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Construction general

Public nuisance

There is a lot of dust coming off a demolition site into a public area - who do I need to contact to get it sorted out?

HSE does not have responsibility for environmental health matters.  If the dust is causing a public nuisance you can contact your local authority Environmental Health Department.  Their website will have details of how to do this, and their phone number will be in the phone book.

There is a lot of noise coming from a demolition site and affecting the neighbours - who do I need to contact to get this sorted out?

HSE does not have responsibility for environmental health matters.  If the noise is causing a public nuisance you can contact your local authority Environmental Health Department.  Their website will have details of how to do this, and their phone number will be in the phone book. 

Many local authorities set limits on the times that a construction site can operate - these are often limited to daylight hours.  Where a site has obtained planning permission this may have been granted with conditions - such as limiting working hours from 7.30am to 6.00pm. 

A contractor on a demolition site is lighting fires and smoke is going into public areas - who do I need to contact to get it sorted out?

HSE does not have responsibility for environmental health matters.  If the smoke is causing a public nuisance you can contact your local authority Environmental Health Department.  Their website will have details of how to do this, and their phone number will be in the phone book. 

Local authorities and the Environment Agency usually do not allow open fires on construction sites.  If a fire has been allowed it must be lit away from other combustible materials, trees and undergrowth.  It must be attended by a worker and it must be put out before workers leave site each night.

There is mud or debris on the public road from vehicles leaving a demolition or construction site - who should I contact to get it sorted?

The contractor in charge of the site should make sure mud cannot get into public areas; and should arrange for the road/s to be cleaned if it does. 

If you think mud or debris from a construction site is making the road dangerous, and the contractor does not seem to be taking action, tell the police as they may need to close the road while it is cleaned.  The local authority or county council Highways Department may also be able to assist if the problem occurs on a road that they are responsible for.  Their website will have details of how to contact them, and their phone number will be in the phone book

HSE does not have responsibility for these issues, but will take details of your complaint as we may need to find out why the contractor allowed this to happen.

How should a contractor ensure that no mud or construction debris gets onto the road surface outside their site?

Work should be arranged so that road going vehicles do not drive onto mud on the site.  This includes laying site roads and using site based plant to move materials to holding areas at the edge of a site road.  If wheels and ledges are likely to pick up mud the site should anticipate this and install a wheel-wash.  Either routinely, or as a back-up plan, the site should have arrangements in place to call in a road sweeping machine at short notice.  Site management should be monitoring conditions outside the site regularly during periods of material movement.

Demolition or construction work is being done next door to me and it feels like my house is about to fall down what can I do about this?

The contractor in charge of the work should be able to explain what they are doing and tell you whether there is any risk to your property.  The risk of structural damage to neighbouring premises during demolition or construction work is highest close to an excavation or where a load-bearing structure – such as a wall, beam or a chimney breast etc - is being removed

The Building Control Department of your local authority has the power to take action on dangerous structures.  Contact them if you are concerned about work of this nature and think that structural movement is already occurring or that collapse could occur.  Their website will have details of how to do this, and their phone number will be in the phone book. 

If the work is still underway you can also provide the information to the HSE as we may need to find out why the contractor has allowed this to happen.

2014-09-11