P1) Clearly Describe the roles and responsibilities of the construction team on site for Health and Safety and how they are made responsible?
The Employer's roles and responsibilities on a health and safety aspect side are vast and detailed and are required by law in order to comply with government regulations and legislation. One of the main duties of the employer is to ensure a safe environment for all employees; this includes providing safe systems of work, safe handling, storage, training and supervision. They are also obligated to provide a health and safety policy made accessible to everyone that works within the office or officers and any visitors coming in and out of the premises. Another key role the employer has to include in his tasks, such as consulting on safety measures with his/ her employees as well as hold regard for regulations brought up by the safety committees. Another key fact to consider is whether there are relevant and up to date health and safety policy in place.
Although the employer has a bundle of responsibility especially when it comes to safety and welfare, the employees must also take some aspects into account. Under the HASAWA it states employees must act with due care for themselves as well as cooperating with the employer through such methods as a talk box. This is where everyone stops work for a short period of time and talk about safety aspects of the job they are working on. It is also good practice not to recklessly interfere or misuse anything; this includes equipment and bodily harm.
It's the client's responsibility to demonstrate an acceptable standard of health and safety. This will include appointing a planning supervisor, providing health and safety information and appointing a main contractor. Although these are the main duties often taken by the client before work starts there are a few others that sometimes clients forget or don't realise they have responsibility to do them this includes, a health and safety plan for the construction phase of the works and they must keep and store the health and safety file on completion of the building.
Under the contractors duties regarding health and safety are as follows; he or she must ensure the cooperation of all contractors on site, ensure the rules set out within the health and safety plan are passed and correct and most importantly prepare the health and safety file. Other duties you may see the contactor doing is making sure everyone on site has permission to be there and ensuring constant contact with the health and safety executive on any matters regarding the subject. Another main issue is ensuring the health and safety policy passes inspection enabling work to commence.
Subcontractors do not have as such direct contact with health and safety issues however they have to abide by law and be provided with relevant safety information and equipment such as safety glasses, gloves etc. They must also complete an initial site induction before they are allowed on site alone.
From the Local governments aspect they have general duties such as highways and road safety to take into account anything basically from communal building such as council buildings such as post offices cathedrals castle for example. However if none of these occur and it's a private building such as a factory or private home then they have limited powers but they do have the right to visit the site on the grounds of noise, nuisance or environmental issues, if any complaints are made by local residents or the workforce it self.
Health and Safety Executive
He or she is there as an "overseer" there to provide three simple things, these are:
Advice- help with matters regarding health and safety, how to improve methods in place and in cooperate new methods to the construction. Inspect- check safety certificates, methods in place, the risk of injury etc.
Enforce- if things aren't up to scratch, depending on the seriousness of the particular site then report them or take drastic action which may stop work completely until things are approved.
CDM Co-ordinators have similar roles to the contractor however they consider health and safety issues from the design side of things. There duties include contacting the HSE of the proposed project, they must ensure cooperation between designers ensuring they comply with their duties. There duties include making the client aware, risks within the design concept and ensure adequate information on the risks, cooperate with the planning supervisor and any third party designers. They are also obliged to produce a pre tender health and safety plan is prepared and also check a health and safety plan is prepared. These obligations are good practice and achieved with regular meeting with all those involved.
Identify three of the main legal issues with the current HSAWA and any other legislation requirements for employers and employees that need to be implemented in the construction workplace and describe their legal duties?
Health and safety within an active construction team and workforce has had significant legalisation since the HASAWA 1974. The three main pieces that I am going to concentrate on are listed below:
Work at height regulations 2005
This legalisation was brought into place in a government effort to reduce injuries and fatalities from falling at a height in the workplace. This legalisation includes a height to be anything from standing on a chair to building sky scrappers. The guidelines state "you must avoid working at a height where an alternative method can be used. Where this can not be avoided adequate safety precautions must be put into place such as using guard rails, barriers, handrails, toe boards, scaffolding and elevated platforms. This has a knock on effect to the employers and states a few basic concepts and principles to be completed by them these are, to check competency of each individual asked to work at a height. To achieve this suitable training, instruction and supervision must be provided. The legalisation also sets out guidelines to achieve these goals as details are giving for working platforms, access and aggress, risk assessments and requirements for PPE and collective means of protection.
The Regulations require Departments ensuring:
- Working at any height is properly organized
- Those involved in working at height are trusted
- Ensure the risks from working at any height are properly assessed and appropriate work equipment and health and safety measures are selected and used.
- Ensure the equipment for working at a height is properly inspected and looked after.
There is a hierarchy for the management and selecting equipment for working at a height:
- Avoid working at a height wherever possible
- Use of work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where working at height cannot be avoided
- Where the risk of a fall cannot be eliminated, use work equipment or other measures to minimize the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur.
