Are Site Inductions Required By Law? header image

22nd May, 2019

Are Site Inductions Required By Law?

When work starts on a new construction site or project, workers need to know some important information. Where on the site will they be working? What do they need to do? Where do they sign in? Who do they report to? Are any areas unsafe? What equipment do they need? What are the site rules? This is known as a site induction. And it shouldn't happen just on bigger projects. Site inductions should be provided on every site, it's the law.

Yes, site inductions are a legal requirement, and each person should receive a site specific induction at every new site they work on.

Site inductions are a great way to provide employees with the site-specific health and safety rules and requirements, and any particular hazards they need to be aware of.

Going back as far as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, employers are required to provide information and instruction to their employees. This has been the case since 1974.

(2)[...] (c) the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;

A site induction will help comply with the employer's responsibility to provide this information and instruction. But there is also a much more specific legal requirement relating to site inductions in construction.

  1. The principal contractor must ensure that—
    1. a suitable site induction is provided;

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) apply to all construction work. And they specifically require site inductions to be carried. The CDM regulations are the law, enforced by the HSE on construction sites. Failure to comply with CDM can lead to fines and even prison time.

construction site
Workers must be inducted before they start work on a new project

It is the principal contractor's duty under CDM to ensure that a suitable site induction is provided. Every construction project with more than one contractor must have a principal contractor appointed by the client. This contractor is in overall control of the construction site. They must make sure that their own workers, and any subcontractor or others on site get a suitable site induction.

Not sure what a site induction should include? Use the construction site induction form to make sure you cover the important information.

The principal contractor must ensure every site worker is given a suitable site induction. The induction should be site specific and highlight any particular risks...

In addition to providing site inductions to every worker, you should also consider those that occasionally visit the site. Such as architects, clients, engineers etc. Yes, visitors need site inductions too.

Inductions should be proportionate to the nature of the visit, so of course, those that visit once who are escorted around site won’t need as detailed an induction as those who are working on the site, but they should still have a suitable induction detailing the main hazards and control measures.

But what if there is no principal contractor? On projects with only one contractor, there does not need to be a principal contractor appointed. Does this mean that smaller projects with only one contractor don't need to worry about site inductions?

In these situations, a site induction is still required. As there is only one contractor involved, it is that contractors duty to provide a suitable site induction.

  1. a suitable site induction, where not already provided by the principal contractor;

So, even if there is no principal contractor, site inductions are still required by law and must be carried out by the contractor.

The golden rule to remember is that a site induction is required by law. Every project. Every site. Every person.

site office
Site inductions are required by law, on each project, for every person.

This doesn't just need to happen on the first day of the project. In construction, the workforce tends to change throughout the project. You might have demolition and ground workers on site at the start of the project. Painters and decorators at the end. Whenever someone new starts work, they need an induction. They need to know what the hazards, risks, rules and emergency arrangements are. For their own safety and the safety of everyone on site.

Use the free site induction register to keep a record so you can easily check who has had their site induction.

Accidents can happen at any time and risk are especially high when a worker first visits a new site and may not be familiar with the layout, team or work taking place.

Site inductions are an important aspect of health and safety management. They can help familiarise new starters with the management arrangements, hazards and rules on the project. Providing the site-specific information they need to know to protect their health and safety.


You can use the construction site induction form to create and record your construction site induction.

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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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