As Manitobans, we all know that once warm weather hits, construction season amps up. It’s also a time when residents are often outside to soak in the sun and enjoy fresh air. With this added activity during the day, it’s important to remember that many construction sites are still active.
While our builders and trades follow all safety rules, it’s always a good idea to avoid putting you and your family in a risky situation. Here are some tips on how to safely navigate a construction site:
Keep your distance
If you see a construction site, please try to stay on the other side of the street to avoid any obstacles and potential hazards. We all know that children can be quite curious but it’s important to keep them away from these areas. Maintaining the greatest amount of distance away from a construction site is the most effective measure to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Construction sites kick up dust particles that can be inhaled if you or your family are nearby. If you or someone you know is susceptible, the dust particles could aggravate your lungs and cause coughing and shortness of breath.
If you know your walk will take you past an ongoing construction project, consider changing your route to minimize risk; it’s best to stick to the sidewalks and trails when going out for a stroll.
Most construction sites in our communities are private property and use temporary barriers such as fences, barricades and pylons to increase distance between residents and possible falling debris. Never attempt to go inside these barriers or cut corners inside of these areas to avoid other by passers.
Not only are these interior areas highly dangerous construction zones that require safety equipment and personal protective equipment but they also could have high trip or fall risks. This is why only those with authorization are allowed on site.
The risks are especially great for children on bicycles and residents with limited mobility or vision when uneven surfaces and construction debris are present.
Follow signs and channeling devices
When nearing a construction site, look for signs to see when construction areas begin and end. Some signs may also provide information as to where sidewalks are closed and whether alternate routes are available.
A construction site may also utilize channeling devices to protect pedestrians from traffic. If these devices are present, please use them. Do not go onto the road to expedite your commute, especially if you have children with you or have mobility or hearing impairments.
Be aware of your surroundings
When nearing a construction zone be extra vigilant of your surroundings especially when workers have left the site and during low light situations. Look all around for debris, which could fall from above or pose threats from below such as excavation holes. Watch out for uneven or slippery surfaces due to rain, mud or dust as well.
It’s also a good idea to take out any earbuds that you may be wearing to hear any potential warning cries.
Make sure equipment operators see you
Large vehicles and heavy construction equipment could be hazardous to residents if they do not see you. Stay in visual contact with the operator as you pass by to ensure that you and your family are safe.
When in a vehicle
When driving by a construction site, reduce your speed and watch for signage that may re-direct your route. Be prepared to change lanes if necessary and make sure you have enough light to see where you are driving. When in a vehicle, be vigilant of pedestrians and equipment operators in the construction zone as well.
Residents have a unique opportunity to see first-hand what goes into building a neighbourhood but please watch from a safe distance. If you have the opportunity to avoid a construction zone, please choose an alternate route as this is the safest method for you and your loved ones. However, if there isn’t a way to bypass the area please follow these tips to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
Our neighbourhoods are regularly cleaned and our builders are required to maintain safe work sites but it is still a good idea to be cautious near construction zones. If you see any concerns in your neighbourhood please contact us at email@example.com or (204) 254-9225.