Do you really need a site health and safety inspection?
The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 require suitable arrangements to be put in place to monitor a construction site, particularly as the nature of construction works changes regularly. This duty applies across the client, principal contractor and contractor duty holders.
Carrying out a construction health and safety site inspection on your project ensures that you meet these CDM obligations. But it also assists in the prevention of incidents, injuries and illnesses, and helps to ensure on-site operatives, as well as others affected by construction activities, are not put at risk. Robust and regular inspections allow you to check your projects and associated activities are healthy and safe. They enable hazards or ineffective processes to be identified, so proactive measures can be put in place to reduce the risk of accidents or incidents.
The necessary frequency of health and safety inspections depends on a number of factors, such as the nature and complexity of the project. A monthly inspection may be suitable for a construction project with simple or potentially low risk works. On the other hand, projects with complex or high risk works, such as façade retention schemes or those involving complex scaffolding design, may benefit from a weekly or fortnightly inspection. These general health and safety site inspections are supplementary to task-specific inspections designated by legislation. For example, they would be additional to a minimum seven-day statutory inspection of scaffolding carried out by a competent person.
The recommended frequency of inspections also depends on the competence the site team, which is key to ensuring a good safety culture is instilled on site. The site manager is on the front line and has day-to-day responsibility for ensuring health and safety processes and standards are implemented. So, some may question whether site inspections are necessary at all. But the site manager has a wide range of pressures other than health and safety, such as overseeing and directing the project from beginning to completion and delivering the project on time and within budget. Regular health and safety site inspections can assist the site manager in identifying proactive strategies to prevent incidents, injury or illness to persons. Whether these inspections are conducted internally, or you partner externally with a health and safety consultancy depends on your need, values and company culture.
We’re naturally slightly biased towards the second option. At Havio, we strongly believe people are the solution, not the problem, and that no one goes to work with the intention of harming themselves or those around them. This means that during our health and safety site inspections we coach rather than police, and we work collaboratively with site teams to come up with the right answer without worrying about whose idea it is. Communication is key and we believe in having the important discussions, however difficult they may be. If you’re interested in finding out more about what happens during our site inspections check out our blog post “What to expect from a construction health and safety site inspection” or get in touch with us on 0333 577 0248 or [email protected].