Updates and changes in health and safety regulations specific to the construction industry in the UK

1. Introduction

The aim of undergoing these changes was to ensure that the construction industry develops in a way where health and safety key obligations are developed to reflect the partial distribution of tasks and obligations for projects. CDM 2015 aimed to ensure the Health and Safety Framework addresses the needs of small projects as comprehensively as larger projects. This is the client who can manage the small projects that they have to manage large projects. CDM 2015 enforces the need to clearly identify who is responsible for the construction phase according to the Group or other representative for major projects and settings, to ensure that security is considered in project management from the beginning and planning and design of construction projects.

In March 2015, the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) were revoked and replaced by the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015). These new, updated regulations and guidance for the construction industry in the United Kingdom were implemented to ensure that the entire construction process is secure, sustainable, and safe. They are expected to make the safety obligations which the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 impose on those who are in control of the construction projects simultaneously clearer and consistent in order to ensure both reliability and stability in the construction and the entire maintenance process. The new regulations focused on showing clients how they can satisfactorily discharge their own construction phase plan-related obligations. CDM 2015 applies to the construction, alteration, restoration, repair, and maintenance of buildings and structures and imposes obligations on owners, builders, developers, project managers, planning administrators, planners, building contractors, and subcontractors. Changes apply to any type of construction, such as newly built domestic or non-domestic buildings, including sheds, small water tanks, unstable fence beams, excavations, landscaping work, strengthening, as well as forest clearance.

2. General Health and Safety Regulations

To achieve this objective, the Act requires that the risks must be properly assessed, systems of work properly planned, appropriate information and training provided, and then the said activities are properly monitored and reviewed. The Act gives significant responsibilities to employees. These responsibilities relate to cooperation with their employers, compliance with well-established procedures, and not causing or failing to prevent any danger to themselves or others. Employees have also been given responsibilities towards the public and are obliged not to interfere with the activities of their own employer so as to cause any danger. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999 (MHSWR), the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations of 1996 as amended in 2006 (HSC), and the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations of 1996 are deemed to satisfy the provisions of HASAWA. Alongside the new CDM regulations, the Statutory Instrument of CDM 2015, new CDM ACoPs (L153) and (L154) were introduced. The British Standards were endorsed, national standards and good industry practice are the main source of benchmarking for the construction sector.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations of 2015 (CDM 2015) impose duties for planning, managing and monitoring construction projects, including arrangements for controlling and coordinating health and safety measures. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act of 1974 (HASAWA) imposes a duty to protect the safety, health and welfare of employees, as well as others affected by work activities, such as designers, contractors and the public.

2.1. Risk Assessment

Are the precautions taken reasonable and sufficient so that the risk is at an acceptable level? All the results of the risk assessment have to be recorded as the minimum requirements of the regulations, and in construction must include the details of possible health issues. Each risk assessment should be seen as a living document with the flexibility to be adapted and updated, and reviewed regularly. In order to successfully mitigate the risks at a work site, the regulations require the Principal Contractor in coordination with the Principal Designer to detail in the Construction Phase Plan how the health and safety on site will be managed. Ensure that all workers are aware of that plan, who is responsible for the other partner involved, and who may access the construction site.

Risk assessment is a five-step process in which the employer identifies any hazards present in the construction site, considers who is at risk and how, and then mitigates those risks by putting controls in place and implementing these. The regulations state that during the construction phase, the Principal Designer in coordination with the employer is responsible for planning, managing, monitoring, and coordinating health and safety matters. They are also responsible for providing the information and training projects require. The Principal Contractor manages the construction work by directly instructing the workers and coordinating with other stakeholders involved. The regulations also stipulate that the employer is responsible for providing a safe working environment, appointed staff with the responsibility of health and safety, and that they should have their maintenance log updated and available. Controlled risks require the necessary controls and are likely to be deemed as compliant with the regulations.

2.2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

As it is an employer’s responsibility to provide any PPE necessary, the MHSAWR Regulation 9 states that the employer shall also provide any PPE worn or used at a construction site. It should be noted that generic risk assessments should identify the requirement for areas of PPE that may be required, and generic method statements will confirm the PPE requirements. If, however, the presence of staff does make a site compliant with planning conditions where the properties adjacent and certainly to annotate this on the Control Form, thus confirming compliance with the planning conditions. Inform tenants of the works involved, when they are actually commenced/hours of working, and any foreseeable nuisances that will be caused during the works. To minimize any potential H&S problem, appoint a CDMC early and at the planning stages to act as a consultant in regard to H&S matters.

Most construction work involves PPE to the head and can include, on occasion, to the trunk or legs. The type and grade of PPE does not have to be new, so long as it is still of serviceable quality. If turbo helmets are required, then these may need to be of issue 2002, although this would not be strictly correct. In regard to the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 – Section 6 and with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 (MHSAW Regulations chapter 2 clauses 5 & 6), employees have a responsibility to use PPE and a breach of this regulation allows the prosecution of the individual(s) concerned.

The requirement for wearing PPE is generally regarded as follows:

2.3. Fire Safety

When the developer or principal contractor/contractor put together a construction health and safety plan, they have to assess the risk associated with fire hazards. It seems like we have to consider ages of them. The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 – Regulation 12(1), when the Construction (Site Preparation and Deposit) Regulations 101 is a measure twice. But it is not surprising, especially if we consider that the UK legislation operates in such a way that the wording of the regulations themselves is always intended to be read in conjunction with some event-specific guidance. Such guidance, in this case, means the Approved Code of Practice (Control of Work Regulations 1991). HIV Regulation 12, paragraph 22, is supported by the advice provided at paragraphs 14-21 of HIV incorporated LIC approved code of practice.

