If you are planning to carry out some major landscaping works eg. moving earth, paths, wall construction or planting then as a client you must:-
- Ensure that you employ a competent contractor.
- Check that they plan to work safely.
- Monitor their work to make sure that the site and work activities remain safe.
Remember you will always need to consider the safety of the public (including children) and of your own staff and visitors. This type of work can create significant risks and a risk assessment and method statement should be carried out in advance.
Check to see if the work site needs to be fenced off or made secure from the casual trespasser etc. If it is not necessary to secure the entire site, you may still need to ensure that waste skip areas and plant are enclosed in secure compounds out of working hours.
If there is a need to drill into the ground, remember pipes and electricity supplies. Remember this may be disruptive but may also be potentially fatal. If you can locate any drawings or information from files/records to show where services are located it would be extremely useful. Other risks to bear in mind are:-
- The movement of vehicles and plant associate with the work.
- Street works and traffic moving on and off your site.
- Overhead power lines (risk to tipper trucks, excavators and other tall plant).
- Issue an excavation permit.
In April 2015 the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) came into effect and The Landscaping Institute has agreed guidance with the HSE covering the application of the Regulations. As a result, some types of the landscaping work are regarded as construction eg. earthworks, all hard landscaping, installation of pipes and pipelines, demolition, dismantling and preparation for these works.
However, planting and tree work (grassing) are not classed as construction work and therefore are not subject to CDM 2015. However, if they take place within a construction site all construction rules must be adhered too.