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Construction Site Safety Checklist

The following checklist provides some of the most commonly found hazards on construction sites. However, this checklist is not exhaustive. Be sure to customise this checklist to your site’s specific risks. For a PDF copy of our Construction Site Safety Checklist please email

Site Access

  • Can everyone reach the work area safely?
  • Are all access routes throughout the site in good condition with signs clearly posted?
  • Are all edges that people could fall from given suitable edge protection, such as double guard rails?
  • Are all holes and openings clearly marked and protected with fixed covers to prevent falls?
  • Is the site tidy, with all materials stored safely? Are all areas free from slip and trip hazards?
  • Is there enough lighting throughout the site?
  • Are there proper arrangements in place for collecting and removing waste materials?

Working at Height

  • Is the work at height avoidable, possibly by using different equipment or a different work method?
  • Is all work at height planned out properly with suitable precautions identified?
  • Can you use fall prevention equipment, such as scaffolding or a mobile elevating work platform?
  • Can you put measures in place, such as nets, soft landing systems or safety decks, to reduce the distance and consequences of a fall?
  • Are you gaining access to height using the safest means possible?


  • Are all scaffolds erected, altered and dismantled by competent persons?
  • Are all uprights provided with base plates and, where necessary, timber sole plates?
  • Are all uprights, ledgers, braces and struts in position?
  • Is the structure secured to the building properly to prevent collapse?
  • Does every edge have a double guard rail and toe boards, or other suitable protection to prevent falls?
  • Are there additional brick guards provided to prevent materials from falling?
  • Are all working platforms fully boarded, and all boards arranged to prevent tipping or tripping?
  • Are effective barriers or warning notices in place to prevent people from using an incomplete scaffold?
  • Is the scaffold strong enough to handle the weight of materials stored on it?
  • Are the scaffolds being properly maintained?
  • Does a competent person inspect the scaffold regularly, and any time it has been altered or damaged, or following adverse weather? Are the inspection results recorded?
  • Are tower scaffolds being erected and used with proper methods and used in accordance with supplier instructions?
  • Are all tower scaffold wheels locked when in use and platforms emptied when in use?


  • Are there any safer alternatives than using ladders or stepladders for the particular task?
  • When working on ladders, is the work of short duration and of low risk?
  • Are all ladders and stepladders in good condition?
  • Do ladders rest against solid surfaces and not on fragile or insecure materials?
  • Are ladders secured at the top and bottom to prevent them from slipping sideways and outwards?
  • Are there clean-up procedures in place?
  • Has all valuable equipment been removed to higher areas?
  • Are all ladders and step-ladders used properly and for their intended purpose?
  • Do ladders rise at least a metre above their landing place? If not, are there other handholds available?
  • Are ladders positioned so that users don’t have to overstretch?
  • Are all users of ladders and stepladders trained to use them properly?


  • Do all active roof sites have edge protection to prevent people or materials from falling?
  • When performing industrial roofing, are there nets provided to prevent people from falling from the leading edge and from partially fixed sheets? Where nets are used, are they hung safely?
  • Have all fragile materials, such as cement sheets and roof lights, been identified? Are precautions taken to prevent people and materials from falling through fragile materials?
  • Are people kept away from the area below the roof work?
  • Are all roof workers properly trained to recognise risks, and are they competent to do the work?


  • Is there enough support for the excavation, or has it been sloped or battered back to a safe angle?
  • Are safe methods used for putting in supports, without people working in an unsupported trench?
  • Is there safe access into the excavation, such as a sufficiently long, secured ladder?
  • Are there barriers in place to prevent vehicles and people from falling in?
  • Are properly secured stop blocks provided to prevent tipping vehicles from falling in?
  • Could the excavation affect the stability of neighbouring structures or services?
  • Are materials, spoil and plant stored away from the edge of the excavation to reduce the chance of collapse?
  • Is the excavation regularly inspected by a competent person?

Manual Handling

  • Have all manual handling risks on the site been assessed?
  • Are there mechanical aids, such as trolleys, hoists and other plant and equipment to move heavy objects so manual handling is kept to a minimum?
  • Can you order materials in lower weight increments to reduce strain on handlers?
  • Have all manual handlers been instructed and trained on how to properly lift materials, and on how to use lifting aids and handling equipment safely?

