A guide to site safety for self-build projects

With house prices ever increasing self-builds are becoming more and more popular as a way to get onto the housing ladder or move into a bigger property or better area. Undertaking this type of project also allows for the home you will be living to be built with your lifestyle in mind, making it work to make your life easier rather than having to adjust how you live to suite the building you live in.

Obviously, undertaking a self-build projects in no minor undertaking. A serious level of planning and project management is required, even if you plan on outsourcing the majority of the physical labour to tradesmen.

One aspect which is often overlooked during self-build projects is safety. However, when executing a self-build project, safety should take centre stage at every step. In this guide, we cover some of the biggest safety considerations for self-build projects.

Choosing your workforce

The first and arguably most important step in ensuring site safety is carefully picking those who will be working on your site.

When picking tradesmen, it is worthwhile researching the type of experience and qualification an individual should have in order to safely complete a task. For example, those that work with gas or electric will likely need to have specific qualifications in order for their work to be signed off.

It is also worth checking with each individual who works on the site that they understand the risks involved and how to act correctly should they spot any potential hazards.

Protecting the site

Protecting your self-build project is a key part to make sure that anyone who shouldn’t be on your site is kept away. This could be individuals who enter the site for dubious reasons such as stealing tools and materials or unaware general public.

The best way to do this is to set up physical barriers around the site, such as temporary fences. This both sends a clear message that the site if out-of-bounds and that security is being taken seriously.

Dealing with large and heavy vehicles

When you are undertaking a large scale project such as a self-build you will inevitably need to transport heavy materials such as prefabricated steel, bricks and concrete onto the site. This means that large vehicles will likely be coming into and out of the site, which presents a risk both to workers and the general public.

Any large vehicles that are on a public highway will be required to follow the guidelines laid out by the government to keep them highlight visible to the public. However, it is also worth making a note of when any large vehicles are coming into and out of the site and making sure that there is a responsible individual waiting to safely help them manoeuvre.


Almost every new home will require some type of scaffolding to ensure that any work being carried out at height is done safely. In some cases, a special licence is required when erecting scaffolding, usually when it is placed in a public space and is causing an obstruction of some sort.

It is always worth checking the rules around scaffolding before deciding how and when to use it.

So, clearly self-build projects are becoming a popular way to create a home in a more affordable way. However, the various complexities surrounding building a fully functioning home can mean a number of safety concerns will occur during the project.

Using this guide will help you understand how and when safety should be a primary concern during your project, mitigating the risk of anything going wrong.