These Regulations have a number of schedules, which highlight detailed requirements for existing places of work and means of access for working at a height. For example fall prevention (e.g. guardrails and working platforms), for falls from heights (e.g. nets, airbags etc.), for personal fall protection (e.g. work restraints, fall arrest and rope access) and for ladders.
Construction regulations 1996
The Construction Regulations 1996 legalisation focuses directly at the construction industry in particular the reduction of accidents within the industry is aimed at protecting the health, safety and welfare of everyone who carries out construction work. They also protect other people who may be affected by construction work. To do this it centres on the employer and the workforce in helping to reduce these accidents. The employer under these obligations ensures that the construction workplaces are safe and practical to use, what's more it puts into place measures to prevent workers from falling, this can included in the forms of toe boards, netting and barriers. The basics must also be considered such as suitable welfare facilities, lighting, fresh air and heating to the work place. On the other hand the work force must abide by the rules and regulations set into place. These consist of reporting any defects of equipment or design to be reported to the supervisor and that every employee has to co-operate regarding health and safety issues such as working in a bakery all staff must wash there hands before they are allowed to touch food and must ware hair nets for hygiene reasons.
Under these Regulations employers have duties to carry out their own work in a safe and appropriate way. Anyone doing construction work has a duty to cooperate with others on matters of health and safety and report any defects to those in control. One of the general duties is to ensure a safe place of work and safe means of access to and from the place of work, this Regulation sets out a general requirement which applies to all construction work. It applies equally to places of work in the ground and at ground level aswell as at height.
Under the Regulation it requires the following:
This section has been repealed and is now covered under The Work at Height Regulations 2005. But however basically outlines correct safety procedures and equipment to use to reduce the risk of falling, some of these methods are discussed later on in the assignment.
This section has been repealed and is now covered under The Work at Height Regulations 2005. However this is basically like falling from a height as in the safety precautions and measurements discussed are the same exempt hats and steel cap boots are used to protect vital organs and limbs. However these are later discussed in more detail futherforth in the assignment.
Stability of Structures
In order to prevent collapses during the construction phase it is necessary, at the planning stage, to take into account any foreseeable hazards.
Any excavation which has the potential to collapse without support should be suitably equipped. Underground cables should be highlighted before work commences and action taken to prevent injury.
Prevention of Drowning
Measures should be in place to prevent persons from falling into water or other hazardous liquids. In the event of an incident protective equipment and life saving equipment should be available for immediate use and regularly maintained. Also Transport by water should be controlled by a reliable person. Ideally those employees who can swim should be allowed to work over water or liquid.
Plant and Equipment
All plant and equipment should be maintained in a reasonable condition so that it remains safe and without risks to health. Certain equipment eg, cranes/hoists, is subject to statutory inspection.
Ensure that persons who carry out work activities have received adequate training so that they carry out their work in a safe manner with minimum risks. Inspection Excavations, cofferdams or caissons must have the place of work inspected before work commences and at regular intervals by a competent person, who must be satisfied that the work can be done safely.
Health and Safety at Work Act
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 also referred to as HASAW or HSW is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the United Kingdom. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing the Act and a number of other Acts and Statutory Instruments relevant to the working environment.
The HSE has many divisions that cover the industries from nuclear power, agriculture, railways to construction. The HSE has a wide role to play in controlling health and safety in construction. Its responsibilities are:
- To advise
- To inspect
- To enforce
The Health and Safety Executive has powers to inspect any construction site notifies it under the notification rules associated with the F10. The F10 is the official form that is completed by the contractor and sent to the HSE to advice.
Much of the law regarding safety in the work place can be found in the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. Under this act employers have to take steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. As well as this legal responsibility, the employer also has to take reasonable steps as far as they are able to ensure the health and safety of their employees is not put at risk. So an employer might be found liable for his actions or failure to act even if these are not written in law. An employer should assess the level of risk as against the cost of eliminating that risk in deciding whether they have taken reasonable steps as far as they are able. The employer's responsibility to the employee might include a duty to provide safe plant and machinery and safe premises, a safe system of work and competent trained and supervised staff. Certain groups of employees may require more care and supervision than others, for example disabled workers, pregnant workers, illiterate workers etc.
The employer has two options to get any concerns across to his/ hers employees this is either via consulting them directly or through an elected representative on health and safety matters. If there is a recognised union with an appointed safety representative they must consult with them and allow them time off for training in health and safety issues. Usually the employer's responsibility is only to his or her own employees and premises; however, the responsibility can be extended in some circumstances. For example where employees from different firms are employed on one job, the main contractor will then be responsible for co-ordinating the work in a safe manner and must inform all employees of possible hazards.
Explain in more depth the responsibilities of management and how they should always interact with their employers to ensure their Health and Safety policy is implemented and what measures can be put in place to ensure awareness and safe working practices for all employees is constantly monitored?
