Tag Archives: health and safety

Peoplesafe partners with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Safety technology provider, Peoplesafe, has extended its partnership with the UK’s pioneering personal safety charity and leading stalking authority, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. Combining a wealth of expertise, the partnership will offer an ongoing holistic service to organisations, combining expert advice on personal safety strategy – including policy creation and training – with industry-leading personal safety technology that protects people in every situation.

Working together, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust will undertake a full audit for Peoplesafe’s existing and new clients, providing them with implementation plans to help upskill and empower workforces to effectively assess, mitigate, and manage personal safety risks, while Peoplesafe will work on executing plans to ensure the right technology is used for the right situations and rolling them out at scale.

Established in 1986, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust was founded following the disappearance of 25-year-old Suzy Lamplugh, an estate agent and lone worker who went to meet a client and never returned. Suzy was never found and was legally declared dead in 1993. The Trust is widely regarded as a field expert in lone-working and personal safety training and endorses the selection and use of lone-worker technologies in line with requirements of the workforce to safeguard employees.

Working together, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust will undertake a full audit for businesses, providing them with implementation plans to help upskill and empower workforces to effectively assess, mitigate, and manage personal safety risks, while Peoplesafe will work on executing plans to ensure the right technology is used for the right situations and rolling them out at scale.

“For more than 37 years, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust has worked tirelessly to raise greater awareness of personal safety and stalking issues. Through the introduction of pioneering technology, we are excited to join forces in order to drive our shared vision, to demand systemic change and promote a society in which people are better supported and feel safer” says Naz Dossa, CEO, Peoplesafe.

“The Suzy Lamplugh Trust is delighted to continue its collaboration with Peoplesafe to support organisations in addressing lone-working and improving personal safety. We promote the use of lone worker safety technologies as part of Suzy’s Charter for Workplace Safety and look forward to working across all sectors to embed personal safety as a priority across all workplaces” says Emma Lingley-Clark, Interim CEO of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

To mark the partnership, Peoplesafe and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust will be hosting a joint webinar, hosted by the Women in Health & Safety group on 19th March.

Making these 9 dangerous mistakes in the workplace could prove fatal

We all know the importance of health and safety in the workplace and why guidelines are put in place to protect us. For both employees and employers, the finer details may be lesser known depending on how rigorous your health and safety documentation and guidelines are.

To encourage worker safety and accountability from employers, Horizon Platforms has shared some common mistakes that could be hazardous to health and wellbeing. This provides guidelines relevant for both office and manual workers. Take a look below.

The worst health and safety mistakes to make in your workplace

1.   Undertaking dangerous activities without supervision

Sometimes you may undertake dangerous activities which have been risk assessed and which are crucial for your line of work. When taking on any dangerous activity it is of utmost importance to ensure you have someone with you to supervise, where necessary or appropriate. This person can advise you on obstructed vision tasks, give you additional reassurance and also be available to call for help should anything go wrong.

2.   Working during adverse weather conditions

This winter we have seen sub-zero temperatures and stormy conditions, making it crucial to assess the risk before you decide to work in adverse conditions. Not only can cold cause frostbite and hypothermia, in extreme cases, but ice is one of the biggest causes of slips and falls which could lead to serious injury (HSE). Hailstone and snowstorms also may risk your ability to complete your work safely if you work outside, any obstructions to your vision should be accounted for and risk assessed before you begin work, if at all.

3.   Working at height without proper equipment or PPE

Falls when working at height is one of the leading causes of fatal injury at work (HSE), making it imperative to stay safe if you need to undertake tasks at height as part of your role. Where required, you should ensure you have access to the most appropriate working-at-height equipment such as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) or mobile scaffold towers, for example, and provide the right training and protective equipment, which may include harnesses, horizontal lifelines, work restraint systems and hard hats.

4.   Neglecting safety training

Skipping or rushing health and safety training is a no-no for employers and employees. This may feel like a chore or take time from your work day but this is time well spent as it could make the difference between life and death, as you learn how to avoid unnecessary risk in the workplace. Employers could be at risk of fines if they are found to not be properly following health and safety guidance within their respective industries.

5.   Cutting corners on risky tasks

Unfortunately, there have been news stories where companies have been fined for taking shortcuts. Saving time may seem appealing but could put you and others at risk, especially when working at height or operating machinery, for example. Manual workers are most at risk of taking shortcuts, as skipping steps in these types of tasks usually bypasses health and safety guidance. Not only could this be risking yourself but also your co-workers.

