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Written by
on 05 December 2014


Think health and safety is some other lucky bugger’s responsibility?

Think again.

In construction, everyone gets to have a slice of the pie.

And we all have to pitch in to keep things safe – from clients to workers on the ground.

Whatever hat you wear, there’s always something you can do. Here are some of the ways you can help out:

If you’re a client:

  • Clients don’t get to wash their hands of H&S – you’re just as important as the rest of the team. If you’re having work done, you’ve got proper responsibilities under the CDM regulations.
  • Make sure everyone you employ is competent. Don’t be afraid to ask for evidence to confirm this.
  • Give pre-construction info promptly. Don’t hang around – you’ll only cause yourself grief.
  • Make sure there are arrangements in place to cover all H&S requirements.

If you’re a principal designer / designer:

  • Your client’s paying you a pretty penny to make sure you do your job right. You need to make them aware of their duties too – before you start work.
  • Are you competent? Don’t just assume anything. Check your CDM competency first.
  • Avoid risk. As the principal designer, you’ve got the crystal ball to spot any hazards before they happen. It’s called risk management – do it!

If you’re a principal contractor:

  • Project management’s a sexy name for making sure you plan, implement and review everything properly.
  • Draw up the rules – make sure you’ve got appropriate site rules for the area set up.
  • Notification – you’ve got to have all the correct formal notices on display on site – no exceptions!

If you’re a small builder:

  • Set realistic lead times, and allow lots of extra time for planning and prep.
  • Restrict site access – many an unfortunate accident was caused by idiotic kids wandering in for a dare. Make sure no unauthorised persons can get in.
  • Provide info and training – your workers are looking up to you – literally. So give them all the training and knowledge they need. 

If you’re a construction worker:

  • Stay competent – always refresh your training and make sure you know how to do things safely
  • Remove hazards – spotted something dangerous? Don’t be a plonker – get it out of the way! Or at least tell someone about it.
  • Follow the rules – they’re there for a very good reason.
  • Report any problems – a problem shared and all that… but it also means that if there are risks, they can be properly addressed.

Your takeaway points

  • Clients need to make sure that everyone you employ is competent and that you give important information in time.
  • Designers need to identify risks and take them into consideration during design.
  • Contractors better draw up proper rules – and make sure everything is properly notified.
  • Small builders – need to give all the necessary training and keep the site secure.
  • Workers should tackle everyday hazards and most importantly – notify someone of any issues.

Where do you fit into the construction picture? Are you doing everything you can to keep the workplace safe?

Let us know your thoughts below!

Now it’s your turn

Have your say in the comments section below.

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A chartered safety and risk management practitioner with 20+ years of experience. David provides a healthy dose of how-to articles, advice and guidance to make compliance easier for construction professionals, Architects and the built environment. Get social with David on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.


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