What Health and Safety Legislation Do You Have to be Aware of on a Construction Site?

by BritanniaSafety on October 15, 2012

With the construction industry registered as ‘high risk’ by the HSE a good foundation for construction health and safety training on any site is extremely important. The industry only accounts for around 5% of Britain’s working population but 27% of all fatal injuries to employees and 9% of reported major injuries. There are strict health and safety regulations for the workplace, but which ones apply to the construction injury?

Like all workplaces, a construction site has to abide by the legislation set out in the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act, which gave a duty to all employers to ensure the health and wellbeing of their staff members, as far as is reasonably practical. As well as this Act there are a number of regulations the construction industry also has to follow. They are detailed below:

1. 2005 Working at Height Regulations

Due to the nature of the work in the construction industry, often, construction workers have to Work at Height, whether this be on ladders, mobile units or platforms. The Working at Height Regulations of 2005 apply to all who work at height where there is a risk of a fall which is liable to cause personal industry. There is a number of construction training courses available to ensure that staff members and managers are aware of how to work safely in these conditions. The Working at Height Regulations state that:

  • All work at height must be properly planned and organised
  • All involved in work of this nature must be competent
  • Risk assessments should be carried out
  • Appropriate work equipment should be selected
  • Work on or around fragile surfaces are managed correctly
  • Any equipment used for working at height should be properly maintained and inspected

If the risks cannot be totally eliminated they must be minimised and measures must be taken to reduce the distance and consequences of potential falls, i.e. placing nets and bean bags below workmen.

2. Fire Safety – The Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2007

Another area for concern on a construction site is fire safety. Under the Regulations of 2007, clients, designers, contractors, CDM coordinators and construction workers must eliminate and control the risks from fire safety. When taking part in construction training you’ll be advised about risk assessments and fire extinguishers. Risk assessments must be carried out to ensure that you are correctly covered by fire extinguisher as they should be suitable for the potential fire.

3. Excavations – LOLER and PUWER

There are two regulations construction workers must be aware of when using excavators. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and Provision of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) both apply to this work and ensure the maintenance and safety of the machinery. Construction training needs to be carried out if you are going to use an excavator for lifting and also additional safety devices must be fitted. These devices include a boom lowering device and an acoustic warning device.

The construction industry is a risky place to work and following health and safety regulations and conducting construction training is the only way to ensure that your construction site is safe. To read more about the legislation visit the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/.

About the Author: Britannia Safety and Training is a health and safety construction training provider. With industry experienced experts, they can guide you through courses, giving you knowledge about the areas of health and safety law which apply to the construction industry while making sure that you understand the practical elements so that you can work confidently and competently when back on-site.


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