Site Safety Inspections
As a client organisation employing contractors to construct, refurbish, fit out or demolish your buildings how do you ensure that the project is being managed in a safe manner? Likewise, as a contractor, you need to be confident that your sites are safe and unlikely to be subject to extra costs and delays due to poor safety standards and ensure you create a safe working environment for your operatives and sub–contractors on site.
More and more client organisations and contractors are now appointing Eurosafe UK to provide site safety inspections on their sites in order to gauge the level of safety management and help their site management team to bring health & safety to the forefront of their minds.
We should all be aware of the cost of accidents. It is not just the injury to individuals that has to be taken into account but also the loss of productivity, the cost of the investigation, the onerous liquidation damages incurred should a project over-run as well as the potential fine if a subsequent prosecution is successful along with a loss of reputation.
The objective of a site safety inspection is to ensure that policies and procedures are being implemented and management controls are achieving the required standards, as well as identifying hazardous conditions and preventing these escalating into incidents. The findings of the inspection can then be used to instigate corrective processes to improve operations and conditions.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 Section 2 (2) states:
It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare of all his employees.
To ensure that this requirement is adhered to the inspection process plays a vital role in monitoring the health and safety culture on a site and ensuring that any discrepancies are identified and procedures put in place to rectify them.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 goes on to impose further specific legal requirements on all employers to carry out monitoring of their work place. Regulation 5 states:
Every employer shall make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate having regard to the nature of his activities and the size of his undertaking, for the effective planning, organisation control, monitoring and review of the preventative and protective measures.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 detail specifically under Regulation 4 duties of a Client in relation to managing projects. The Regulations set out the Client’s duty to make suitable and sufficient arrangements for managing a project, maintaining and reviewing these arrangements so the project is undertaken in such a way that manages the health and safety risks.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 details under Regulation 13 duties of a Principal Contractor & in relation to health and safety at the construction stage: one of which is the requirement to plan, manage, and monitor the construction phase. There is also a requirement under Regulation 15 duties of a Contractor and for a contractor to plan, monitor & manage carried out by workers under the contractor’s control.
Prior to a Site Safety Inspection taking place the following questions should be asked:
- What needs inspecting?
- Who will carry out the inspection?
- When will these inspections be carried out?
- How will these inspections be carried out?
- What timescale will be put on remedial action?
- How will the findings of the inspection be followed up?
For any health and safety inspection to be successful certain criteria must be adhered to. Firstly the person carrying out the inspection must have the necessary knowledge and experience. The scope of the inspection should be predetermined and a checklist compiled to assist the inspection.
Prior to carrying out an inspection any previous reports should be analysed. Questions should be asked of relevant parties, and assumptions should never be made. A report of the findings should be made and distributed to all relevant parties. Any findings should be followed up and a timescale should be allocated for remedial action. Finally corrective action must be taken with regards dangerous conditions and unsafe behaviour immediately to prevent an unsafe condition resulting in injury.
Eurosafe UK carry out Site Safety Inspections for a number of clients over a vast spectrum of working environments. Our site safety inspectors have the necessary knowledge and experience to provide our clients with a true indication of the safety culture which exists on their site and also we have the expertise to advise on remedial action to rectify any problems.