HSG 151: How to successfully protect the public during construction

Construction sites can be dangerous places, especially for people who do not work in construction. Heavy machinery, falling objects, and excavations in the ground pose many risks for both the staff as well as the members of the public. Because of these risks, still too many accidents happen on construction sites. The HSG 151 attempts to reduce the number of accidents by providing guidelines on how to increase construction site safety. What is the HSG 151 and how can it help you increase safety on your building site?

What is HSG 151?

The HSG 151 is a publication by the Health and Safety Executive providing guidelines on increasing construction site safety. The publication, entitled “Protecting the Public — your next move”, is written for contractors, clients, coordinators, workers, and designers to provide them with guidelines that help protect both staff and the members of the public.

With the HSG 151, the Health & Safety Executive advises on planning, provision and maintenance of perimeters. It explains how you can effectively keep the members of the public separated from the construction site. The guidance extends to the type of panel, coupler and block that should be used, and how they should be deployed. Furthermore, the HSG 151 specifies the most important risks at construction sites and advises on how to prevent accidents by, for example, highlighting the block the fence stands in so members of the public can see them and won’t trip over them.

Read more about the guidelines on increasing safety with HSG 151 in our blog or download the HSG 151 document, which you can find here. 

HSG 151
What if you don’t comply with the HSG 151 guidelines?

Although the HSG 151 is created by a governmental institution, they are not proper legislation. The HSG 151 provides advice and guidelines to those who want to increase safety on their construction site. Not following the HSG 151 guidelines will therefore not result in a fine or an indictment.

However, if an accident would happen on your site and people would get hurt, the Health & Safety Executive will conduct tests to see if you took all the necessary safety measures. Due to the fact that as a constructor you have the responsibility to create a safe construction site for both your staff as well as for the members of the public, serious actions can be taken in the case of an accident.

What is the difference between HSG 151 and the British Standard?

Both the HSG 151 and the British Standard provide advice on how to increase safety on construction sites. The HSG 151 guidelines were created first. The HSG 151 is a one-page document which explains how to safely set up a construction site; which kind of products to use and how to deploy them. However, in the industry, there was a need for  more detailed, more in-depth guidelines.

This need resulted in manufacturers getting together and creating new guidelines on increasing safety on construction sites: the British Standard. All manufacturers had a say in the creation of the new guidelines, which resulted in a comprehensive document on increasing safety on the construction site. The British Standard does not only give advice on how to safely set up a construction site but also provides technical guidelines, like how panels should be produced, which materials should be used and how it should be installed. Read more about the British Standard in our blog.

How can you make sure you comply?

Complying with the HSG 151 means you will have to plan and maintain site perimeters correctly, develop authorization procedures, control hazards and risks and provide special attention to vulnerable groups. To be able to do this, you have to make a habit of identifying risks, choosing the right materials, installing them correctly and raising awareness among your staff on the importance of safety.

At Heras, we believe safety is paramount on construction sites. Therefore, we take safety guidelines like HSG 151 very serious. In fact, we created a special temporary fencing system around these guidelines: the Heras HSG 151 system. A system consisting of safe products and corresponding instructions to help you comply with safety regulations.

Since in the UK there are a lot of temporary fencing products available, it is important you hire or buy a system that ensures a safe construction site. The Heras 151 Panel System meets all HSG 151 guidelines and has even been tested by Sheffield Hallam University and has proved to resist wind speeds in excess of gale force.

The Heras 151 system consists of the strongest panels, high visibility feed blocks, anti-tamper couplers and a steadfast strut system. With the Heras 151 system you are certain you comply with all HSG 151 guidelines and ensure a safe construction site. Learn more about our HSG 151 system in the product brochure:



Posted by Adrian Day on 01 May 2018