A more general law has been mentioned earlier in the section, regulating fire safety in construction. This part will address the necessity of conducting fire risk specific assessments. As developers or contractors, we usually think that the responsibility of conducting a fire risk assessment lies upon the final owner, the user, who in one way or another will hire a technical expert to conduct this fire safety assessment. But that’s not really the case. Although the final occupant is obliged to provide the local fire authority (or another competent authority) with a fire risk assessment, the order to invoke the term dominant fire safety in a building. The term fire risk assessment is not defined. There are general requirements defined what the owner, contractor, or subcontractor will take into account to ensure the safety of the company’s employees. A fire risk assessment must be adapted to a specific construction site, and it is produced by what has been recognized among developers and contractors as a responsible building owner or contractor chain. So let’s take a look at what exactly UK law says about whether we, as a construction site developer and the contractor, are also responsible for fire risk assessments?

3. Construction-Specific Health and Safety Regulations

CDM construction sites draw a higher level of scrutiny compared to non-construction sites by HSE, for example construction sites are 50 times more likely to be inspected than those that are not construction-related. An employer must be convinced that the construction phase plan is in existence, has been appropriately recorded, and is readily accessible. The construction phase plan may not be required or may be less detailed when using safe, traditional work methods on a simple project. The site documentation should be made available, for example, where materials are stored and the site offices. The principal contractor is required to maintain the integrity of the site and ensure that vehicles enter the site and leave the site taking appropriate measures to prevent accidents.

A number of regulations are specific to hazardous substances and biological agents. Requirements for construction include the safe use of bitumen-based products and other process-specific requirements. For example, regulation 4 of Schedule 3 of the regulation relevant to hazardous substances states that dangerous substances must not be used if they are hazardous to health due to their carcinogenic, mutagenic, respiratory or skin sensitising potential, or other specific effects including those with anaesthetic or other systemic effects. HM Government legislation has specific references to silica dust and asbestos. In the latter case, construction workers’ health can be jeopardised by loose asbestos being present in the building and has caused deaths. Ideally, the material should be identified by survey before work commences and removed safely from the building.

Many of the requirements placed on construction employers are not construction-specific and are applicable throughout the UK, such as fire precautions, hazardous substances in laboratories, pressure systems, and personal protective equipment. However, there are a considerable number of regulations that contain specific requirements for the construction industry.

3.1. Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations

Paragraph 3 of the CDM Regulations states that a person with a duty can be deemed to be a director of a company and have a duty to: (a) Respect construction phase plans and particular aspects that are contemplated within it. (b) Notify the client of any shortcomings that could endanger the health and safety of the environment in the short term. (c) Provide the cooperation for the construction phase plan. (d) Provide support ensuring effective communication. (e) Exchange pertinent information to other parties. (f) Provide adequate site management procedures. (g) Ensure that all people working under their control have the appropriate training and information. (h) Ensure that any required or instructed measures are adhered to. (i) Maintain and evaluate the effectiveness of those measures.

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries. Those working on construction sites have to be aware of the dangers of the work and have to have the necessary training to work relatively safely in potentially hazardous conditions. The employer has a duty to do everything they can to ensure that their employees are safe and now the emphasis is very much on the employer as opposed to the employee. However, employees also have a duty to themselves to take the necessary precautions to look after themselves and their coworkers. One way of making safety everyone’s business is to consult with all the workforce to ensure that everyone is aware of the dangers of the job and all are involved in the decision-making process of how to deal with hazards specific to their job. This chapter is in line with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which placed a duty on the employer to assess the risks and to put in place measures and systems in order to control those risks and to make sure that those measures are made known to all employees. These new regulations came into force in April 2007 and can be overlooked when dealing with health and safety procedures.

3.2. Site Safety

The increased government focus in the UK on poor safety performance on sites prompted by high levels of fatalities and injuries is likely to lead to additional burdens being placed upon the industry. The costs of not achieving levels of ‘acceptable risk’ will be government intervention in the shape of increased regulation, enforcement, and prosecution. Careful consideration of existing accident and safety reporting systems must be clear to get a true reflection of the accident/fatality rate. Increased regulation will, in turn, detract from the ability of Chief Executives to delegate their roles and responsibilities around health and safety to either junior members of staff or those with other responsibilities, such as HR professionals. The pressure on developers to manage health and safety on construction projects is greater than ever, now that new regulations have come into force after the first trial of the new corporate manslaughter legislation.

On-site safety is fundamental to the construction industry, and safe working is necessary for efficient production and achievement of production targets. Apart from the moral obligation of the construction industry to comply with standards, there are tough sanctions for not doing so. An unsafe site is an inefficient site in terms of not just production but also profitability. Work conducted in previous studies about site safety has also shown a lack of understanding among responsible managers about the cost impacts associated with site safety regulations. Careful consideration must be given to the pressure to maintain profitability and safety regulations, so as to avoid potentially punitive action against the company. Safety should be considered as one of a number of factors that increase efficiency.

3.3. Working at Height

Personal fall protection systems are made up of components which may include anchors, harness/lanyard combinations, or ladder climbing systems. Re-railing systems always fall under the fall arrest systems. They are designed to allow a casualty to be raised from their position, depending on the circumstances if the guardrail cannot be accessed. The re-railing system for a horizontal underground system of fixed guardrail systems is for use in general tubular scaffold construction with a high energy element. Retractable fall arrest devices provide several capabilities and are available from different manufacturers.

