Casualty rates are said to increase with the arrival of darker evenings and worsening weather conditions. This year, the end of daylight-saving takes place when clocks go back an hour at 2am on Sunday, October 29.
Few statistics record accidents on construction sites after the autumn time change, but road casualties recorded by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and telematics companies are a guide to the potential risks building workers may face. Every autumn when the clocks go back and it gets darker earlier in the day, road casualties rise by as much as 30% between the hours of 5pm and 8pm, and 10% overall in the month after the daylight-saving change.
In addition, more thefts occur during the darker late afternoons and early evening times following the clock changes.
VPS Site Security is therefore highlighting its Stay Alert, Don’t Get Hurt daylight safety campaign with five simple steps that can help construction sites reduce the risks:
- Prepare: issue a safety alert on Monday, October 23 and remind people again on Friday, October 27. Warn workers of the risks of the clocks going back – changes to their sleep patterns can affect alertness. Construction workers need to be aware that dusk comes an hour earlier, when more accidents occur and they may be less alert, so they need to take extra care.
- Check lighting on the site. Check to see if there is sufficient lighting on-site that lights the work areas for people to work safely. Bring in extra lighting if necessary or introduce extra floodlights as part of the safety alert, a way to draw attention to the added risks of the end of daylight saving. If you are using timers for the lighting or arranging them to be turned on manually, ensure the timers are brought in-line with the daylight-saving changes.
- Stay ahead with improved safety and security: if you haven’t already, consider installing CCTV or video-verified camera systems, which not only protects a site from intruders and unauthorised trespassers, but also provides a safety audit for the site and helps encourage preventative interventions before an incident occurs.
- To reduce opportunist crime, check your perimeter: inspect all fencing and access points thoroughly and check them regularly. Rectify any detected weaknesses or tampered areas immediately.
- Use the Stay Alert, Don’t get Hurt safety campaign poster: available to download for free on the VPS Site Security website. Copy it and display at every site.