Work sites can be a danger to bystanders, including experienced workers who may be wearing the correct PPE. The general public will trust that activities that they encounter are being carried out safely. They will not understand the hazards and therefore will not be able to protect themselves in the event that an incident occurs.
Consequently, it is the workers’, supervisors’, and employers’ duty to protect the public from risk that is a result of their work.
Bystander safety hazards and controls
Hazards are considered to be potential dangers that are a consequence of a process. A control measure is a step or steps taken which minimise or eliminate injuries from work tasks. Examples to increase Bystander Safety are featured below:
- Alternative areas, that are well lit, for public traffic to flow are provided and clearly marked.
- Tasks that inadvertently produce a great risk should be controlled. The area where the task takes place should have barricades and signs erected. In the event of an emergency, like a fire, the area must be evacuated, and the emergency services called.
- Vehicles, machinery and tools should be frequently checked so that they are kept functional. Whilst equipment is in use, the public must not be allowed to gain access to an area. Visual or radio contact must be in place between the person in use of the equipment and those who are providing the signals.
- All materials, tools and by-products of tasks should be maintained and it should be ensured that they are secure, meaning that they will not fall or become unstable. This is especially true in hazardous weather conditions.
- Waste from certain tasks should be moved or disposed of in the correct manner.
- Any task that requires heavy vibration should be analysed to assess the potential damage to surrounding land, buildings or other structures.