Counterweights are designed to be used as a counterweight for fall arrest systems, as required by health and safety regulations. They can be free-standing as counterweights where the height restriction is 10 m, free-standing for scaffold and mobile elevated working platforms, and part of proprietary systems using socket-plated tubes when fixing edge protection dead weights. The principal features are resistance to slipping, sliding, pulling, and tipping, minimizing ballast movement whilst maintaining structural strength. Although not required by the Work at Height Regulations, these type C systems can be tethered or restrained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

After 6 April 2012, the Work at Height Regulations 2005 were amended so that on the re-tested guard rail system, the top rail or an acceptable alternative must be capable of withstanding a uniformly distributed load of 0.74 kN/m at any point, above the toe board or structural timber, whichever is higher.

In the construction industry, the hazards of working at height are well known, as are the best practices that can be adopted to ensure that a fall from height does not occur. The height at which a guard rail is required is 2 m, although it is now accepted within the industry that minimal cost and time savings are best made if temporary work restraint or fall arrest systems are used, rather than a physical barrier or guard rail. Other fall prevention systems include shock-absorbing lanyards, open or semi-open vertical lifeline systems following safe systems during erection and dismantling, and safe landing zones for scaffold tubes, which will prevent/detect equipment entanglement and are required.

When carrying out the work, take account of the precautions included in the health and safety law that require individuals to wear appropriate protective equipment according to the specific environment.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 apply to every work activity carried out at height. They place duties on employers, the self-employed, and any person that controls the work of others, for example facilities managers or building owners, who may contract others to work at height. They also have duties under these regulations.

3.4. Excavations and Trenches

A method statement importantly includes information in respect to safe working practices and understanding procedures, permits, checks, and work instructions. The policy for anyone carrying out an excavation instruction permit is that they need to be employed and retrained to carry out the implementation detailed in the method statement, and to their specific persons. The persons used cannot be a subcontractor or agency worker unless prior to coming to work on site as they need to be issued with a limitation. If a permit recipient does not have essential construction competence, including land construction skills, many things could result.

Commencing with the New Roads and Street Works Act of 1991, it became a statutory requirement for any person constructing an excavation to make the excavation safe. The Act holds that work cannot be allowed to take place until the correct shoring, benching, battering, or shoring/benching, etc., and spoil of the required volume has been completed.

There are over 60 serious accidents and 2 fatalities resulting from moving plant in excavations a year. The most significant causes are persons being unaware of the danger to themselves or of an item of moving plant.

3.5. Machinery and Equipment Safety

With specific reference to plant and equipment used on construction sites, the Requirements for Plant and Equipment used in the UK is more guidance than law, although any standards that have been ‘harmonized’ with European laws under the Atex and Construction Products Directive reflects not only European requirements but are also clearly identifiable in the UK with British Standard Numbers, especially if to do with work equipment, especially where the use of electricity and sparks will be of concern, hammers or equipment for drilling, knocking pipes together or securing pipes in trenches by compressing them, or any plant and equipment that could potentially ignite combustible or flammable dusts that are harmful are being used. If required, such equipment should be ‘intrinsically safe’ and many ATM devices are rated to this standard and therefore need to be inspected regularly as they are noticeably electrically driven. The test should be frequency and thorough too as static electricity can accumulate and be hazardous.

Current UK regulations on machinery safety, if they do not already apply in Northern Ireland, will shortly be replaced by the European Directives on Machinery Safety, which have a similar flavor. Currently, the core legislation on health and safety matters relating to machinery and equipment is the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) which do apply to Northern Ireland. These regulations require a wide range of machinery to be regularly inspected and certified as safe in use before they are operated. There should also be planned maintenance and servicing of all plant to ensure that it is safe in use. In terms of plant and machinery used in the construction industry, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) should also be followed; there is some overlap with PUWER and given this flow between both regulations, the HSE recognizes this and as such has produced the guidance document (INDG422) ‘Safe use of lifting equipment’.

4. Health and Safety Training

In addition to a site induction given by employers or a site supervisor, workers should have access to training specific to construction work. Here are four important areas an employer must train workers in either as an induction or later through regular toolbox talks: The most important advice to those training workers is – keep it simple! The site inductions given by site supervisors are to be thorough enough to inform workers (and agency personnel) of danger and the risks that a construction site presents. Ensure they are informed of the site rules, fire evacuation procedures, the location of first aid resources, and the provider of first aid support. Tools used on construction sites may be potentially dangerous and should not be abused. Staff should be trained in the safe handling and use of each piece of equipment. Workers should not be permitted to operate any machinery or tool unless they have been taught how to do so. Use of the personal protective equipment (PPE) that is used at all times for health and safety reasons should be trained either at a site induction or at a toolbox talk. These areas of training will ensure that construction workers understand some of the risks of working on a construction site and how these may be managed.

Health and safety training is important for construction site workers to ensure they are equipped to efficiently manage the hazards associated with their work. Recruiting and training a workforce that understands the specific hazards of construction work is important for the successful functioning of any construction business. The health and safety training programme should address and match the needs of the staff.

4.1. Induction Training

The Potential Hazards in Construction Induction (toolbox) Training guide aims to help trainers identify potential hazards so that trainees realize that as new workers, their prospects of harm are greater. That is, they are not being addressed as such or looked after as well as their more experienced colleagues. Anyone entering a construction site, no matter the job title, should be aware of the common hazards which may be encountered. Health and safety information and the policies site (toolbox) briefings are site-specific as much as content, date, time, and place are. Health and safety responsibilities vary according to the duty holders and their respective roles. They should be identified by the CSCS cards to promptly have a stand-in, in case of need.

