What is a construction site

Construction site equipment: laws, obligations, costs

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Before the actual house construction can start, the client must prepare the building plot and set up a construction site. What exactly is regulated by numerous legal requirements. Even if the builder gets a construction partner by his side, he has to pay attention to a few things when setting up the construction site.

Applications, insurances, plans: there is a lot to do and pay attention to when setting up the construction site. If mistakes happen, it will not only be more expensive than expected. It can also be dangerous for humans and nature. Therefore, builders should strictly adhere to the specifications when setting up the construction site.

Legal requirements for construction site equipment

If you want to build, you should familiarize yourself with the many legal bases beforehand. When building a house, the Construction site ordinance (BaustellV). It summarizes all applicable guidelines and requirements for a construction site from the Occupational Safety and Health Act (ArbSchG), the Workplace Ordinance (ArbStättV) as well as the Traffic safety obligation together. The three aim to ensure the safety and health of workers on the construction site.

Four rules of occupational safety on construction sites:

  1. The work processes are planned according to occupational safety.
  2. If protective equipment is required, it must be provided.
  3. The work equipment used corresponds to the rules of occupational safety.
  4. The workplace is safe.

Occupational Health and Safety Act

When planning the construction project, the general principles according to Section 4 of the ArbSchG must be included. In a nutshell, the client must design the work in such a way that it poses no danger to the workers and that accidents do not even occur. In addition, he must ensure that the workers on his construction site understand the safety measures, i.e. inform them in an understandable form and language.

If the builder does not comply with the regulations or only inadequately, this is an administrative offense and results in a fine. If a construction worker is seriously injured as a result, the builder is liable to prosecution according to §26 of the ArbSchG. He could then face up to a year in prison or a fine. If the client commissions a construction company with work, it also takes on the obligations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Traffic safety obligation

In most cases, the building owner also transfers his / her road safety obligations to the company carrying out the construction. However, the client is not completely relieved of his duty because he still has one Obligation to supervise and is liable for any damage incurred in connection with the construction of his house. This applies, for example, if the necessary security measures are not taken and the client does not regularly obtain information about the security of the construction site. However, that does not mean that building owners have to check every day whether the craftsmen deployed are adequately protecting themselves.

The case law sees tradespeople as specialists have an obligation to comply with elementary safety measures themselves (judgment of the OLG Hamm 2014 AZ 11 W 15/14). However, if the builder has indications that an external company is neglecting safety on the construction site, he is obliged to intervene. This applies, for example, if the source of danger is also apparent to laypeople, for example if safety nets are missing on the scaffolding. If a construction worker falls and suffers damage, the builder is liable for it (judgment of the Higher Regional Court Stuttgart 2005, AZ 5Ss 12/05).

The building owner's duty to maintain safety generally applies to all persons who are allowed to enter the construction site. These are primarily construction workers, craftsmen, possibly volunteers and suppliers. An extended traffic safety obligation applies to children. The construction site must be secured in such a way that it does not mutate into an adventure playground for children.

Workplaces regulation

The workplace ordinance regulates the design of the workplace by the employer. He is responsible for free Escape and emergency routes and for complete First aid material. In the case of voluntary construction workers, the client basically takes on the role of the employer. If he does not take sufficient care of a safe workplace, he must fear fines of between 200 and 5,000 euros.

If several companies work on the construction site, the client must coordinate the cooperation (Section 3 BaustellV), among other things, in order to meet the requirements of the Workplace Ordinance. With shared facilities for occupational safety, the builder not only saves space, but probably also money. However, he has the option of transferring this responsibility to you Construction coordinator to be commissioned (§4 BaustellV).

The ArbStättV also includes the regulations for Day accommodations the construction worker. Break rooms are necessary on construction sites if more than four workers are employed there for more than a week or more than 20 person days. The break rooms are used for the workers to relax and are mostly located in construction site vehicles or containers.

In order to set up the construction site efficiently and to meet all the requirements of the ArbStättV, you need one Construction site plan. Then every company and every worker knows where what is on the construction site. The plan should be drawn up by the client or the construction coordinator in cooperation with the respective construction partners before construction begins. All important points must then be drawn true to scale on the plan. It's not just about the floor plan of the house. The location and location of all the necessary machines and connections, storage areas for building materials and rubble, all line and social facilities, such as day shelters for construction workers, sanitary facilities and office containers, and construction roads must also be located on it.

