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Health and Safety Requirements in the Construction Industry

by Rohan Mathew
Health and Safety Requirements in the Construction Industry

Health and safety within construction is extremely important. Construction can be a very dangerous process as it can cause a number of different injuries and health conditions. Therefore, a number of legal regulations are in place which may differ depending on where you are in the world. 

This article will outline the various health and safety requirements that are held in the UK and their importance. 

The Regulations 

The main legislative piece in the UK is the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. This outlines the duties of all individuals on a construction site to ensure health and safety, general safety requirements and the client’s duties. 

There are many different rules in the general requirements including rules when demolishing structures, the emergency routes on site, fresh air, lighting and many more. 

In addition to the above regulations, the UK makes use of RIDDOR. This is the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. This creates a duty for employers, self-employed and others responsible for the control of work premises to report workplace injuries and diseases. This is a regulation that applies across all workplaces, not just construction sites. However, it is widely used within the construction industry.

This ensures that once an injury or illness is reported they can assess the site and conclude the cause of the incident and stop it happening again. 

Training 

It is required that all workers on a construction site get the appropriate training in health and safety. This ensures that they can reduce the chance of themselves getting into a dangerous situation and stops them endangering the lives of others. A common way that employers check for sufficient training is by requiring all employees to have a valid CSCS Card. This is a card given by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. They offer different cards depending on your job position. For example, those who are labourers need a green card with a certain level of health and safety training, whilst those who are managers need a black card with a higher level of health and safety training. 

The training that is required of those who apply for a CSCS card, is the Health, Safety and Environment Test. This is offered by the CITB. There are three different types of test, the Operatives, Management and Professional, and Specialist. This is because, depending on your role on site, you will have a different level of responsibility to ensure safety. 

Many employers will only employ those who have a CSCS card because it ensures they passed the appropriate test and therefore competent enough to work on site safely. 

Protective Gear

In the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, it outlines the required protective equipment that all of those who come into contact with a construction site must wear. These are some of the most effective ways to reduce injury and illness. 

Masks are used to stop the inhalation of gases or dusts which have been known to cause illnesses such as lung cancer. Moreover, hard hats are used to protect the skull from heavy objects falling or bumps. Gloves are used to stop the hands getting things such as dermatitis from dusts. Furthermore, reflective clothing ensures that all workers can be seen visibly so that they are away from any dangerous activity. 

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