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The Legalities of Health and Safety Compliance in Construction

Health and safety are of grave concern in many different industries in the UK, but in a sector such as construction, it carries an even greater weight of importance due to the inherent dangers that are present on every single construction site. This can be seen in the fact that on average there is a fatality rate four times higher than other UK industries according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Even with the sheer number of workers and the dangers present, it is still a high number and demonstrates why it is so important for health and safety responsibility and legality to be taken seriously by those in charge of construction projects and construction sites.

There are many different aspects of a construction site and a project to understand to install practices that follow strict health and safety guidelines and legislation. There are over 25 different types of health and safety regulations that can be activated for a construction project.  This includes working at height and guidelines relating to the hiring of plant and other types of construction equipment. It might seem exhausting to comply with the many different types of regulation, but it might be what saves someone’s life.

The first legal responsibility is to check a site (whether it is a brand-new site that is being prepared from scratch or working on an existing site). Making a checklist of all potential hazards on site is the first step to ensuring that all workers throughout the project understand the dangers present and what to do when faced with those dangers.

Putting together these hazards into list form informs the next phase of health and safety legislation.  This puts together an accurate induction and health and safety training programme that will be used to welcome all new contractors on to the site. This is useful whether they are full-time construction workers present for the entire project, or just working on-site for one day at a time. A health and safety induction should include general health and safety regulations that apply to every industry and working situation, but then dig deeper into specific industry legislation, and then specific hazards that are unique to the construction site that is being worked on at that time.

Another aspect of health and safety that should be looked at concerns that of plant hire and the hiring of construction equipment. There should be an emphasis on working with plant hire suppliers with a commitment to delivering highly functioning, well-maintained, top-of-the-range equipment. Machinery should always come with tutorials on how to use the machines effectively and safely. Finding a plant hire specialist that can deliver this will go a long way to ensuring that you meet strict health and safety guidelines on your construction site and for the long-term viability of the project.

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