access to these areas. The employees and/or students are not only curious, but they are also unaware of the risk above.
  • Employee selection often gets overlooked due to staffing issues that plague our industry. However, carefully select your crew to represent your company well and be trusted.
  • Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is crucial due to the various individuals or maintenance workers that may respond to an electrical circuit not operating. Notifying the school administrators will help with this as well.
  • Electrical/mechanical room control access needs to be maintained to mitigate any chance that unsuspecting people could enter a dangerous area.
  • Do not leave ladders, hand tools, or any harmful items unattended.
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) should be readily accessible in case of accidental ingestion.
  • Consider evacuation planning in case of an emergency were to occur.

Construction Work Around Schools

Construction safety when working around schools is just as important. Before performing work, keep the following practices in mind.

  • Set up traffic control with careful consideration of the school zone, the time of day, and the duration.
  • Any open trenches should be closed when not on site.
  • Limit work zone access to only authorized employees.
  • Equipment and vehicles should be locked when not in use.
  • If your project is near the school, there should be good site security in place. Ideal site security includes fences tall enough and wind screening.
  • Equipment usage should have spotters to ensure anyone nearby doesn’t accidentally walk into their path of travel.

For more construction safety recommendations, contact your BITCO Risk Control Consultant. To find a BITCO agent near you, click the button below. We are here for you!

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For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.

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