Management has a key role and responsibility to play when it comes to H&S (health and safety) and in order to relay this effectively to the workplace, regular meetings with the employer, the workforce and key members of management in the construction phase, this being the main contractor, employer and the planning supervisor.
One of the main duties of the employer is to consult and cooperate with employees on safety measures, this meaning any safety aspect of the workplace should for good practice be discussed with the employees who use the machinery. Such as a brick layer will discuss safety measures and responsibilities with the employer for example using appropriate footway, steel cap boots and gloves to protect his hands. The employer under the health and safety act should provide these free of charge and have a booklet giving new employees what you must ware to comply with regulations of the government.
Another important duty to conclude in this assignment is to ensure all employees have the relevant training and supervision to complete their job safely with the equipment their using. An example of this hedge trimmer for example needs training in strumming and if the hedge row is on highway he'll need adequate safety on highways certificate or he won't be able to work on highway land. Therefore the employer will have to set up necessary training and procedures into practice to reduce the risk of injury. More often than not a health and safety advisor will visit various sites to ensure the right safety precautions are in place and the safety policy implemented is accurate and efficient.
The contractor's main role in health and safety as we know is to ensure cooperation on matters with health and safety and ensure the rules are approved by the relevant worker most usually that of the health and safety executive, however sometimes it can be the employers themselves. This will involve meetings both formal and informal with the site supervisor and health and safety inspector on matters of procedures to be taken up on site and training required for each of the employees on basic safety and more specific safety aspects with handling machinery etc.
Another responsibility the main contractor has bestowed on him is preparing the health and safety file and notifying the H&S Executive about the works and that the F10 is displayed in a prominent position for the whole of the workforce to see from the client to the builder. Under the contractor he is responsible for the majority of the workforce out on site this including bricklayers, builders, roofers, sub contractors etc. However subcontractors also have sum liability on there shoulders although they are not directly in charge of any of the workforce except their own little teams they do have to contribute to the health and safety which is provide method statements and risk assessments to the employer and client to ensure it is accurately stored and made a record of any problems, risks or potential hazards. A method statement details how company is going to undertake the work, what it will use and what precautions it will take.
HSE- Health safety executive- Employers are compelled by the government to provide a reviewed health and safety policy. Management are responsible for ensuring a safe work environment for all its employees. Therefore practices, methods and theories must be used to ensure they do this effectively and efficiently. In every working site a from like the one shown below should be displayed somewhere where everyone can see it. The health and safety executive is not directly responsible for anyone but is used to enforce the regulations in health and safety already emplaced.
Planning supervisor as we know has many responsibilities upon him, one of the most important ensuring designers comply with their duties. To ensure this occurs constant Co-operation is needed with the planning supervisor and designer and other higher member of the hierarchy such as the client and main contractor. This is essential to ensure the minimal chance of risks and hazards occurring.
Merit Two Question
Health and safety is dispensed evenly throughout the hierarchy, however some roles take more responsibilities than others. For example the client which is at the top of the hierarchy has relatively minimal duties to carry out than say the H&S Executive which has a more power due to his post as he or she specialises solely on the H&S aspect of the work. Therefore the hierarchy of management and Responsibility in health and safety will be slightly different, to that of general management hierarchy.
The most responsible job in Heath and safety would be the H&S Executive as they have bestowed vast reliability to enforce and oversee the construction of the F10. As well as ensuring all of the workforces are up to date in training and health and safety certificates are clearly on view and in good working order as well as encouraging safer practice throughout the duration of the works.
Joint at the top of the chain of command will be the employer who has to constantly as we know keep on top of all safety aspects of the workplace, via the use of safety audits, hazard checks, seminar and training. Below is a list composed by an employer of a company in whales prioritising there health and safety measurements.
One of the most important things to complete in regard to health and safety is to ensure all government legalisation is followed and completed such as fire exits labelled health and safety policy clearly shown to all employees in the workplace. This is at the top of the hierarchy when it comes to health and safety. The government legalisation also ensures adequate training to staff and a safe working environment, which after all is one of the most important priorities in any working environment, as we know the employers deal with meeting these basic requirements.
The next step down the ladder would be completing paper work such as the F10 and safety records including a health and safety plan and file, the responsibility of this changes depending on the type of work, but for a live building site this lies between the employer and the client to sort out between them selves. As well as this other measures are also taken out by planning supervisors which do the designs and calculate any risks or hazards that may occur throughout the building stage and pass these onto the client and health and safety exc. As well as all these regular tool box talks and safety comities will take place as risks and concerns need to be identified by all aspect of the team regardless of post. This is good practice and encourages workers to come together as a team making a more effective workforce.
On the bottom of our ladder of responsibility we can find hazard checklists which will be carried out by the employees themselves identifying any dangers or risks of using a particular equipment of area of work that the main safety files have not picked up on. Alternatively employees could inform management directly by approaching them or bringing up matters of concern at tool box talks, or safety meetings.