6.   Working when you don’t have a clear mind

Being honest about pre-existing mental health conditions and sharing changes in your life which may impact your mental wellbeing are all important steps to take at work to ensure you can be properly supported by your employer, and employers should be open and non-judgmental to these issues. Anxiety and depression remain the most common mental health conditions suffered by workers in the UK, having an understanding and making reasonable adjustments to support this will reduce your risk at work of making mistakes and burning out. If you have suffered a bereavement or life event which impacts your ability to work, you should always let your boss know so they can accommodate this. Neglecting your mental health has a long-term impact on your health, affecting areas such as sleep, diet and critical thinking skills. Good employers will offer support with respect to mental health issues, as will mental health charities and services. So, if you or any of your team it’s best not to struggle on your own because unintentional accidents and injuries can occur.

7.   Pressuring your employees to work overtime and not take breaks

Senior leaders and managers should set a good example and encourage workers to take regular breaks. Asking your employees to work overtime and through their lunch breaks may not be legal and can lead to detrimental impact on their physical and mental health. Hitting a deadline is important but safety and the health and wellbeing of team members is far more important. Burnout is the biggest risk a lack of breaks may cause, as well as sleep disruption, poor diet and mistakes being made which may be dangerous due to not letting your staff switch off and recharge.

8.   Leaving machinery switched on and using faulty tools

Some machinery is already dangerous to use and will require operation and health and safety training to use, making it important to always follow manufacturer and safety guidelines. Some machinery can cause permanent and irreparable damage to your physical health. Making sure you switch off tools and machines out of use is a good habit to have to ensure you don’t unnecessarily put yourself or others at risk. You should also never take risk and use faulty machinery that is known to not work to standard.

9.   Working in a building which doesn’t follow safety guidelines

Commercial building owners, tenants and landlords are all bound by different rules to follow for health and safety. UK employers must carry out fire risk assessments and have a plan in place should a fire occur. Businesses should appoint a fire marshal, keep documentation up to date and run regular fire drills to make sure all staff know the procedure to follow in the event of a fire. UK commercial building owners and landlords need to also have gas appliances checked every 12 months and follow standards for electrical appliances within their buildings. Since 2012 building owners are also expected to take steps to find out if their buildings contain asbestos and follow the correct procedures for removing this safely (The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012).


H&S experts Stanley, sees growth in AI wearable safety technology market as it creates new dedicated team

Health and Safety experts, Stanley, based in St Albans, has created a new Ergonomic Safety Tech division and appointed Andre Jutel to lead it, as it bolsters its AI wearable technology offering. The organisation is focusing extra resources and expertise into this technology as the UK market takes off.

Andre Jutel has worked in the technology sector for over 20 years for some of the world’s largest companies including Samsung and Philips.  He has a background in data and data I.O for C-suite clients working at boardroom level.  He also has experience of working in the exoskeleton market with a focus on health and safety in business.  He is joined on the team by Katie Coan as a new dedicated sales manager for ergonomic technology.

Andre Jutel says:

I am delighted to be joining Stanley at this exciting time, heading up its new Ergonomic Safety Tech division and the commercial delivery of our suite of solutions and products into the market.  This wearable technology is bringing disruptive change to the Health and Safety sector and new opportunities to improve business efficiency by cutting workplace accidents, and I look forward to being part of Stanley’s growth in this sector.”

Graham Sharp, Managing Director of Stanley says:

“As a company with over 75 years of experience in offering Health and Safety solutions to business, we are already seeing the benefits that AI wearable technology can offer in terms of improved productivity and reduction in workplace accidents.  I am delighted that Andre is heading up our new Ergonomic Safety Tech Division and looking forward to seeing continuing fast growth as these technologies start to enter the mainstream.”

According to the latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive, the total number of cases of work-related musculoskeletal injuries in 2021/22 in the UK was 477,000,and a more recent 2023 survey conducted by the CIPD and Simplyhealth found that 51% of long term sickness absences in the UK are caused by musculoskeletal injuries. Wearable technologies have the ability to help businesses reduce these numbers dramatically by collecting and tracking detailed employee data to focus on where the biggest risks to workplace safety lie.

