The principal contractor has a duty to plan, manage and monitor the construction phase and coordinate matters relating to health and safety during the construction phase.
Planning of the works activities and identification of health and safety risks, control measures and resources needed to reduce or eliminate them is a continual process and should be carried out throughout the construction phase.
When planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating the construction phase, the principal contractor must take account of the general principles of prevention, particularly when decisions are being taken to plan items or stages of work sequences and estimating the time stages of work will take to complete.
Standards should be checked regularly by the principal contractor and prompt action taken where necessary. This may involve routine checks of work areas, and investigation of any near miss incidents.
The principal contractor must:
- Make sure that anyone engaged to carry out work is capable of doing so safely
- Ensure that effective health and safety measures are put in place to control the risks
- Make sure the right plant, equipment and tools are provided to carry out the work
You should update your construction phase plan, and monitor site health and safety standards and control measures so that they remain effective.
Remember, as the principal contractor you have overall responsibility for health and safety on site during the construction phase. You should set an example and set standards for working practices on site.
The principal contractor must continue to liaise with the principal designer for the duration of the project on matters such as design changes and any implications on the management of health and safety. You should also start to provide any information requested by the principal designer for the health and safety file.