Red flags – is it time to up your game?

When we hear the term “red flags” it means there’s a problem, it is a warning sign that something isn’t right when it comes to a particular situation. In the way of a construction site, this could be anything from a messy site, to using out of date H&S paperwork.

Some red flags are more visible or obvious than others, however it’s important to eliminate red flags on your site as they can cause injuries and other issues for you and your crew. We’ve covered some of the most common red flags and how to remove these from your site.


🚩 No site security fencing around perimeter

Why is this a red flag?

Not having a fence around the site perimeter could invite unauthorised entry. If your site isn’t secure, members of the public or children can enter the site, which could lead to injuries, property damage or stolen items.

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

Easy, ensure your site has adequate fencing set-up around the perimeter to prevent unauthorised entry. Take into consideration the height and ensure it’s not only high enough, but also check that the gap at the bottom isn’t too big where people, including children, could squeeze through underneath.


🚩 Messy site

Why is this a red flag?

A messy site can lead to all sorts of problems. Waste and other objects left lying around can create obstacles for you and your crew. The mess could cause slip and trip injuries which can result in workers needing time off work, something you want to avoid!

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

Make sure your team is regularly cleaning up after themselves. Waste materials like cardboard, general rubbish and other lighter material can be placed/stored in such a way to eliminate tripping hazards and prevent them from flying off site, especially during strong winds. 

Having a skip or bins available and ensuring everyone takes a moment to keep the site clear will reduce the risk of injury for everyone.


🚩 No site signage displayed at the front of the site showing the Principal Contractors details

Why is this a red flag?

The site sign provides all of the important details including an after hours contact number.

If something happens on-site and the principal contractor needs to be contacted, it needs to be easy for anyone to find.

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

Display a Principal Contractor sign in a visible location which includes the following


  • Principal Contractor name
  • Principal Contractor number 
  • Emergency contact details (e.g. site supervisor)
  • Project site office (if there is one)


🚩 High risk work being performed on-site without adequate controls

Why is this a red flag?

If there is no process for identifying the hazards, assessing the risks and what controls are required for a task, it could pose a significant risk to workers on-site.

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

A Task Analysis (TA) is required for all high risk construction work. Ensure a TA is accessible to the workers performing the task and that they are familiar with its contents.

It’s important that a TA is regularly reviewed. If the TA is not being followed due to a variation of work or conditions have changed, then work must stop until the TA is reviewed and updated.


🚩 Incidents, near misses, injuries and illnesses are not being reported or notified to the right people

Why is this a red flag?

When people are unaware of incidents or near misses occurring on site, it could lead to the same incident unnecessarily injuring people repeatedly. Also, some incidents legally need to be notified to WorkSafe. A fine can be issued if this does not occur.

Reporting injuries is also important when it comes to making sure the worker receives appropriate treatment, (e.g. medical treatment) and other support, (e.g. return to work).

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

When incidents, near misses, injuries and illnesses occur on-site it’s important they are reported and investigated appropriately. By recording an incident via the HazardCo App, it automatically populates an incident register on your Hub so that all the incidents are recorded in one central location. 

Carrying out investigations is important as they look at why the incident occurred and what controls can be implemented to prevent them from occurring again.


🚩 Out of date paperwork

Why is this a red flag?

H&S paperwork needs to be kept up to date to help keep your workers safe. If yours is out of date, it could contribute to an incident on-site.

Additionally, lack of H&S documentation (e.g. Risk assessment/Task Analysis) could mean you’re not complying with Legislation so you could be liable for certain prosecutions and/or fines.

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

If you’re old school and don’t mind filling out H&S paperwork by hand, make sure you are using something that is current, e.g. the TA is specific for the high risk task. 

If you’re like us and love using a digital system, use the HazardCo App to get your H&S done quickly and simply. All of our features including the TA and site review are regularly reviewed and kept up to date, including when legislation changes. 


If any of these red flags have made you stop and think, get in touch with the HazardCo Team today.

Call 0800 555 339 or email

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