The technologies exclusively being offered by Stanley in the UK  are:

  • WearHealth from Stanley uses video scanning technology to match workers with exoskeleton suits designed to help improve their safety, health and wellbeing. The objective is to assist workers when lifting heavier loads, working longer hours, or executing ergonomically unsafe tasks, and to make sure that their usual daily activities can be performed without getting overly fatigued or at risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Stanley offers health and safety advice and the option to test exoskeletons in-situ to assess comfort and level of support based on real time data generated by the wearer.  If they are effective, then the right exoskeletons can be implemented and used as required.
  • The Modjoul Smartbelt from Stanley is an innovative AI driven belt that prevents injury through real-time feedback and data analysis. The belt is designed to measure a range of workplace risks including lower back movement and general ergonomic risk. This SmartBelt  technology can also be used as a collision avoidance system using AI technology to report potential collisions between workers and machinery in real time, delivering another layer of dynamic workplace safety.
  • Inteliforz™ from Ansell: The Inteliforz™ pod identifies risky hand and wrist movements with a small wearable device that is inserted into a hand wrap which can then be worn over a protective glove. It can capture up to 60 hand and wrist motions every minute to assess risk, allowing workers to view their movements and undertake training and coaching opportunities if needed.  If a worker makes a movement that might put them at risk of injury, the device delivers a haptic buzz to remind them to adjust position.  The charging station also establishes data communication with cloud services to upload the Wearable Pod Sensor data daily to the Cloud.

These products working in conjunction with each other providing insights and new ways to improve workplace productivity and efficiency whilst maintaining employee safety.

The Vita Group takes a day out for safety

On 27th June, The Vita Group held their annual Safety & Wellbeing Day at the Accrington site; the first one since the Covid-19 pandemic.
A core ethos at Vita is that, through teamwork, all injuries are preventable, and safety is always at the heart of everything the company undertakes. Vita actively promotes ‘safety comes first’ and all employees are expected to take a proactive role in safety.
The Safety & Wellbeing event sees production being paused for the day, allowing all colleagues to take part in the activities.
After a warm welcome from Michael Worden, General Manager of Vita Accrington, the 120 colleagues were divided into competing teams for essential safety training and safety-themes enrichment activities. Ian Robb, Vita’s CEO and Stuart Roby, the Divisional Managing Director also both attended to demonstrate their personal commitment to the importance of employee safety.
Site wide training was also completed, with courses on offer that benefited employees for both their work and home environments. The activities included fire extinguisher training, manual handling training and, in recognition of the importance of mental health, a mindfulness session involving pottery painting.
Further activities involved reaction testing and archery. As an extra incentive to make the most of the day, colleagues had an opportunity to win an extra day of annual leave and a range of gift vouchers. Additionally, each team visited different parts of the factory on safety tours, having the chance to look for safety and environmental hazards; the teams were encouraged to offer improvement suggestions.
The day also benefited the local community with employees bringing in donations for a local foodbank.
The day is always well received by all team members and is something the whole site looks forward to each year. At previous events there have been sessions on important health and safety topics such as the safe and effective use of the Heimlich manoeuvre; a skill that one Vita colleague had to use in real life.
Clare Duckworth, Health & Safety Manager, The Vita Group Accrington, said: “At The Vita Group, we put safety at the heart of everything that we do. That is why safety is one of our core values. Today is all about getting the team together; to enjoy some team bonding exercises and activities, whilst also focusing on how we keep our people, and those around them, safe at work.”
“The key message today is safety first. But also, about refreshing and learning new skills. It is those skills that allow us to continue meeting our high safety goals.”

Health and safety consultancy expand service reach with new hire

CoreGenic, a specialist health and safety consultancy based in Neath, has enjoyed rapid growth in the past 12 months and has continued its growth strategy by investing in expanding its team.  

It welcomes Adrian Packington, newly appointed Health and Safety Advisor, following the previous recruitment effort in late 2021 that saw the CoreGenic team double in size. The recent growth has been attributed to companies making a concerted effort to address health and safety factors, accelerated by the COVID outbreak and its subsequent effects within society.   

The addition of a new health and safety advisor means that CoreGenic can expand its service reach with more dedicated staff members, essential to its growth strategy over the next 12 months.  

The new role involves carrying out risk assessments and site inspections, as well as leading in-house training for managers and employees. Packington will also be responsible for preparing health and safety strategies, developing internal policy for Corgenic’s clients and advising on a range of specialist areas including: fire regulations, hazardous substances, noise, and safeguarding machinery.  

CoreGenic works closely with Managing Directors to develop its quality management system and ensure compliance through regular meetings which allow it to understand the business activities fully, as well as the targets and objectives needed to develop specific policies, procedures and operational forms. 

