Are you new to Construction health and safety regulations? With the current economy being what it is, more and more individuals are setting themselves up as freelancers or are becoming self-employed by opening small businesses to serve the local community. Jumping into the industry head first is never advisable so before you begin working you need to be aware of your legal responsibilities and duties.
Make Your Sites Safe
If you are working on your own or have others working with you it is essential that you consider the welfare, safety and health of you and your staff. You must also consider the health, welfare and safety of those who may be affected by your work. It is up to you to:
- Manage the risks and the hazards by planning, monitoring and managing the work so it is carried out without causing risks to health.
- Cooperate with your clients and work closely with them so they are able to help you maintain health and safety on the site.
- Train your workers and give information on how they can work safely. You must also seek training.
Never Take on Work You Are Not Able to Carry Out Safely
You may be eager to get any jobs in order to start bringing in the money. However, you should only take on jobs that you have the skills and health and safety competency to carry out. You must also have the right equipment and health and safety training. Small businesses now have the most fatalities in the construction industry and more than 60% of the fatalities are caused by falls. The rest are made up from excavation collapses, listing, mobile plant and electricity.
The Regulations such as the CDM state that you have to plan, monitor and manage all of the construction work being carried out so that risks are controlled. To do this you will need to know how to create risk assessments, safe working methods and review the assessments. If the HSE investigate your business (which they can do at any time with spot inspections) and they discover your assessments are not suitable you could face legal action against you. Additionally you must make sure that access is denied to those without authority to be there as well as arrange welfare facilities for your workers.
Before you start working and accepting contracts get the training you need to manage the site effectively. There are many construction health and safety regulations to follow, but don’t be overwhelmed. With the right training you can learn the skills you need to keep everyone safe.
Don’t ignore construction health and safety regulations. Research the benefits of relevant construction safety training courses and ensure that you provide training to all of your employees. Site safety for managers can be studied on the five day SMSTS course, alternatively if you are a supervisor you can study the two day SSSTS course.