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Health and safety

During construction and development works, there are risks which can be life-threatening and life-changing. Damage may also be caused, potentially resulting in flooding.


Our health and safety requirements

There are many potential risks, including:

  • The collapse of poorly supported excavations.
  • Accidents which may occur when works or access to works are located along highways.
  • Disruption of services, when other service company cables or pipes are damaged.
  • Explosive or poisonous gases which may be encountered in confined spaces.
  • Slips and falls due to the inherent nature of sewage and the damp conditions within chambers.
  • Failure of access arrangements such as ladders and step irons, which may be corroded or otherwise defective.
  • Leptospirosis or Weils disease, which can be developed through contact with rat urine.
  • Dropped manhole covers, which can damage benching.
  • Obstructions to flow when debris, generated by cutting pipes or breaking into chambers, is not fully removed.

The above list is not exhaustive. Hence, we require these health and safety considerations for any development or building-related work:

  • You must notify us of the proposed works in a timely manner. This allows us to review the proposed necessity, means, mode and method of the works.
  • You must notify us of the location, date and time of proposed works. This is so that we can arrange supervision and inspection and emergency measures can be efficiently implemented (if considered necessary). Should the proposed date and time of the works change, you must tell us so we can give our approval.
  • We must be satisfied that the works will be carried out in a safe controlled manner, with the risk of damage or flooding reduced to the least practicable.
  • Works to the public sewer network must be carried out by a skilled and competent workforce who are fully experienced in such work. They should also be suitably equipped and protectively clothed.

In addition to our requirements, you should also refer to the National Health and Safety requirements.

We'll not give permission for the following works to be carried out, directly by the applicant or by third parties, without being notified and allowed to give our approval:

  • Installation of flow monitoring equipment.
  • CCTV or other surveys, which require access within the public sewers.
  • New or modified connections under a S106 application.
  • Alterations to be carried out as a S185 Developer diversion.
  • Alterations carried out as a Build Over.
  • Entry into manholes, inspection chambers or ancillary structures or apparatus for the purpose of carrying out:-
    • inspection
    • identification
    • examination
    • installation
    • or other purpose.

We recommend that you seek and take the advice of your own Health and Safety advisor at all stages of your proposed works, from initial design to completion of construction.

We also need you to confirm that you have fully read this guidance, considered and understood and complied with it, before carrying out any works.

Any unauthorised access, or works to our public sewers, will not be tolerated and will be considered trespass. We'll accept no liability for the consequence of any such access or works and will seek full compensation for ourselves and our customers, for any direct or consequential damage or injury.