Packington brings a wealth of skills and experience, having provided health and safety support firstly for Health and Safety department of Abertawe Bro-Morgannwg Health Board and more recently as Safety Co-Ordinator for Swansea based firm Unit Superheater Engineering.   

The knowledge that he gained during this time piqued his interest in the health and safety industry, and sought to expand this knowledge through eLearning courses. Packington now possesses NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management and NEBOSH Certificate in Construction Health and Safety.  

Adrian Packington, Health and Safety Advisor at CoreGenic, said:  

“I am thrilled to start my new position at CoreGenic at a time when Cherie and the team are focused on expanding across the UK. It is an exciting time, and I can’t wait to get started.” 

Cherie Coughlan, Managing Director at CoreGenic, said:  

“We are very happy to welcome Adrian to our team. He brings a wealth of skills and expertise to the role and can help us with our expansion plans as we hope to help more companies implement health and safety management systems and attain the vital accreditations needed within their respective industries.”  

Its a Hat-trick for ArrowXL as they Win Gold for the Third Consecutive Year in a Row

ArrowXL, the UK’s largest and longest established 2-person home delivery specialist has won a third consecutive RoSPA Gold Award for demonstrating excellent health and safety standards.

Every year, nearly 2,000 entrants compete to achieve the highest possible accolade in what is the UK’s longest-running H&S industry awards.  Organisations receiving a Gold RoSPA Award are recognised as being world-leaders in health and safety practice, as well as demonstrating best in class health and safety management systems, including leadership and workforce involvement.

Chris Purcell, Head of Health, Safety and Risk at ArrowXL, said: “We have continued to demonstrate our unwavering commitment and passion for keeping people safe at work, and so ArrowXL are recognised as being world-leaders in health and safety practice.”

Julia Small, RoSPA’s Achievements Director, said: “This is a fantastic and well-deserved accomplishment. All our award entrants demonstrate their unwavering commitment and passion for keeping people safe at work. By receiving this recognition ArrowXL join like-minded businesses and organisations worldwide, who represent the very best in their approach to Health and Safety. I would like to add my personal thanks for all the work that it has taken to secure this well-deserved award – congratulations to all those involved, who champion and drive up Health and Safety standards every day. You are a fantastic example to others in your sector.”

Craig Kavanagh, Sales Director at ArrowXL added: “As the UK’s largest 2-person delivery specialist health and safety is of paramount importance to us.  This award is fantastic recognition of the hard work and high standards that our staff demonstrate on a daily basis.”


Hybrid’s hidden danger: 43% of organisations won’t carry out risk assessments for home workers

Today, EcoOnline, a technology platform for safer workplaces, reveals the findings from a Hybrid Working Study it conducted in December 2021.

Surveying health & safety professionals from 447 companies, the study suggests half of employers may need to reassess their health and safety provision (protection of health, safety & wellbeing) for hybrid workers. Worryingly, the data reveals that only one in two firms (52%) are providing safety training for staff based partly at home.

Against the context of a shifting societal attitude towards the workplace, and a sharp increase in hybrid working models, these figures highlight how businesses must act now to adequately protect workforces in a more fluid and remote office environment.

For example, in Ireland, the Government is discussing legislation for a right for employees to request home-working, however, employers will have 13 grounds on which to refuse requests under the framework. Opposition politicians made proposals for a right to request flexible and hybrid working.

This means organisations will have to adapt their approach to accommodate for each individual. For most organisations this home-working and hybrid model will mean a comprehensive risk assessment.

However, while nearly six out of ten firms are planning on carrying out new risk assessments for their hybrid team, there’s a substantial minority (43%) who don’t plan to do so.

Looking at how these assessments will be conducted, one in two will ask employees to fill out a risk-assessment form, while 37% will continue to use their current approaches along with an in-office assessment. A tiny minority (4%) will send health and safety professionals to their colleagues’ homes for an in-person review, and 3% will conduct online video assessments with managers or a H&S practitioner.

There are some gaps between the self-risk assessment provision and subsequent training. As you’d expect, almost all companies are asking about workplace ergonomics (97%) in the risk assessment, but only 14% plan to provide training in correct posture and workstation set-up.

The research found that, when it came to risk assessment, 84% highlighted stress (e.g. from overwork or isolation). While approaching nine out of ten claim managing stress will be covered in the learning sessions, only 10% say their company training covers avoiding isolation specifically and just 2% report that it will look at managing workload and scheduling breaks. However, some training programmes exploring stress or remote communications could well incorporate topics such as isolation and workload management.