New employees should receive induction training to familiarize them with the company’s health and safety policy and basic facts about the site or the part of a site where they will be working. Following this training, they should understand the relevant health and safety rules and working practices. They should be told who is responsible for health and safety on-site and where to go if they think their working conditions are unsafe or inadequate. It is crucial that workforce representatives recognize the signs of inadequate instructions to the safety basics of a construction site. In the construction sector, operatives also need to be briefed about unexpected findings related to contaminated land or water, surveying this subject.

4.2. Specific Training Requirements

There are currently no specific requirements set by the Health and Safety Executive, or other authoritative bodies, for workers who are required to enter areas where there may be risks concerning hazardous substances or atmospheres. Unlike the ‘Construction’ accident statistics, which are broken into various trades or activities, the HSE’s ‘Workplace’ and ‘Non-fatal’ statistics encompass the whole spectrum of the employed population in the UK. Thus, reading the data in these statistics involves a certain amount of extrapolation and generalisation to incorporate the construction sector that we are considering in this paper.

Any worker who arrives on a construction site with non-typical skills needs to attend the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) Health & Safety Awareness course, which lasts one day and costs about £150, or face temporary or permanent removal from site by Portakabin personnel. Upon successful completion of this training, the operative will then be required to take a ‘touch screen’ Health & Safety environment test, administered by a CITB Construction Skills Centre, at a cost of around £21. Although there are currently no specific qualifications that site personnel require to work in a vacated house, all site personnel who are in Cobbett Hill Earth Station need to have attended, and passed, a PTS or a ‘track safety’ course, specific to the exposure of overhead fixed electronic rail systems, and health and safety in relation to demolition, refurbishment, or new installations.

4.3. First Aid Training

Expanding the current requirements in the HSE’s ACOP is expected when the new HSE’s modern migrant health and safety framework is implemented and is scheduled for 2009. This new framework will require employers to provide evidence that a ‘suitable and sufficient’ assessment must be produced for every significant hazard in a construction site. The competence levels of the first aiders required to respond to emergencies due to the hazards associated with activities carried out and the complexity of the work undertaken will also be included in the assessment.

Employers must assess the risks which may arise from the activities of their employees at work (significant hazards), among which the provision of first aid at work may or may not constitute one. The Health and Safety Executive’s ACOP L74 lists factors that must be taken into account in reaching a decision. If an employer decides that first aid provision is needed, the HSE’s guidance strongly advises that first aiders should be formally recognized as competent to perform first aid to person(s) by a nationally approved organization as relevant to the industry in which they work. This means that those ‘self-employed individuals’ needing to provide first aid cover for the duration of a particular construction phase of a project must have their first-aiders approved, which usually entails a three-day course. If access to medical treatment will take more than 8 minutes from the injury or incident’s location, the competent person must also have an AED which is presented in the HSE’s emergency aids.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 place a legal duty on employers to make adequate first aid arrangements, including provision of the necessary equipment, facilities, and qualified personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. These regulations apply to all workplaces, including those with less than five employees and, on construction sites, to the construction company responsible for the management and direction of the construction work as well as to the self-employed. The guidance in the accompanying Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) is intended for the self-employed.

5. Reporting and Investigating Incidents

– The death of any person as a result of a work-related accident. – Specified injuries to workers, including fractures, amputations, dislocations of the shoulder, injuries to arteries, nerves or tendons, and internal injuries caused by the release of pressure resulting in hospitalization. – Injuries to members of the public who were taken to the hospital and released after hospitalization. – Dangerous occurrences resulting from certain specified serious accidents, such as explosions, collapses of lifting equipment, overturning of lifting equipment, and electrical short circuits resulting in the closure of public highways. – Fatal accidents involving lift equipment or elevators. You do not need to report incidents where only a member of the public was involved (e.g. illness).

3. What to Report: You must report the following:

2. How to Report: When an accident occurs, record the details in the accident book. If someone has been injured or becomes ill due to a work activity, report it to the Health and Safety Executive or call 0845 300 9923 (open 8.30 am – 5 pm, Monday to Friday).

1. You have a legal obligation to report any accidents or incidents that occur on your premises or involve those who are working or conducting business there.

5.1. Accident Reporting

It is important to fill in the RIDDOR form correctly if you are involved in the construction industry. Apart from the obvious urge to comply with the law, there is also the fact that you can use the form as a tool to assess the consequences of the accident and to convey the results of this assessment to all parties involved. The combination of these activities is often given the term “report to the client.” Another popular sports name for a report to the client is “accident/statement study.” However, in the SHAD scheme, it is important, in contrast to some other constructions, for example, not to address the question of the guilty – the question is not whose fault the accident was. Also in the SHAD scheme, the term “accident assessment” is often considered negative but is accepted in general use. The early discussion of the use of RIDDOR forms and the possible use of Excel templates will prevent any potential inconvenience.

Incident reporting. Although the RIDDOR regulations have changed little, you still need to be aware of the format of the application as well as the specifics of a construction project. The construction industry is still one of the most dangerous in the UK, accounting for a large part of the figures involved in any industrial accident. You must examine the consequences of the accident in a critical evaluation of why the accident happened and how the consequences materialized as they did. Of course, you must not put the blame on anyone, but find the root causes so that lessons can be learned from the accident. To do this, you need to do the accident research as soon as possible after the accident when you have all the right people in front of you and when the information is still fresh in everyone’s mind.

