Can You Walk Through a Construction Site? Is it Illegal To Walk Through a House Under Construction?

Can You Walk Through a Construction Site?

Is it Illegal To Walk Through a House Under Construction?

Passing or walking through a construction site can be a legal, illegal or grey area depending on the site setup, contract and circumstances. Let’s look at situations whereby it’s illegal to pass or walk through a construction site.

When It’s Illegal To Pass or Walk Through a Construction Site

Legally, a construction site is private property, lot or plot which belongs to the project owner. So before we even talk about the possession of the site by the building contractor for protection and security, this legal aspect alone should prohibit anyone from trespassing the site.

Whereby the contractor has enclosed the site with barriers, safety screens, gates, hoarding and access ways for public safety and security purposes, it is illegal to scale the barriers, pass through the gates, remove barriers or use any other means of access which are not meant for the public. The existence of barriers and screen walls around the site should be a warning and sign that guides passersby on the location of property boundary lines. Breaching the property lines should be a trespass violation. A security guard or site watcher has the right to tell you to move away from the property if you are within the boundaries or inside the property. In case of resistance or refusal to obey, the site watcher can call the police.

Whereby the construction site has no physical barriers, screen walls, hoarding or public access ways, but ground line markings (e.g. paint lines, flag markers, pins, stakes or stringlines etc.), it is illegal to cross the line markings and pass through the site.

Whereby there is a clear notice board or sign written “private property, house under construction or construction site”, it is illegal to walk or pass through the site by any means.

In most construction projects governed by Conditions of Building Contract, the contractor under the direction of the principal agent (architect or engineer) is required to protect the site including site works, existing infrastructure, plant, materials and equipment from vandalism, theft, damage and loss. It is the contractor’s duty to ensure safety for the workmen, consulting team, visitors and the public. In doing this, the contractor shall under the direction of the principal agent, limit access to the site or works for certain people, requiring their removal from the site for security reasons. The area of the works will be defined by the principal agent, including restricted zones and location of site exits.

Access to the site and works will also be restricted to specific times, of which employees, workmen and the project team may not be allowed to visit.

If you don’t have permission from the principal agent or contractor to access the site or works, the contractor and site representatives will not be held responsible for any injury that might occur to you. This is one reason why trespassing, walking through a construction site or house under construction is not a good idea. A pedestrian or passerby will more likely qualify for compensation in case of injury if they used designated/safe means of public access installed by the contractor, for example hoarding (protected passage ways) installed around or over the site.

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