Positively, 85% coach colleagues on remote communications. Common topics within the home risk assessment are electrical safety (81%), trip hazards (71%) and fire safety (71%) alongside heating and ventilation (61%).

Ready or not

According to the results of the study, hybrid working is here to stay, yet only one in three are very confident their organisation is fully prepared for the management challenges hybrid working demands. However, only 4% said they were very unconfident that their leadership was ready for the new hybrid world.

Shrinking offices

29% of companies have already decided they’re reducing their office space provision, and 25% have this option on the table. Just under half (47%) are keeping their office estate as it is.

Workplace split

85% of companies expect to have some hybrid workers, with a third (31%) saying that over half of their teams will be hybrid. Despite the media conversation, presuming the prevalence of this mode of working, 15% of organisations will have no hybrid workers and around one in five will have less than 10% of their team splitting their time between home and work.

This shows a rapid change in working practices when we compare how most companies operated pre-pandemic: a third (36%) had no hybrid workers at all and four in ten had under 10% of their team working in this way.

When we examine the exact split between home and work there’s quite a variance. In just over half of organisations (57%), the home office split will vary by agreement with line managers or depending on business needs, rather than follow a regular pattern.

Not for all

17% of companies had declined requests for hybrid working, mainly due to space or home set up. Other reasons cited for having turned down hybrid working requests included isolation, back pain and mental health & wellbeing concerns.

Commenting on the study, Dr Catherine Jordan, Health & Safety Product Specialist, EcoOnline said, “Employers need to remember that their duty of care for their people’s health, safety and wellbeing extends to the at-home part of their working lives. Managing the blend of home and office working requires planning and communication. Risk assessment is an important precursor to any new working arrangement, but it is only one consideration in the successful management of worker safety, health and wellbeing.”

She added, “While the experience of the past two years has been seminal, it will only partly prepare workers and organisations for the changes now underway. Those businesses most likely to thrive in a hybrid working future will have; risk assessed the implications of a hybrid work model and the suitability of individuals’ homes for extended working, provided the right equipment and provided training in the planned approach, updated procedures and guidance to managing the safety, health & welfare of all in the new and changing world of work.

447 companies participated in the research, and most of the respondents were health and safety professionals.

A decade of safety and efficiency at Wavin’s Sheffield plant

Global pipe manufacturer, Wavin, is celebrating 10 years of no lost-time incidents at its Hazlehead manufacturing site in Sheffield. This is a huge achievement for all 100 employees working at the clay drainage factory which makes the majority of products for Wavin’s renowned Hepworth Clay brand.

Any onsite situation that results in an injury causing time off from work, classes as a lost-time incident (LTI), and the term is widely used as a benchmark for health and safety success across the manufacturing industry.

Ten years without any LTIs at the Hazlehead site is an incredible milestone, demonstrating the high health and safety standards at play across the busy facility. As the site manufactures clay piping for below-ground drainage, the products themselves can be very heavy once made, and require firing in a high-temperature kiln, which means stringent safety measures must be continually upheld and scrutinised.

To support its employees, Wavin has invested in better technology and health and safety education, creating a safety-first working culture over the last ten years. From robotic manufacturing tools, to ongoing improvements in the general structural health of the factory, the company has spent millions of pounds on the site, so it can maximise both safety and efficiency.

Mike Ward, Managing Director of Wavin UK, said: “It’s fantastic to see how our Hazlehead site has been able to build a safety-first culture. At Wavin, we pride ourselves on our health and safety practices, while also making sure that our high-quality clay products get to the customers who need them. Every single member of the Hazlehead team has played a part in this achievement, and should be immensely proud.”

The occasion was marked with official celebration ceremonies at the factory on July 1st and 2nd, in which all Hazlehead employees were presented with a gift to mark the occasion.

For more information about Wavin, visit www.wavin.com/en-gb.

Top tips for a healthy return to the office

As employees return to the office what are employers’ health and safety obligations? With an estimated 11 million Brits (source: BUPA) suffering increased back problems as a result of working from home, how can employers ensure the office is safe? Amanda Harris MCSP, expert Physiotherapist and Founder of The Physio Company (www.thephysiocompany.co.uk) provides her top tips:

