August 7, 2022

‘The Big 6’ safety guidelines for children playing outside this summer

Barratt Developments South Wales share safety guidelines for children playing near housing developments this Summer

With the arrival of the school holidays, Barratt Developments South Wales has today (2 August) revealed ‘The Big Six’ — a list of safety guidelines for children and families to follow while playing outside on or near housing developments this summer.

Most housing developments are built in phases, meaning that many residents live onsite long before all building work is complete. As a result, heavy machinery and workforces are often still in operation whilst homeowners go about their daily lives.

From observing signage to steering clear of heavy machinery — here are Barratt’s top tips for keeping your children (and yourself) safe around building sites during the summer holidays, and all year round.

  1. Do not enter building sites

Construction areas are clearly signposted and fenced off from public access, and should not be entered by unauthorised personnel — even at night or weekends when the workforce has gone home.

If your child does end up in a situation where their ball has gone over the fence or similar, simply notify the construction site workers from a distance, and they will safely return it.

Authorised personnel are easily identifiable and will be wearing a hi-vis jacket, hard hat and appropriate footwear.

  1. Avoid deep pits or holes — and keep your eyes peeled for them

Developments which are still under construction often have uneven surfaces — occasionally with deeper pits or holes which may fill with water, hazardous waste or dangerous objects. If a child ever encounters a deep area, they should stay as far away as possible to avoid tripping or falling in — even if the ‘water’ does look tempting on a warm summer’s day!

  1. Look and listen out for heavy machinery

Heavy machinery can frequently be found travelling back and forth on construction sites. And while drivers always remain vigilant, they may not be able to stop in time if a person or object — such as a ball — comes out in front of them unexpectedly.

Machinery is typically quite loud, too, but earphones could impact someone’s ability to hear a vehicle coming. It’s therefore strongly advised to remove earphones completely when crossing the road to avoid accidents.

  1. Beware of hazardous waste

Construction sites naturally generate an enormous amount of hazardous waste every year. Whether it’s from old buildings, wood, or the grounds of the site — hazardous waste is extremely dangerous.

Often, construction sites have designated ‘hazardous stations’ for the collection of such substances, which should be avoided at all times. These may be poisonous, toxic or flammable and could damage skin or even be a risk to life if touched.

  1. Steer clear of unfinished houses

Housing developments which are still under construction will almost always have unfinished houses dotted around them. And even if they look complete, they should not be entered.

Unfinished properties might contain elements which are yet to be secured, dangerous toxins such as asbestos or trip hazards. So even if they look like a fun place to shelter from the rain or play hide and seek, they must not be entered.

  1. Do not climb

Every construction site is laden with scaffolding and ladders that won’t necessarily be closed off from entering — but that doesn’t mean they should be climbed upon, whatever their height.

Likewise, heavy machinery is usually kept on-site overnight until building works are complete. But while they may look like the perfect climbing frame, heavy machinery should be left well alone to avoid injury and damage.

So, if you live on a housing development or are visiting someone who does this summer, follow the guidance of Barratt Homes South Wales to ensure your children have a fun but safe time playing outside.