Construction companies: A reminder of health and safety obligations - Palmers Solicitors

Construction companies: A reminder of health and safety obligations

Construction companies: A reminder of health and safety obligations

Recently a few construction and engineering-based projects have been in the news as some workers involved suffered from work-related injuries.

Tunnellers were trapped by a fire while working on HS2 in Chilterns. Two workers became injured, one critically and both remain in the hospital during a collapse of a steel frame at an Ardmore site in London. And the Network Rail received a £1.4 million fine after its workers sustained life-changing injuries.

What is the Health and Safety legislation?

Since 1974, the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 (HSWA) has been in place to put legal responsibility on all employers “to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare at work” for all their employees and people working on their sites.

To encourage ‘Successful Health and Safety Management’, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released guidance which consisted of its slogan ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’. This motto promotes the need for construction bosses to think out their projects and consider any risk factors.

What other legislations must construction bosses consider?

When planning and performing any work, some other laws must be considered, such as the following:

  • The Building Act 1984 – “secure the health, safety, welfare, and convenience of persons in or about buildings and others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings”.
  • The Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 – read about it here.
  • The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989
  • The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996
  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013

Additionally, now that the UK has left the EU, many UK legislations now no longer need to follow EU law and have therefore experienced changes.

Jeremy Sirrell, a Director at Palmers and a Health and Safety advisor, said: “Before starting projects, construction and engineering companies must ensure they have Health and Safety procedures in place to avoid any accidents and injuries.

“If you are concerned about your business’ safety obligations, then it is important that you seek specialist advice at the earliest convenience.”

For help and guidance on all aspects of Health and Safety Law, including putting in place strategies to protect your workforce, please contact our expert team today.