What to expect from a construction health and safety site inspection
We have a unique approach to construction site inspections at Havio, which we’ve developed and refined over many years’ experience in construction health and safety. It has evolved in line with our company values which are positive, passionate, grounded, free thinking and confident. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get a one-size fits all service. Every health and safety inspection will be tailored to the unique context of your construction site, with the ultimate goal of minimising the risk of accidents or incidents.
A health and safety inspection can be a tense time for the on-site team if the process and purpose of the visit is not clearly understood. So, this article will talk through what to expect when you engage Havio to carry out a health and safety inspection for you.
Laying the foundations for long-lasting partnerships
Every partnership we enter into is unique with its own particular drivers and challenges. The first step of the journey is always to have a conversation with you, and potentially your senior leadership team, to explore your health and safety objectives. We like to build long-lasting partnerships with our clients, so this step is crucial to ensure a good cultural fit. Following this initial conversation, we can recommend the type and frequency of site inspections that will best suit your needs.
Once the approach is agreed, we will match you with a Havio consultant who has the right skills, knowledge and experience for the nature of the works you are engaged in. You may have a designated consultant for a project or group of projects, or alternatively you may get a fresh pair of eyes each time, depending on the type of inspection being carried out. Either way, any information gathered about your health and safety goals is shared with the consultant to ensure the objectives are communicated and applied across all projects.
What happens on the day of the inspection?
Prior to arriving on site for the first time, we will agree whether the inspection will be announced or unannounced. The decision often depends on your individual working practices and culture. We find the unannounced approach gives a more transparent view so we can discover what’s really going on. As long as your company has a trusting culture, this approach usually yields better results. Of course, there are times when announcing a visit is necessary to ensure the site team or anyone else that needs to attend can be present.
Whether the inspection is announced or unannounced, the site manager or dedicated contact will be called once our consultant arrives. We like to start our inspections with a site walk, together with the site manager. We take what we believe is a sensible outlook on risk. During the site walk, we look to deal with the critical or higher risk hazards first, including those that have greatest potential to kill or seriously injure, and those which have serious legal repercussions for non-compliance. While we focus our attention on these areas of high risk, lower risk items are not overlooked in our site inspections as the compound effect of these can quickly become an issue.
Following the site walk, we will review the key legislative paperwork. This might mean ensuring the statutory documentation is in place, looking at the Construction Phase Plan to make sure it has been reviewed and is up-to-date, and spot-checking Contractor RAMS. We work within the scope of the inspection type requested, and pre-agreed time limits, so it may not be possible to access all areas of the project during the visit. Time permitting, we will go back out on site and make sure any observations identified in the paperwork review are double checked. This ensures consistency between what is recorded in writing and what is actually happening.
Throughout every phase of the inspection, we’ll work collaboratively with your site team to identify areas of non-compliance and come up with pragmatic solutions. Communication is key and we believe in having the important discussions, however difficult they may be. We make sure our consultants are caring, friendly, trustworthy, grounded and creative in their approach, but without being a pushover. In most instances there are more good things than bad happening on site, and we like to provide a balanced approach with positive reinforcement as well as constructive feedback.
Our proprietary Altitude technology is a key part of our site visits, and the inspection will be completed by your consultant on this software using a tablet. Altitude enables us to make data-driven suggestions on how best to improve health and safety performance, and also allows us to spend time engaging with and coaching the workforce on site, rather than spending that time filling forms.
Our use of photos is minimal, and we only include them if they are beneficial and provide crucial context to the inspection report. Our company purpose is “to care” and we fulfil this by helping all members of the workforce as well as by improving performance and attitudes towards health and safety. Taking pictures of people while they are involved in an unsafe act is not the way to achieve this. Most pictures we include will highlight positive areas or unsafe conditions rather than acts.
We never leave the project without completing a full debrief with your on-site representative. This is an essential time to discuss the inspection’s findings and come up with a sensible plan to rectify any issues.
What happens after the inspection?
Once we leave your site a report will be sent out within 24 hours. At that point the report will also be available to view on Altitude, with analytics accessible via the dashboard. You will then be responsible for closing out the report in line with agreed company standards. Havio is not responsible for following up on close outs after the visit.
Altitude has live close-out functionality and the capacity to produce health and safety performance reports, and these features are available as optional extras. They can provide senior management with greater oversight of health and safety management, as well as how effectively reports are being actioned.
A key part of our dynamic delivery promise is the support we can provide following your inspection. Our consultants are available to discuss any issues which may arise, and their contact details can be found at the end of your report. Our operational team is also on hand to provide additional support or services which may be required following the inspection.
If you have any questions about our health and safety inspections and would like to get in touch, please contact us on 0333 577 0248 or [email protected].