Skip to main content

Site Access

Designers Knowledge Base


Safe access to the site and safe access to all site activities and locations should be planned at the design stage. The designer should be aware of, and assess the risks from, the following principal hazards.

Hazards and risks

  • falls from height caused by inadequate or unsafe access to places of work or unsafe working platforms
  • contact with moving vehicles caused by non separation of people and vehicles
  • struck by moving plant or machinery; inadequate visibility, height, clearance, width for moving and manoeuvering plant and machinery
  • struck by falling objects; lifting, lowering, slewing, slinging of loads in confined space
  • hazards of working in confined spaces caused by poor access


Describe any restrictions and precautions that should be taken with regard to the method of pedestrian and/or vehicular access to the site and any confined spaces. Consider that a safe means of access must be provided to places of work and this includes access for construction workers to carry out work in what may have been identified as hazardous areas of existing structures. Be aware that workers can fall through fragile floors / roofs so it is necessary to identify such areas in order that they can be made safe. Consider access for site traffic across or around existing roads, structures or pavements. Will access routes change as construction progresses? Attempt separation of vehicles, plant and operatives. Specify lifting zones and location of craneage, oversailing etc. Identify delivery, laydown and storage areas to reduce manual handling and allow access for mechanical lifting appliances

Possible design options to reduce hazards

  • maintain emergency access to the site
  • ensure phased construction maintains access routes
  • design to facilitate repair and maintenance of the structure
  • identify and display services isolation points
  • consider site perimeter security in the design
  • design construction sequences to facilitate access to work positions
  • consider likely space requirements for safe construction
  • ensure space and provision for welfare facilities

Relevant Legislation