10th December, 2020
Health and safety regulations apply to every industry, not only construction, but there are some extra laws you should know about in construction. Let's look at the health and safety legislation, rules and requirements that apply to the high hazard construction industry.
Health and safety is an important consideration for any construction project. Not just to keep your workforce safe (although, this is the most important reason for health and safety), but also to comply with the law. When a health and safety regulation applies to construction work, the law is usually enforced by the HSE, who are the enforcing authority on construction sites.
Of course, health and safety regulations apply to every industry. Some of the regulations on our list could be applied to any workplace, for example, manual handling regulations. Others apply specifically to construction, such as the CDM regulations. And not every regulation will apply to every construction project. Some regulations will apply to all projects, for example, PPE regulations. Others will only apply if that type of work is being carried out, e.g. confined spaces.
The following list includes 25 key pieces of legislation that can be applied to health and safety on construction projects:
How do these regulations impact construction? In big ways! For example, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations is what makes producing risk assessments a legal requirement. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations is why you need COSHH assessments. Have an induction on every new project? That's a legal requirement under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM).
In the high-risk construction industry, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that there are a variety of regulations in place to try to protect the safety of workers. If you work in construction, you need to know about a few extra health and safety regulations compared to some other workplaces. Why does the construction industry get these extra rules and regulations, or as it is often referred to as, red tape?
Because construction work is higher risk, compared to say, working in an office or a school. You are often dealing with hazards that other workplaces don't often come across, like working at height in an incomplete building, using heavy machinery, demolishing structures, coming across live services and harmful materials.
Some regulations apply across all workplaces, no matter the industry, and these also need to be considered in construction. Some regulations, such as CDM (Construction Design & Management Regulations) are more specific in applying only to construction projects.
Any legislation which places duties on employers and others to ensure the safety of their workers and those affected by their work is relevant to the UK construction industry.
We've included the most common construction regulations here, but this is a non-exhaustive list. Other regulations may apply depending on the specific hazards present on your project, and the work being carried out. If you're doing something unusual, like using explosives or working on pressure systems, then additional regulations will apply to your work.
The list is based on UK regulations. Legal requirements can differ, inside and outside the UK from country to country.
Find out more about the legal duties of employers, and the legal duties of employees, and the duty of care at work.
This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.
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