Managing a construction site that stays open for a long period of time means considering more than just the safety of your workers. You also need to keep the area around the construction zone safe for visitors and the general public, usually through the use of temporary fencing. Prevent the fencing itself from creating a safety hazard by increasing visibility with these six tips.
Pick High Visibility Fencing
If chain link is the best material for your job because of its durability and ability to show off the construction process, consider coated wire fencing in a bright color like orange or yellow. These temporary panels catch the eye of anyone walking past or towards the fence without requiring you to apply any paint yourself. Of course, not all rental companies offer high visibility fencing options, so make sure you talk to any potential fencing companies about their options.
Paint the Plywood
Some municipal areas prefer solid plywood fencing to hide the work instead of exposing it to the public. These boards are easy to paint and decorate as you please to prevent bikers and walkers from accidentally accessing the work site. Consider inviting local artists to help you out, or post large scale illustrations of the projected building.
Mesh and chain link fences are easily decorated for better visibility to both humans and animals with streamers. Tie on short lengths of material that wave in the wind, like:
- Non-adhesive plastic flagging tape, which is also commonly used for marking property boundaries during a survey
- Sparkling strips of reflective Mylar material
- Colored lengths of pipe split open and wrapped over the top edges of the fence
- Plastic inserts that fit nearly in the gaps of the chain link fence
Make sure birds and other curious animals can't pull the material off and create a litter problem. Remove anything you add for better visibility before returning the fencing panels if you rent them instead of buying.
Add Posters and Signs
The same signs you use to warn about safety hazards on the site and advertise your construction company double as visibility markers when hung on the fence. Watch out for local restrictions on advertising before using it indiscriminately on your perimeter fence. If there are local charities and groups that could use a little extra attention for their event or project, offer to use their posters for decorating your temporary construction fence.
Cut Back Trees and Shrubs
Don't forget about how overhanging tree limbs and tall shrubs can disguise a fence very well. While this is good at home when you don't want to stare at chain link all day long, it backfires around the construction site and provides easy access for both animals and people. Trim back vegetation to expose the fence and keep it cut as the seasons pass. Vegetation trimming also provides more space if you need to move the fence back so you're not obscuring the view of drivers on a nearby street.
Finally, grab some hazard orange duct tape or bright red electrical tape and wrap it around the posts and supports for the fence. The sticky tape adds eye-catching color without interfering with the view of the public or use of the fence. Both of these types of tape will peel off cleanly when it's time to clean up the fencing and return it to the rental company.
Great construction fencing protects the public from the risks of a building site and helps the contractors focus on their work. Before buying a new set of movable panels or hiring a team for chain link installation, decide how you're going to keep the fence visible for the animals and people on both sides of it.