Loading and Unloading Goods

  • Has someone checked that the load has not moved or destabilised during the journey to the site?
  • Is there an exclusion zone around the loading/unloading area to keep bystanders away?
  • Is there a plan for unloading?
  • Have all loading and unloading workers been properly trained to work safely?
  • Do workers have to access the back of the lorry, or can all preparation be done from the ground?
  • Have steps been taken to prevent workers from falling off the vehicle?

Traffic and Vehicles

  • Are all vehicles and pedestrians kept apart? If not, are there barriers and warning signs provided?
  • Can reversing be avoided by using a one-way system or turning area?
  • Are all vehicles properly maintained? Do all of the vehicle’s components work properly? Are tyres in good condition?
  • Do all drivers have proper training and hold proper licences, and are they competent and fit to use the vehicles they are driving?
  • Are all loads properly secured?
  • Are passengers only carried in vehicles designed to carry them?

Tools, Machinery and Plant

  • Are the right tools or machinery being used for the job?
  • Are all the tools, machinery and plant in good repair and operating correctly?
  • Are all machine guards secured and functioning properly?
  • Are all operators trained and competent?


  • Has the equipment been installed by a competent person?
  • Are all operators trained and competent?
  • Is the rated capacity properly marked?
  • Does the hoist have a current report of thorough inspection and a record of inspections?
  • Is there a suitable base enclosure to prevent people from being struck by any moving part of the hoist?
  • Are the landing gates kept shut except when the platform is at the landing?


  • Are there emergency procedures in place?
  • Does everyone know what the emergency procedures are?
  • Is there a means for raising the alarm? Does it alert everyone on the site?
  • Is there a way to contact emergency services from the site?
  • Are there suitable escape routes and are these kept clear?
  • Are there proper first-aid provisions?


  • Is the quantity of flammable materials, liquids and gases kept to a minimum? Are they properly stored?
  • Are flammable gas cylinders returned to a ventilated store at the end of the shift?
  • Are gas cylinders and associated hoses and equipment properly maintained and in good condition?
  • When gas cylinders are not in use, are the valves fully closed?
  • Is flammable and combustible waste removed regularly and stored in suitable bins or skips?
  • Are suitable fire extinguishers provided?

Hazardous Substances

  • Have all harmful substances and materials, including asbestos, lead, solvents, paints, cement and silica dust, been identified?
  • Have you checked whether a licensed contractor is needed to deal with asbestos on-site?
  • Are precautions in place to prevent and control exposure to hazardous substances? This can include removing the risk entirely with a different work process or using a less hazardous material.
  • Do workers have the information and training necessary to recognise risks and know how to control and avoid them?
  • Are there procedures in place to prevent contact with wet cement?
  • Has health surveillance been arranged for workers using certain hazardous substances?


  • Has workers’ exposure to noise on the site been identified?
  • Do workers have the information and training necessary to recognise noise on-site and know how to avoid it?
  • Can the noise be reduced by using different methods or selecting quieter plant?
  • Do workers have proper personal protective equipment?
  • Have hearing protection zones been clearly marked to keep out workers not involved in the work?
  • Has health surveillance been arranged for workers exposed to high levels of noise?

Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV)

  • Has exposure to HAV been avoided or reduced as much as possible, through using lower vibration tools and methods?
  • Do workers have the information and training necessary to recognise HAV risks and know how to avoid them?
  • Have vibrating tools been properly maintained?
  • Has health surveillance been arranged for workers exposed to high levels of vibration?

Electricity and Other Services

  • Have all necessary services been provided on-site before the work begins? Have existing services been identified and measures taken to prevent danger from them?
  • Are workers using low voltage for tools and equipment?
  • Are cables and leads protected from damage?
  • Are all connections to the system properly made and are suitable plugs used?
  • Have hidden electricity cables and other services been located and clearly marked?
  • Where there are overhead lines, has the electricity supply been turned off, or other suitable measures taken?

Worker Welfare

  • Are toilets readily available and properly maintained?
  • Are there washbasins, hot and cold running water, soap and towels?
  • Are there facilities to change, dry and store clothing?
  • Are drinking water and cups provided?
  • Do all workers have easy, safe access to welfare facilities?
  • Are welfare facilities kept warm and well-ventilated?

Protecting the Public

  • Is the site fenced off from the public?
  • Are roadworks well-lit and separated by barriers?
  • Is the public protected from falling material?
  • Is the site secure when work stops for the day? This includes securing the boundary, removing ladders, covering openings, securing hazardous materials and immobilising plant and equipment to prevent unauthorised use.

This checklist is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly.  © 2014, 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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