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How to Set Up a Perimeter on a Construction Site

Setting up a perimeter on a construction site is an indispensable and legally required step in the UK. A sound perimeter ensures the safety of workers, visitors, and the surrounding public. Beyond fulfilling legal obligations, a well-constructed perimeter serves to reduce the risks and potential liabilities associated with construction work. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the process of setting up a proper perimeter in accordance with British health and safety regulations, local laws, and industry best practices.

Do you have permission?

Before even contemplating the setup of a perimeter, you must first make sure you have all of the necessary permissions to begin your project. If you are missing any of the requirements by the time you intend to begin, you will end up wasting time having to chase the permissions, or you may be denied permission outright.

Understanding the legal requirements

Understanding the legal requirements is the first step in this process. Consult with your local planning authority (LPA) to understand exactly what documentation you will need to acquire to secure planning permission. All hazards in the area must be identified through conducting a thorough risk assessment, and you will need to provide your workers with amenities to ensure their health and welfare needs are met. Failing to fulfil any of these key points by the time it comes to beginning your construction project will lead to unlawful conduct.

Special permissions

You will need to seek listed building consent if your construction affects a listed building. Environmental considerations might necessitate an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and additional permissions such as Tree Preservation Orders, conservation area consent, or highway access approval may also apply.

Ongoing compliance

Even after securing the necessary permissions, making sure you continue to comply with them throughout the project is essential. To ensure you don't make any mistakes, regularly review the conditions set in your approvals. If any changes to the approved plans are required, consult with relevant authorities before proceeding.

1: Assessing the site

Your first site analysis will form the foundation of your entire perimeter planning. You need to understand the unique features of the construction site, including:

  • The terrain - uneven ground can create challenges. Are there hills or channels in the ground that may cause issues?
  • Potential hazards - is there a risk of the structure being unstable? Are there weak points that may make creating a secure perimeter difficult?
  • Accessibility - how easy is the site to get to from the road? How will vehicles and workers enter? Where are the best places for the entry points to be located?
  • Neighbouring properties - how much leeway do you have? Do you need to leave extra space? Will noise pollution be an issue?
  • Other environmental factors - is bad weather likely to impact your perimeter? Do you have space for sheltered areas? Are certain parts of the site going to be more exposed to risk than others?

2: Planning the perimeter

Before you can install any security fencing or walls, you must first know what types of walling or fencing you will need, how many units you will need, and where they will actually go. Without proper planning, you may spend more time and finances getting the fencing or walls than necessary, and you may not meet your requirements.

Define the boundaries

Clear boundaries are essential to a successful perimeter setup. Use detailed site maps, consult with land surveyors if needed, and stake out clear lines using easily identifiable markers. This step also involves communication with staff and subcontractors; everyone on-site must understand the boundaries to prevent any accidental breaches.

Selecting materials

Depending on your requirements, you will need different material fences and walls to build your perimeter with. Options range from concrete barriers, steel fencing, mesh, and wooden hoarding. Your choices must align with the site's needs, budget constraints, aesthetics, and of course, legal requirements. Some urban areas may require more robust barriers with added security, while more rural or less populated areas might allow for simpler solutions.

3: Implementing safety measures

Adhering to health and safety rules is essential in any type of project, but construction sites boast numerous and often more severe risks by comparison. This applies to perimeter management, too, and a well-planned and built perimeter can help to reduce some of the risks that construction workers may be subject to.

Safety barriers

There are various types of safety barriers, each serving a specific purpose. Temporary barriers can be used to control pedestrian or vehicular traffic while more permanent solutions are better suited to securing the site against unauthorised access. It is also important to remember that safety barriers are not just about construction site security, but about guiding and protecting everyone on and around the site.

Signage and lighting

Construction sites must be properly signed, including warning signs, directional signage, and informational boards that adhere to regulations about visibility and detail. Good lighting can also improve security during non-working hours and visibility in low-light conditions, improving safety.

4: Monitoring and maintenance

Even with a strong initial plan, things can change and go wrong throughout a construction project. You must make sure to monitor the condition of the perimeter and ensure that the workers uphold the rules around entering and exiting the site. If something breaks or seems to not be working you should take steps to remedy it.

Regular inspection

Regular inspections of the perimeter should be performed at regular intervals, checking that barriers are intact, signs are legible, and lighting is functioning. A consistent routine, possibly daily or weekly depending on the nature of the site, will help you identify and address issues before they escalate.


Maintenance of the perimeter is not a one-time task but requires continuous attention. Regular adjustments or repairs may be necessary based on wear and tear or changes in site conditions. Having a clear set of maintenance protocols, along with a designated team or individual responsible for this task, ensures that your perimeter remains robust and compliant at all times.

Meeting your workers' needs

As well as requiring a sturdy perimeter, further steps must be taken to manage the space you have within the site. Portable accommodation can help with this due to its adaptability and ease of installation. Bunkabin prefabricates our portable accommodation units before shipping them. We then install them directly onto sites in the configuration required by site managers. This, combined with the fact we supply a range of different-sized Site Sleepers, means that you can easily plan your accommodation needs within the constraints of your perimeter.

To learn more about how Bunkabin can help you, call us today on 0345 456 7899, or fill out an online contact form and we will return your call at a time suitable for you.


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