Obtain important permits for the construction site

Once the legal requirements have been met and the building permit has been issued, the client goes to the Planning the construction site. The scope and type of construction site equipment depends on various factors. The relevant factors are:

  • Size of the construction project
  • Type of structure (construction)
  • construction time
  • Weather conditions
  • Local influences, such as the shape of the terrain, neighboring buildings, etc.
  • Internal influences (availability of construction equipment)

Depending on the size of the project, the client must Announce construction site (§2 BaustellV). The advance notice must be posted visibly on the construction site and protected from the elements.

If there is not enough space on the property to store all the necessary utensils such as containers, scaffolding, construction cranes or building materials, the client may be able to use the sidewalk or the street. To do this, he has to contact the responsible authority - usually the road traffic authority Special use permit apply for. The amount of the costs and the application deadlines vary depending on the region.

Anyone who wants to build a house near an airfield or an air traffic control facility - for example a flight navigation system - has to Aviation Obstacle Approval apply for. For the house itself, the aviation permit is usually part of the building permit. Approval must be applied for separately for cranes or other devices that are used to erect the building.

Set up the construction site on the property

Once all the necessary permits have been obtained, the actual construction of the construction site can begin. However, before the construction work can begin, the client must meet certain requirements on the building site:

  • professional removal of any contaminated sites (contaminated material, chemicals, toxic substances or the like)
  • Submit application for site electricity and water connection or clarify possible uses
  • Set up access options for construction vehicles

The first workers on the construction site are usually the surveyors. They transfer the most important points of the construction site plan to the property. Once all points have been marked out, the client must ensure that the construction site is secured. These include:

  • Site fence
  • Guard rails
  • lighting
  • Water protection
  • Tree protection
  • Line protection
  • Neighborhood protection
  • Fire protection
  • Weather protection
  • Soil protection

In addition, the building owner should store the most important telephone numbers on the construction site, for example for the emergency doctor, police, fire department and the utility companies for electricity, water and gas. He must also have first aid equipment ready on the construction site. The site fences should be clearly visible and a sufficient number of warning signs “Do not enter construction site” should be hung up.

The sign on most construction sites stating that parents are responsible for their children is only true under certain conditions: If a child who is not capable of a criminal offense causes damage on a construction site and is injured in the process, the parents are only liable in the event of a breach of duty of supervision . This is often very difficult to prove in individual cases. If, on the other hand, the child was able to enter the construction site because it was not properly secured, the client is ultimately liable for failing to comply with his duty to maintain safety.

Construction site costs depend on many factors

The erection of construction huts, the supply of water and electricity, the protection around the construction site: All of this costs - and usually not little. How much exactly cannot be answered across the board. The size of the construction project and the duration of the work on the individual circumstances of the construction project are very important: the construction volume, the location of the property and the soil conditions, the planned use of equipment and many other factors.

If a client takes a construction partner aside, a good five to ten percent of the offer price for the construction site equipment will be included. If he takes care of the construction site equipment himself, he can roughly count on the same amount of money. For example, if the house costs 200,000 euros, that would be 10,000 to 20,000 euros. In any case, the client should carefully check the description of services. If, for example, it says that he has to pay for the electricity and water supply, this can not only cause delays if he takes care of it too late. He also has to pay extra bills that can run into the low four-digit range.

As a builder, secure yourself properly

If the client has failed to take the necessary security measures or to adequately secure the construction site from the outside, this may result in claims for damages (Section 823, Paragraph 1 BGB) that threaten the existence of the building. Therefore, it is worthwhile for builders Builder's liability insurance to protect yourself against the financial consequences of accidents on the construction site.

Depending on the size of the construction project, there are other types of insurance available for the client, such as one Fire shell insurance against fire and lightning strike, one Construction insurance to protect against damage caused by storms, vandalism and material defects or a Accident insurance for construction workers for private helpers. The client must also register this with the regional construction trade association within one week of starting work. If he forgets it and an accident happens, he faces a fine of up to 10,000 euros.

The financial risks involved in building a house are high and the finished home should also be properly secured. Read here which insurance is important to you

Conclusion: delegating can save a lot of money

In order to guarantee that a construction project runs smoothly, a well-functioning construction site is required. In order for this to work, however, there is so much to consider that it can be overwhelming for a private client. There is always an enormous financial risk associated with the numerous tasks. Therefore, private builders should better look for a suitable construction partner who takes the matter into their hands professionally. There is also the option of organizing an external construction supervisor - for example through the Building Owner Protection Association or the Association of Private Building Owners (VPB).

As a non-profit consumer organization, the Building Owner Protection Association supports building projects with construction-accompanying quality control and advice on building law and construction technology.

The Association of Private Builders is also available to advise on all construction issues - from the purchase of the property to acceptance.

Caroline Schiko


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