23rd November, 2022
Construction site inductions are a great way to provide employees with site-specific health and safety rules and requirements, and any particular hazards they need to be aware of. In this post, we look at the legal requirements for providing inductions.
When you start work on a new construction site or project, your workers need to know some important information.
When you answer these questions and tell your workers what they need to know to start work on the project, it's known as the site induction.
And a site induction shouldn't just happen on bigger projects. Site inductions should be provided on every site, it's the law.
Yes, site inductions are a legal requirement.
Inductions are not just construction specific - 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.
In most jobs, you get an induction when you start work with a new employer, and that's pretty much it for inductions. So if you change jobs, or move to a new company, you'll get a new induction. But that's where things are (legally) different in construction work.
Each person should receive a site-specific induction at every new site they work on.
(4) The principal contractor must ensure that—
- 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 out. The CDM regulations are the law, enforced by the HSE on construction sites. It's not optional - failure to comply with CDM can lead to fines and even prison time.
And your inductions don't just 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 the 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.
In many jobs, you will work in the same environment with mostly the same team for a long time. But in construction, you can move from site to site often - a new project, a new team, different risks, and new rules.
Site inductions are a great way to provide workers with site-specific health and safety rules and requirements, and any particular hazards they need to be aware of.
But the induction on your last site probably won't apply to the new one:
That is why you need a new induction for each construction project.
Not sure what a site induction should include? Use the construction site induction form to make sure you cover the important information.
In many workplaces, inductions will be provided by the employer. Again, this is slightly different in construction.
On most construction projects, there is a principal contractor. Every construction project with more than one contractor must have a principal contractor appointed by the client.
It is the principal contractor's legal duty under CDM to ensure that a suitable site induction is provided to all workers, not just the ones they employ directly.
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...
The principal contractor is in overall control of the construction site, including other contractors. As part of their role, they must provide a site induction, not just to their workers but also to any subcontractors or others working on the site.
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.
(9) The information provided must include—
- 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.
In addition to providing site inductions to every regular worker and contractor, 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 people that visit once and get escorted around the site won't need as detailed an induction as those who are working on the site. But visitors should still receive a suitable induction detailing any hazards or rules they need to know about.
The golden rule to remember is that a site induction is required by law. Every project. Every site. Every person.
Accidents can happen at any time and risks 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 (and a legal requirement). 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.
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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