It’s vital to put in place all the appropriate safety measures on construction sites, because their nature poses challenges to operating safety.
Construction sites present the highest rates of injury of all places of work by a substantial margin.
Every employer at a building site has a duty to ensure optimal safety precautions are set up and followed at all times.
Any negligence to safety hazards can result in personal injury.
If you’re an injured worker who’s undecided on taking a case, read on below on the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Construction Regulations 2013.
What is a Contractor?
Under Section 2 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Construction Regulations 2013, a contractor is defined as:
- A contractor or employer whose employees manage or perform construction work
- A person who performs or manages construction duties for a fixed or other amount and supplies materials, workforce, or both for doing the work
Contractor obligations are defined in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Construction Regulations 2013 Section 24. They include:
- Cooperating with the supervisor for the building phase to enable them to adhere to relevant statutory arrangements
- Informing the supervisor promptly on any site specific details that are likely to impact the safety, health or welfare of construction site workers
- Giving the project supervisor information relating to any accident or dangerous happening the contractor is required to report
- Promptly giving relevant information required to prepare a safety file to the project supervisor
- Adhering to directions provided by the project supervisor for the construction phase or design process
- Bringing to the attention of the employees of rules that apply to them in the safety and health arrangement
- Adhering to the safety and health arrangement and possible rules in the plan that apply to the contractor or his or her employees
- Applying the general prevention principles consistently in order to guard the safety, health and welfare of anyone at work
Section 26 of the Regulations gives guidelines on the appointment of safety officers. Contractors controlling over 20 people on a building site or 30 people involved in construction work should appoint at least one competent person as a safety officer.
The duties of the safety officer are to:
- Advise the contractor on the adherence of relevant statutory requirements
- Exercise an overall supervision of the acknowledgement of the requirements of the appropriate statutory provisions and promotion of safe work conduct
- Collaborate with any safety adviser in relation to workplace safety, health and welfare
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Construction Regulations 2013 Section 27 defines contractor duties for plant or machinery erection and installation. Relevant contractors are required to:
- Erect, install, change, work or utilize any plant or equipment in a way that complies with relevant statutory provisions
- Erect or modify any scaffold in a way that adheres to relevant statutory requirements, having regard to the scaffold’s purpose
For consultation, Section 28 requires relevant contractors to ensure consultation on construction sites with the employees, safety representatives and site safety representative.
Additionally, contractors have the following responsibilities in relation to site safety and access to construction sites under Section 30 of the Regulations:
- Contractors responsible for building sites should take all necessary precautions to ensure a site is safe and free of injurious risks
- Contractors responsible for construction sites should ensure site surroundings and perimeter are clearly visible and have the relevant signboards
- Ensure safe entry and egress means are offered, maintained and indicated where necessary
- Ensure relevant precautions are implemented to protect persons at or in the construction site’s vicinity from risks posed by the site
When it comes to emergency routes and exits, contractors have the following legal obligations under section 31 of the Regulations:
- Ensure emergency routes and exits for a construction site stay clear of obstructions and lead people directly to a safe zone
- Ensure it is possible for employees to evacuate workstations fast and safely
- Make sure that emergency routes and exits are enough in terms of amount, distribution and dimensions
- Ensure emergency passageways and exits are marked by signs in compliance with appropriate statutory provisions
- Make sure that emergency and traffic passageways and doors providing access to them are obstruction-free
- Ensure emergency routes needing illumination are equipped with lighting of sufficient intensity in the event of lighting failures
Case Assessment Advice
If you are suffering from a construction accident at work, you can contact us by telephone or email and we will have an initial meeting with you to explore the facts and furnish a case opinion to you in respect of a construction accident claim.
8(b) “In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement”.