A to Z challenge – S

afe and secure storage of materials and equipment is a key matter of any building project and a mark of a good and competent contractor. It must be said too that this is true not only on a building project but also in the use of the new property.

As has been seen in previous articles the contractor is normally “in debt” through the life of a project. Whilst a large part of this will be wages for workers and sub-contractors, the remainder will be for materials and equipment. If building materials or equipment are damaged when they are stored on site or lost / stolen this represents an actual loss to the builder and a potentially significant increased cost to the client. This increased cost takes the form of time delays whilst the lost items are replaced and the project is stopped. Today this is much more likely with the shortage of certain building materials.

Coupled to this are the increasing costs from the suppliers that arise because of the shortage. The contrast is that safe and tidy storage of materials and equipment on site contributes in large measure to both their being kept in good condition and also to their not hurting anyone. Often the hasty and clumsy storage of items can lead to these falling over or dropping, leading to their being damaged and worse, hurting someone as they fall. Interestingly this also applies to church materials and equipment when the building is finished and re-occupied.

Most readers will have seen at some point hazardous stacks of chairs in a church building that are too high, too heavy and often unbalanced. Churches normally keep too much stuff in too few cupboards and on too few shelves. Cupboards will spring open as soon as the latch is turned due to the weight of materials pressing against the door. When you meet these situations, do not walk by. Take action, even if you are a visitor to that church. Tell someone and if possible help them to take some action to address the unsafe issue there and then, if perhaps only in part with a warning notice. Safe and secure storage of all materials and equipment will go a long way to minimising the risk that anyone is hurt and that in the case of a building project, it can move forward smoothly, safely and as planned to its completion.