5.2. Near Miss Reporting

The UK construction industry is considered high-risk and accident-prone. Endorsing the health and safety (H&S) policy of “All Accidents are Preventable,” industry practitioners are now paying more attention to the benefits of an unharmed person participating in voluntary near miss reporting types of systems. This study presents findings from a survey, where 77 UK construction industry volunteers were recruited and 68 sites answered 17 structured questions focusing on general information, policies on near miss reporting, the number of reported systems on near misses, how near miss data is used in feedback on H&S, and views on reasons for not reporting near misses. Data highlights that only 42 of the 120 participants reported any near misses that occurred over the previous week. The limited use of near miss reporting has been contributed to different causes: a lack of management commitment, as well as time pressure; misconceptions about what defines a near miss; no evidence needed to report information; or workers perceiving the H&S system of being under-developed and disorganized. More has to be done about educating about what, how, and why things should be reported. The study supports the assertion in the literature that point-in-time data collection methods are not suitable for capturing accurate records of occurrences.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 requires the reporting of a range of outcomes from workplace incidents, including fatalities, non-fatal accidents, long-term illnesses, and incidents that could have caused harm but did not. However, near-misses are not included in the regulations, although some form of reporting can be beneficial in allowing companies to identify hazards before harm occurs. This paper reports on a survey of workers in the construction industry where they were asked to report on near misses, the approaches currently used to record near misses, and the causal factors underpinning their total report of near misses. Less than half of the participants reported a near miss within the last week, and those that did more than 50% reported multiple events, suggesting that point-in-time data collection techniques will fail to capture a significant proportion of workers’ near miss data within the construction industry.

5.3. Incident Investigation

It is important that the victims, as well as those indirectly involved, are looked after and have access to the necessary support at all times following the incident. This requires the involvement of management, communication and transparency – not only immediately after the incident, but all through to the finish. An investigation as a result of an accident or harmful incident must be initiated in order to identify gaps or weaknesses in the organisation’s control system, with the aim to identify measures to avoid the incident from recurring. For this to be possible, there are several prerequisites that need to exist in the organisation/company.

Investigating incidents can be important for the affected employees, and that it may lead to changes that avoid similar incidents occurring in the future. Society at large might also gain from the incident investigation. These are important reasons why investigating an incident fully is a legal requirement, and why the ABI Guide to safety reporting, used by consultants, occupational health and safety representatives and management, highlights the importance of informing the independent Safety Delegates when an incident has occurred. Picking up the pieces after an incident or accident that could give rise to injuries, ill-health, and/or significant loss of property/damage to the environment can be very stressful.

6. Health and Safety Inspections and Audits

Where construction work has stopped for more than a short term, e.g. due to COVID-19, the government may consider that this is a new site or a new work activity, such as refurbishment of flats where work has stopped for a period of time and not all hazards have been considered or implemented to eliminate or reduce the risks. Clearly written work activity risk assessments could be scrutinized by an enforcing authority (e.g. HSE) where there is a significant injury, such as a fatality, leading to potential prosecution of a principal contractor due to poor planning and implementing of their safety management arrangements to adequately plan the works. Have they shown that all information has been cascaded to operatives and visitors alike to confirm that the complete risk assessment approach has been implemented, e.g. the preparation of scaffolding tower bases or installation of temporary lighting, e.g. as proposed by the Considerate Constructor Scheme (company/firm logo/banner). If a company does not have a valid risk assessment and the relevant SRCs or will be completed following appropriate consultation as facilitated by management, then the site must not open.

Health and safety inspections and audits. Since many sites have closed due to government advice following the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, health and safety inspections of such sites and work activities may have ceased. Following an announcement by the government that many sites could return to work whilst following social distancing measures to avoid the spread of the virus, construction teams, construction sites, and health and safety inspections independently will be required to do more to ensure that activities are undertaken safely, especially in line with current health and safety guidance when government guidance and documents have changed following the crisis. However, there are still ways to ensure that social distancing is possible between two or more operatives working within a small restricted area.

6.1. Regular Inspections

Of course, you should continue to conduct your pre-use checks before work starts and at regular intervals; for example, following prolonged usage, harsh treatment or accidental damage. Visually inspect lifting machines and accessories, chains, ropes, and eyebolts before being used and carry out necessary checks. Look particularly for signs of wear or damage, and ensure that any safety devices are functioning correctly. If you identify anything worrying or unusual, report it immediately to your employer or site supervisor. The manufacturer’s instructions and/or risk assessment should be followed when determining how often lifting equipment and accessories should be subject to a pre-use check: the potential consequences of them failing are so serious that these examinations must be carried out correctly.

Remember, as an employer, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the lifting equipment you provide for use is fit for purpose. Always check with your insurance inspectors that you are meeting your legal duties. Lifting equipment must be examined by a competent person at least every six months. Lifting accessories such as slings should be examined by a competent person every three months – or according to the frequency identified by the risk assessment and associated with the conditions of the equipment. Thorough examinations ensure that the equipment does not deteriorate to a hazardous condition.

6.2. External Audits

External audits are carried out by health and safety professionals and rank a company according to industry and construction-related safety legislation. Approved health and safety professionals for construction projects are consultants from one of the following professional health and safety registration bodies: the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) working at a chartered level or the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) Chartered health and safety consultants. The contractor health and safety compliance needs to engage only with quality health and safety officers who are directly registered with the Health and Safety Executive, construction site inspectors that have been graded in tier one to tier four. These are engineers and surveyors, and chartered consultants, according to their construction members grading.

