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Guidance for people who are hard of hearing: During works

This section is for operatives that are currently working on sites and what risks works will present to members of the public. Sites will always need to be adapted to meet the needs of those who need additional support, and this guide allows operatives to be more aware. This section should also be used alongside reinstatement activities where larger reinstatement vehicles and other operatives working with materials required to complete reinstatement. The “pass” over to reinstatement is key to a safe site and teams will need to make adjustments where required to facilitate all members of the public.

Part of the duty of care means we must help people who are deaf or hard of hearing to understand how we’ve changed the physical environment.

You must continually check that:

  • Footway and carriageways are in a good state for navigating through
  • Signs and barriers are still in place and protect people from danger
  • Walkways are free of sharp edges, uneven levels, and obstructions that can cause tripping or falling
  • Machinery does not go above or move into the pedestrian space unless coordinated
  • Ramps in use are stable and secure
  • Diversions do not put the public in danger – do not divert through underpasses or dimly lit areas
  • Changes to access and impacts on transport can be explained and be ready to do so

It’s likely navigating a site and road works will be a daunting task for people who are hard of hearing. Where possible keep an eye out for pedestrians that may appear to be in vulnerable situations and use the following communication tips with people who are hard of hearing

Pedestrians entering the working space

The following videos explain communication techniques for preventing someone with hearing loss from entering works sites.

Remember to stop all machinery movements immediately and escort the pedestrians back onto a safe route if they do.

Trips & Hazards

Keep a look out for trips and hazards and use the following communication techniques to support those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Plant and machinery movements on site

Someone who’s hard of hearing may miss a warning sign, and not be aware of plant and machinery movements on site. The following videos explain how to communicate risks

  • Maintain eye contact and speak at a normal pace, not too fast or too slow
  • Speak clearly and not too quietly. It’s okay to speak a bit louder in noisy locations, but don’t shout.
  • Do repeat yourself if asked and try rephrasing if necessary.
  • Minimize background noise and check you’re not positioned in front of a window or bright light.
  • Write down key words or use the ‘notes’ app on your smartphone

Further guidance