  1. Ensure all employees are using fully adjustable chairs. If your employees are working partly from home, you will need to supply appropriate chairs for the office and home.
  2. Supply rucksacks. Will your employees be carrying laptops to and from the office and meetings? If so, it’s worth supplying rucksacks so that the weight is evenly distributed; laptops flung into handbags can cause serious neck injuries.
  3. Make sure that IT equipment can be used safely. Laptops are not designed for full time work. If you are expecting employees to use them, you have to supply stands and separate keyboards so that the screen can be brought up to the correct height (the top of the screen should be level with the user’s eyes. The keyboard should be level with their elbows).
  4. Train staff to adjust their workstation before use. Hot desking is no longer as popular as it was due to the pandemic. However, if you do intend to return to it, or introduce it, all employees have to be trained in how to adjust the workstation, including the chair, to suit them. They will also need to be instructed to clean the workstation after use to prevent infection.
  5. Make social distancing easy to achieve. You may find you will need to leave some empty desks or, if that’s not possible due to space, install screens between desks to protect staff. Hand sanitiser should be readily available and face masks should be worn in communal areas.

As an employer you have a legal obligation to supply a safe working environment. A key part of that is the workstation set up, whether employees are at home or in your office. All employees should be given desk tests (which can be conducted remotely) to assess the workstation and make any necessary adjustment. I would also recommend hiring a Health and Safety professional as it is easy for key issues to be overlooked, which can put the employer at risk of prosecution.

Please visit: www.thephysiocompany.co.uk


Health and Safety Regulations and the RIBA Plan of Work

It’s safe to say that the construction industry operates under a considerable amount of health and safety legislation – and for good reason. Before the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the industry regularly had 300 health and safety-related work deaths per year.

In 2018–2019, there were 54,000 non-fatal injuries, which is approximately 366 accidents per 100,000 employees and significantly above the UK average of 254 per 100,000. There were also 79,000 work-related ill-health cases reported for that timeframe, with 69 per cent of them being recorded musculoskeletal disorders.

One glaring example of construction negligence is the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy that resulted in 72 individuals losing their lives. The fire started in a fourth-floor flat and quickly spread.
Within minutes, all sides of the 24-storey tower were in flames. The subsequent inquiry concluded that the main cause of the fire’s spread was the presence of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, which was installed as part of an ongoing refurbishment from 2012 to 2016.

But several non-compliant systems also contributed to the disaster, some which hadn’t been replaced or upgraded since its original build in 1974. Later, when tests were performed on cladding samples from 34 high rise buildings across 17 different local authorities, all of them failed the combustibility test. These findings showcased a significant fault in how health and safety is approached in construction – including how the importance of such a topic is perceived.

In the wake of the fire, the Government commissioned a thorough review of building regulations and how they incorporated fire safety. Known to many as the Hackitt Report, the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety was issued in May 2018.

In response to its findings, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) introduced new measures that improve how it addresses health and safety to fit with the report’s recommendations when it released its Plan of Work for 2020.

Key legislation and regulation

The following information highlights the key legislation and regulation that surrounds, and often poses challenges for the construction industry.

What kind of health and safety legislation applies to the construction industry?

The amount of construction-related health and safety legislation is extensive, with the key one being the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974. It’s almost impossible to be an expert in every aspect of it, but, if construction and design is to take place, then it’s vitally important to at least be aware of its existence.

Who regulates health and safety, and where can I find guidance?

In the UK, the industry is regulated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who provides information and guidance in all aspects of health and safety. It places the welfare of people at the core of everything that is done and should be built into the environment – at work, at play, at rest.

Also, in response to the Hackitt Report, HSE have started to oversee a new building regulator that will focus on the safe design, construction and occupation of high-risk buildings. While HSE serves as a vital source of information, instruction and guidance, it is ultimately up to everyone involved with a project to ensure that your building plans and work comply.

Pre-construction and Hackitt Report recommendations

What is pre-construction information and when should it be provided?

According to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015), ‘A client must provide pre-construction information as soon as it is practicable to every designer and contractor appointing, or being considered for appointment, to the project.’ It goes on to describe pre-construction information as:
‘…information in the client’s possession or which is reasonably obtainable by or on behalf of the client, which is relevant to the construction work and is of an appropriate level of detail and proportionate to the risks involved, including–

(a) information about–
i. the project;
ii. planning and management of the project;
iii. health and safety hazards, including design and construction hazards and how they will be addressed; and

(b) information in any existing health and safety file…’

What does the Hackitt Report recommend about specification?

In its recommendations, the Hackitt Report highlights the need for better specifications around everything from testing of products and systems to improving information quality and providing more precise and transparent tracking.

This article is based on an NBS webinar featuring Sarah Susman, Head of Technical Development at Scott Brownrigg Architects, and NBS Technical Author Roland Finch.