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Managing the construction process through venue renovations

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It’s always exciting to unveil a brand-new building or sparkling fresh renovation, but before that happens, there is the construction process to plan, manage and control. It’s important to do this to manage the impacts of the construction on your staff and patrons.

Communication

• Communicate regularly with your staff for changed conditions, traffic management, no go areas, safety controls and progress reports.
• Maintain good communication with your builder and project manager to ensure you are aware of recent progress updates and have the tools to effectively manage any new hazards to staff.
• Your patrons need to know what changes are occurring in the venue. Regularly update your social media channels and member newsletters with the exciting progress, changes to access, closures of areas and timeframes for opening.

Access Controls

• If you are changing access to your venue due to construction, always make sure that the correct and safe access is clearly defined with signage, bunting or line marking.
• Your builders must ensure that construction areas are adequately hoarded off to prevent any unauthorised access by staff or patrons (including after hours).
• Put traffic controls in place and arrange alternative parking areas wherever possible.
• Reiterate to patrons via social media channels to keep them informed of how to conveniently access the venue. This is very important for mobility impaired patrons needing safe and ready access to the venue.

Health and Safety Hazards

• All construction poses hazards such as noise, vibration, dust, mobile plant and truck movements.
• Work with your builder to ensure these hazards are minimised and staff and patrons are isolated from the impacts as much as possible.
• Staff are to raise any issues or hazards that are affecting them or patrons.
• Constant noise can be a health and nuisance issue, as can vibration.
• There may be increased cleaning required due to dust from the build. Ensure staff are aware of this requirement and have been provided with appropriate cleaning materials and have been allocated adequate time to complete additional tasks.
• Provide personal protective equipment if staff are required to enter or pass through a construction zone including hard hats, high vis vests, hearing protection and enclosed shoes.

Fire Safety and Evacuation

• With the progress of the build, there may be the need to update your Fire Evacuation Diagrams temporarily. When changes to emergency exits and assembly areas are made, ensure this information is communicated clearly to staff and particularly your Warden team.
• Ensure any obsolete Exit signs have been decommissioned.
• Once construction has been completed, new Evacuation Diagrams may be required (and block diagrams for venues with a fire indicator panel).
• Should there be any structural changes to your venue’s emergency exits, assembly areas or evacuation paths, your staff will be required to undertake new training. The training for fire safety and evacuation procedures should occur within one month of construction having been completed.

For advice on planning and managing your construction to reduce the impacts to staff and patrons, please reach out to Michelle Bates, Safety & Compliance Advisor at DWS Hospitality Specialists via email at michelle@dws.net.au.

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