For a medium-sized company and above, it is recommended to have an external audit. In terms of business cost or time value, the saving and cost necessity is always painful, and companies tend to cut corners when implementing health and safety standards. An external audit by health and safety professionals will provide an accurate and true health and safety management system of a company. An external audit becomes imperative if your requested tender prequalification demands RIDDOR statistics and accident reports. Without external health and safety culture monitoring, there is a tendency to minimize the reporting of accidents on the RIDDOR system in order to reduce severe risks, which does not actually reduce the risk. An external audit has the advantage of passing on all insurance claims regarding accidents to the company, including monitoring of contractors’ health and safety documentation and site visits.

7. Health and Safety Responsibilities

Safety options. Long gone are the days when a clipboard and a whistle were all you needed to maintain safety on a worksite. Contemporary tools have evolved hand in hand with the dangers involved in the construction industry. Safety courses and risk assessments have become obvious choices for anyone interested in a construction or safety career. E-learning courses, once the stepping stones of learning and education, are fast becoming the launch platforms of choice where safety professionals start and further their careers. Tablets, sensors for robots are also nifty electronics that are popular on construction sites and can also provide invaluable help in risk reduction by offering routine assessments and on-site analysis. Much has already been accomplished to elevate health and safety standards, but it is crucial that everyone working in the field continues to work towards further achievements.

Health and safety responsibilities. Construction projects can only be carried out safely if everyone is aware of their responsibilities and makes an effort to fulfill them. Everyone has safety responsibilities, and this includes contractors, subcontractors, managers, and leaders. It is all about cooperation, and every health and safety professional can only make sure that the project is carried out safely and without risks if everyone cooperates with them. The UK is known for having a large and successful construction sector. However, the sector is unfortunately also known for having more accidents and illnesses when compared to most workplace industries. Hence the need to get everyone to cooperate, adhere to national regulations, and engage in continuous risk and hazard assessments. Easy-to-use risk assessment tools, PPE, health, safety courses, and e-learning tools can assist safety professionals to reduce project risks. They have the tools – use them.

7.1. Employers’ Responsibilities

Under the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, an employer should document where there are over five workers. These records have to be made available to the employees and trade unions. Under the same Regulation, an employer with over ten employees shall appoint a competent person to manage health and safety matters or hire an external consultant to do the same. With regard to the data protection law, an employer in the health and safety sector is not allowed to use the employee’s pre-employment medical data against the employees to avoid claims of disability discrimination.

It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that their workers are properly trained in health and safety matters, where necessary. Employers also have a duty to ensure that any contractor who is brought in is competent in health and safety matters and has necessary experience. Further, it is the employers’ responsibility to ensure that all necessary supervision is in place. Employers must also provide a safe working environment. This includes all the necessary precautions against known workplace hazards. These precautions include annual safety checks, which are mandatory for all employers. Employee well-being is also the responsibility of the employer. The employer is required to provide due welfare facilities. Moreover, employers have a duty to consult health and safety representatives (HSR) officer on health and safety matters.

7.2. Employees’ Responsibilities

Site workers are required to observe the rules and procedures and to follow the expert advice of designated employees whose duties include health and safety function within the establishment. In exercising and undertaking their health and safety duties and responsibilities, specified safety and health personnel will advise other site employees about whom they also have a jurisdiction. Qualified site safety personnel also provide advice and expertise on such topics as emergency procedures and initial examinations, giving safety guidance and supporting with an observation card. Information drawn to the attention of site workers concerning the dangers, risks, and hazards will strictly be observed, and any resulting preventative measures, emergency regulations, or instructions must be followed. Site workers must also develop their understanding of legislation and observe it. This assumes that they will be contributing to the safety of their work, with the proper knowledge of their responsibilities under the health and safety laws.

It is essential that you carry out your duties in a responsible way, keeping in mind the health and safety laws and regulations that cover your workplace and the work that you undertake. Employees who fail to comply with health and safety policies, procedures, or signs can be liable for disciplinary action.

Health and safety of construction workers. As an employee, you should: – Take reasonable care for your own health and safety and that of other people who may be affected by your actions or omissions. – Co-operate with your employer or anyone else who is under a statutory duty to ensure that you work in a safe environment. – Make sure that any equipment you use is safe and properly used, stored, and maintained. – Take reasonable care of equipment or resources that are provided for your own health and safety. – Follow systems that are put into place, for example, safe working practices and safety signs. – Make sure that there are no hazards and report anything that you think might pose a risk to your health or that of your colleagues or the general public.

7.3. Health and Safety Representatives

Also, for companies of more than 50 employees, the adviser over 50 employees at the location of the marks and will soon require doctors. The client shall have the right of access to the info within his construction, the adviser for advice being within 12 months from the planning of construction will likely include the health and safety manager role. A corporation that contravenes Regulation 62 (planned preventative treatment) against professional injury/occupational health (Quicker Response 1974, as amended), relaxed and (if this occurs during the practical and the employer is required to take steps to answer any advance on the temporary design. A duty of principal and employer under CDM is to secure health and safety performance. A corporation must see that construction work does not begin unless a construction method statement if the coordination phase and safety timetable form uniform rules accompany the construction phase plan for each construction phase if there is more than one report on the health and safety consultation (Doc 33) for the three papers to be copied at the time of the CDM 2007mdi conference recognizing the safety consultation is essential for the production of a comprehensive plan.

