Yes, site inductions are a legal requirement, and each person should receive a site 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.
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 employers are required to provide "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."
There is also a much more specific legal requirement relating to site inductions in construction.
(4) The principal contractor must ensure that—
(a)a suitable site induction is provided;
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) require site inductions to be carried out by law.
It is the Principal Contractors duty under CDM to ensure that a suitable site induction is provided.
The regulations guidance (l153) further explains that "The principal contractor must ensure every site worker is given a suitable site induction" and goes on to include not only those that work on the site, but also those that occasionally visit the site such as architects.
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.
Well, it is a contractors duty under CDM to carry out "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 sole contractor.
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, and can help familiarise new starters with the management, arrangements, hazards and rules – 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.