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Layout of the Site

Designers Knowledge Base


In considering site layout the designer should take into account the following areas:

  • the topography of the site
  • restrictions imposed by adjacent structures and land use
  • traffic routes for pedestrians, plant, deliveries, machinery and materials together with site entrances and exits
  • site security
  • service routes
  • emergency access
  • fuel storage
  • the positioning of site accommodation and storage

In each of these areas the designer should be aware of, and assess the risks from, the following principal hazards. This list is not exhaustive as each design is unique.

Some possible principal hazards and risks

  • contact with electricity
  • fire or explosion caused by the poor planning of storage areas for flammable gases or liquids
  • falling from height: falling from structure or into excavations
  • struck by mobile plant
  • struck by moving vehicle caused by poorly planned vehicle and pedestrian routes
  • collapse caused by unstable structures, or poorly stored materials
  • contact with moving machinery caused by inadequate protection or warnings of the presence of operating static machines
  • falling objects from structures or into excavations


Ensure the site layout proposals reflect the sequence of construction and ensure adequate access throughout the site during all phases of the work, ensure adequate separation of plant and personnel and ensure adequate space for welfare facilities, site offices and storage. Crane movement should be taken account of and site security maintained.

Some design options to mitigate or eliminate hazards

  • Is it better to have off-site fabrication and off-site storage to reduce on-site activities?
  • Is it possible to design one-way site access roads?
  • Design phased completion to allow continued safe construction and occupation of finished work if necessary
  • Design for adequate maintenance access
  • Design to allow use of permanent roads as site access roads
  • Design to ensure minimum number of handling activities
  • Avoid design sequences which mean different trades work together
  • Design service routes to avoid active construction