Developer's Child Safety Week warning of construction site dangers

By Barrie Hudson - 4 June 2024

  • Wichelstowe


Barratt David Wilson Homes is using Child Safety Week to remind youngsters in Swindon and across Wiltshire about the dangers of building sites.

The firm, currently building at Orchards Rise, Orchards View and Wichel Fields at Wichelstowe, is appealing to parents to encourage their children to stay away from building sites which, although they may look like a fun place to explore, should be avoided.

While the nights are lighter for longer and just a few weeks until the school summer holiday gets underway, the developer is urging children to stay away from construction sites due to the hidden risks they pose.

Child Safety Week, which runs until 9 June, is the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s annual community education campaign, designed to spark thousands of safety conversations and activities across the UK and empower families with the confidence and skills to manage real risks to children’s safety. 

Its goal is for all children to have the freedom to grow and learn, free from serious harm.

Mark Hughes, head of construction at Barratt David Wilson Homes South West, said: “Curiosity and adventure are two important characteristics in a child’s development, but we must highlight the hazards of construction sites and remind children that they must not play anywhere near them.

“There are plenty of other safe ways to stay active and have fun, and we welcome local children and their families to explore the many nature trails, play areas and open space surrounding our developments.”

From observing signage to steering clear of heavy machinery, the firm has five top five tips for staying safe around building sites:

1.     Do not enter


Construction areas are clearly signposted and fenced off from public access and shouldn’t be entered by 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, simply notify the construction site workers when they’re on-site and they’ll safely return it. It’s easy to spot authorised site teams – they’ll be wearing a high-visibility jacket, hard hat and appropriate footwear.

2.     Deep pits or holes

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.

3.     Hazardous waste

The hazardous waste that’s generated – whether it’s from old buildings, wood, or the grounds of the site - is extremely dangerous. 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 if touched.

4.     Unfinished houses

Housing developments which are still under construction will almost always have unfinished houses dotted around them. Unfinished properties might contain elements which are yet to be secured, dangerous toxins 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.

5.     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.

Kevin White, construction director at Barratt Homes Bristol, said: “Youngsters are often on the lookout for somewhere new and exciting to play, but construction sites are not playgrounds – they’re full of potential dangers. 

"While our construction teams watch out for youngsters during the day and we secure our sites at night, it’s important to get youngsters thinking about the dangers that exist to emphasise the message that they should stay away.”


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