The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977, Statutory Instrument 500 (and the 1978 regulations which gave supplementary provisions for the construction industry), are repealed. A safety representative appointed is verbally mentioned in alternative regulations 2005, Regulation 54(3) – without any right to time off to perform his functions of supporting his representative, Regulation 52(8). In Table 1 of Schedule 2, employers and employees may arrange to participate on other terms and conditions. The employer has to pay the traveling expenses involved for the safety representative to consult with an inspector. Destroy the old HSCs and tenants of factories (Council Directive). It is important to note that talking boards consisting of representatives of the employer and employees who have some participation arrangements and are required to be established under Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act. These regulations refer to the health and safety representatives, to allow the representatives to assess any issues relating to health, safety, and welfare. In this case, the construction site safety representative lies within an allowed working hour period.

8. Health and Safety Enforcement

Since 2001, the Health and Safety Board has been responsible for the operation of CDMM close to the workplace. In January 2007, the HSE published a non-industrial safe agreement. Following its success, the HSE began evaluating the use of health services in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders among its employees.

There were different attitudes in terms of their moral status, but their attitudes were similar to men’s attitudes. Most English employers did not provide their workers with their rights, and the employer was at risk of accidents. The HSE has no right to object to complaints, e.g., made directly to the HSE by companies and those who are recognized with substandard occupational safety and health, which were not confirmed during normal outing procedures. The HSE assumes partial liability when investigating an accusation and wants to investigate all known causes of an accusation before sampling affects the business’s performance.

In May 2013, the HSE announced the introduction of programs in which assessments take place. If the employer is considered to have participated in risk, the program provides exposure to their symptoms sooner than if the employer were not involved in an exercise. The psychological status of the person receiving the exercise monitoring is better. Employers have felt the audit as an administrative burden. These findings suggest that businesses should not be too concerned about the moral status of the audit.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the leading regulator for occupational safety and health in the UK, including the construction sector. Authorities are also set up in Scotland (HSS), Wales, and Northern Ireland, each having their own enforcement body. The HSE has a strategy to secure the health and safety of workers by furthering accident prevention and damage from employment. It also protects the public from risks caused by business activity. In addition, they can impose financial fines on those who do not comply with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act.

8.1. Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

The HSE also publishes information documents. These form the core of the advice systems, allowing them the ability to focus their efforts and make the most of their skills. They also allow them to evaluate whether their efforts have been effective. The organization provides information on current legislation and upcoming changes in a separate area called current issues. It provides employment tools such as access to training and accreditation programs and workshops. Topics include asbestos training, CDM coordinator, cross-sector safety and health, scaffolding training, and occupational health qualifications. Furthermore, the HSE provides three categories called “what you must do”, “what you should know”, and “what you must have”.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a government department in the UK which provides information and guidance about health and safety at work and controls the enforcement of laws and regulations relevant to the safety and health of employees. Additionally, the HSE provides regulation for businesses by offering advice on how to prevent accidents and ill health in the workplace. It advises on the principles of good practice to prevent health and safety risks. The HSE also provides a response service in the event of critical issues and accidents which include hazardous chemicals and explosives, major hazard installations, and offshore safety and environmental management. Investigators of incidents will speak with those responsible for health and safety, employees, voluntary sector services, consultants, and occupational medicine professionals to discover how the incident occurred.

8.2. Inspections and Investigations

An inspector visits a workplace to review accident causes; anonymized statistics break them down into injuries, fatalities, condition monitoring, or complaints. An HSE inspector also investigates the causes of reports of injuries, accidents, worker complaints, or dangerous situations and complaints. The nature and risk of health and safety hazards, the size and risks of the risk to workers, and the risks to staff will decide which factors he or she will take into account. Inspectors conduct their investigatory inquiries after accidents, deaths, work-related illnesses, and dangerous incidents using the scientific procedure. Everyone has inspector powers, including the right to take samples of substances, to invite and interview employees, and to view the workplace. They collect findings during the inspection and try to spot potential reasons, depending on their ability to find them. They must respond to emergencies when arriving at the site.

Health and Safety Executive and local authority inspectors, Occupational Safety and Health managers, and/or union health and safety representatives often use checklists when inspecting or auditing workplaces as an assessment tool. Employers and their staff need to familiarize themselves with an inspector’s powers and rights. They should ask an inspector for his or her permit to make an inspection. Inspectors cannot always demand access. If an employer refuses an inspector entry, the latter must either leave the premises or request a warrant to search for premises from the court. In the latter case, the inspector is not allowed to enter the company until the judicial decision has been made. Employers can request a copy of the inspector’s report once the inspection is completed. Health and safety representatives or union safety representatives may also examine the probes.

8.3. Penalties and Prosecutions

The HSE Guidance document 9789560320415 includes a section on construction, its key issues, and its injuries, and suggests a strategy for preventing accidents. Health and safety prosecution is usually associated if the breach of the regulations has exposed someone to the risk or if it was an incident that could have caused injury to someone. The highest fine is the one appreciated for more serious violations. Obviously, the largest construction company has the most serious health and safety violations and also conviction rates. This is a trend that is expected to continue. Prosecution can also be found in the private sector construction work, especially in companies where health and safety is still not seen as a sufficiently major challenge.

A very important regulation is Construction (Design and Management) 2015. This requires the winning contractor to establish key things and also manage welfare in the works. The penalties applied for health and safety regulation breaches are the following: censure in private writing, fines, imprisonment, prohibition notices, improvement notices, Crown enforcement notice, and a halt to the works (Prohibition and enforcement).

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforces strict health and safety regulations and resulting penalties for breaches in the construction industry. Each case is unique and will result in a different outcome, depending on the breach type. It is also important to understand the penalties to be imposed and the severity of health and safety violations. Based on this, health and safety policies are generated for the site, which will help prevent health and safety accidents on construction sites.

9. Updates and Changes in Health and Safety Regulations

Purpose of this Chapter This chapter’s purpose is to provide an appreciation of the changes in the CDM (2015) Regulations, in comparison to the CDM (2007) Regulations, and, particularly, how the industry is engaging in its transitional period. A communication is developed, based on the outcomes of several interviews. An updated reflection of the construction community according to its levels of awareness of the changes in the regulations and the number of plans introduced is approached, using industry-based questionnaire data and feedback. The research data showcased a critical lack of engagement within the industry in embracing the changes, underlining the challenge of ensuring construction continues to improve in health and safety. An investigation and act data in residual cases were implemented using an industry-based questionnaire, in order to acquire feedback on their communication and, subsequently, the potential for positive action within the reinstated industry sector.

Introduction The construction industry has become one of the leading industries in fatalities and major injuries in the UK, providing evidence that there is a general poor perception of health and safety in the construction industry. This recognition led to the development of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 (CDM 1994), with the review and retitled Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) as the combined outcome of the EC Directive 92/57/EEC of the Council of 24 June 1992 and the UK derogation from 1992. The main priority of CDM 2007 was to enhance health and safety in the industry and their changes reflected in the appointment of various key duty holders in the construction process.

9.1. Recent Updates

The government’s policy offers increased penalties; a policed wire fence demanding insight, competency, and investment which appears to lead all construction businesses towards extensive reform. And as Dominique Aldsworth, Partner at Weightmans explains: the clarity of a simple message demonstrating care, engagement, and, more importantly, decision-making rather than litigation will lead to measurable change across the industry – focusing on the four corners of change, its effectiveness is hoped for.

Sweeping changes in regulation have been such that businesses can bring about a quantitative approach to health and safety in the construction industry. The philosophy – construct a focus on spaces, form and essence of work that are reinvented not with constraining work, or with confining haven of culture, but in open interactive, constructive engagement between employer and employee, and with the broader supply chain – is more effective.

Competing for a dual approach, health and safety are held out as vital components of what the UK government sees as the ‘golden thread’ of contractor competence, with the plan to deliver needed improvements in construction workforce competence and the integration of learning across the UK competence assurance for the entire UK construction industry – with the aid of new job goals and T-levels. Further to this, and aimed at the prevention of ill-health and long-term effects, as well as fatalities – the interim response to the fire safety consultation and fire risk recast expectations have been publicized in a new building safety bill – which has outlined a broad framework for the most significant regulatory reform in the construction industry for almost 40 years.

Each year in the UK, around 20,000 workers suffer from work-related ill health. And in the construction sector, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) cites that over 30% of construction workers suffer from a work-related illness each year, with over a fifth of these being accounted for by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Can chronic conditions such as these be prevented by altering working practices and HSE reporting? As identified in a review of the construction sector by the Construction Ambassador for Wales, Sophie Howe – the creation of a culture across the industry in which health and safety through risk avoidance and harm prevention is dissipated as a priority – requires change. The current approach to health, safety, and procurement in all respective changes is no longer efficient, nor productive, nor focused. It inhibits the adoption of such change, competition, and business growth. In response to Sophie’s recommendations, the paper from the HSE cites that a commitment to a four-corner model (the introduction of early intervention providing financial and wellbeing support) offers a new approach to addressing the existing challenges currently curtailing success across the construction industry.

Investment in health and safety at work

9.2. Future Changes

Another important aspect is the British decision in directive 89/654 article 6, which addresses access to young people coming out of schools. This decision is similar to a previous regulation made by non-UK institutes.

Currently, it is mandatory for organizations to conduct health risk assessments for everyone. This is because if a person is exposed to risks, the necessity of taking action to protect against health risks is important. There may be changes in the regulations that address issues that are not currently given the same level of attention, especially in the UK. It is important to emphasize that employees and individuals who can influence the workplace and the work must also be listened to. The responsibility for health hazards lies with both the employer and the employee closest to the work. They should not only avoid creating health hazards but also consider the impact of their actions on the people working with them.

Through changes in regulations, several identified concerns are to be looked at and met. Changes in regulations are expected to focus more on high-risk tasks like demolition. It is expected that the need for rigorous competence checks, both for companies and individual employees, will continue. This will affect the refusal of projects to employees performing high-risk tasks. Smarter use of construction purchasing decisions is also expected to curb things like modern slavery and improve health. The focus is expected to gradually shift from protecting safety measures to safety measures that ensure health.

10. Conclusion

What we have always found difficult is achieving a health and safety balance between employer responsibility and employee responsibility. At the court of first appeal, any failure of the employer will invariably be attached to him, but in the more considered environment of the appellate court, any failure of the agency will invariably reduce the amount payable by the employer. Then along came the senior Courts, who are anxious to establish health and safety leadership in this country as a framework so that increased responsibility for health and safety will transcend into the construction industry. And the courts saw this in Section 3 of HSWA. As they say, “Well, it is legislation. If you want it done, then we must do it.” So the higher judiciary went ahead and pettifogged over the director and his two companies, ignoring the Act.

In the last few years, there has been a significant shift in the tide of UK health and safety regulation towards the reality of what happens on a construction site. From the early days of generic regulations with as the legal underpinning, through the recent RMA to ‘Construction Regulations’, which now themselves face ‘retirement’ to be replaced by the CDM CO, we have sought to keep our industry safe. It has not been perfect, but we continue to seek improvement.