Construction workers and employers are both legally required to meet specific responsibilities in regards to health and safety while working on the job site. The CSCS is the test used for the United Kingdom construction industry in order to prove a specific worker has the knowledge needed to carry out their job safely. The following information is to inform you about specific health and safety regulations pertaining to the job site.
United Kingdom’s construction industry includes numerous trades. Because of this, construction work is the largest employer in the country. However, construction work is also one of the most dangerous jobs; which has led to the regulation of the construction industry by numerous different bodies. The legal regulation of the industry generally falls under the government, which enshrined all health and safety legal requirements for construction in the Building Act of 1984. However, in the past 15 years, there have been numerous self-regulating bodies added who aim to improve levels of skill and increase health and safety.
The Construction Skills Certification Scheme, or CSCS, is by far the largest regulating body in the United Kingdom Construction industry. It is almost impossible to find work on any construction site unless you have a CSCS card proving you have passed the CSCS test for health and safety and obtained the Construction NVQ level matching both your trade and position. Most United Kingdom construction sites and contractors alike require that every employee possesses the CSCS Card, or equivalent, relevant to their skills and trade before they can begin working onsite.
The CSCS cards board is made up of both existing trade and industry bodies. These bodies are fully committed to providing ongoing service improvement and increasing the health and safety of the work environments. The CSCS cards board is made up of numerous member organisations, and each organisation is responsible for its own remit. The fact that the CSCS cards board has so many member organisations proves that raised standards of measurable fire-extinguishers and safety skills for any individual involved in the construction industry is extremely important.
There are other organisations within the industry that are dedicated to providing a building that is cleaner and more considerate. One such industry is the Local Authority Building Control, which works to bridge the existing gap found between legal requirements and best practice methods. The LABC promotes best practice in all aspects of building, from passing the CSCS test to utilising environmentally friendly techniques.
Finally, there are several industry regulators that are trade specific. These organisations exist in order to promote the best practices that should be used within their specific trade and so that they can protect their members. Trade specific regulators are known to promote affiliate CSCS cards. These are equal to a few of the construction skills cards.
The Health and Safety Executive, or HSE, is a government body. The HSE is dedicated to ensuring the provision of health and safety guidelines with all industries in the United Kingdom. Guidelines tend to directly focus on UK construction sites because of the fact it is a government body. They also tend to focus on workers and contractors and ensuring that they comply with the regulations for health and safety that is outlined in the Building Act
The HSE’s construction guidelines cover any health or safety topic you can think of within the construction industry. The HSE website contains most of these guidelines for free download.
It is important to note that guidelines are not legal requirements. However, it is required by law that all construction firms, contractors, and employee within the United Kingdom comply with relevant health and safety legislation currently in place. Using the HSE guidelines are the quickest and easiest method for ensuring that this happens. One of the best aspects of these guidelines is that they define what health and safety law expects you to do. This provides the needed knowledge in order to ensure that you are legally preparing for a safe build.
The HSE contains a construction division that is dedicated and staffed with inspectors that are experienced and individuals that have the knowledge needed to write guidelines and policies for the construction industry. The HSE’s construction industry is made up of three main areas. The operational unit, the construction sector and the policy unit. The operation unit is made up of inspectors and office backup. Inspectors are responsible for carrying out site inspections all over the United Kingdom in order to ensure each site is in compliance with the law. They also offer assistance when they find that compliance is not happening. The Construction Sector is responsible for working with stakeholders in the industry in order to ensure legislation is not only realistic, but also deliverable. Finally, the Policy Unit develops the legislation needed to create a safer construction industry.
The Risk Assessment
Risk assessments are conducted so that risks can be identified and prevented before accidents occur. The workforce is protected, the property is protected, and the business is protected from legal issues and potential accidents when risk assessments are carried out appropriately.
The Health and Safety Executive basically explains the risk assessment as looking at your work and carefully examining what poses a threat of harm to individuals. When you asses your specific work and look at potential risks and how to minimise those risks; you are better enabled to figure out whether the current risk control measures put in place are effective in managing the risks posed by your work.
Risk Assessment is law, and any responsible individual can carry out a risk assessment. An individual who contains the knowledge needed in order to effectively assess the risks posed by your industry and is willing to assume the legal responsibility for consequences of failure to conduct the risk assessment correctly makes up the responsible party. This technically means that any individual who has successfully completed the CSCS health and safety training can do a risk assessment. In reality, however, assessing risks on construction sites it typically did only be supervisors, managers, or individuals that have achieved the obtained the corresponding Construction NVQ level.
Managerial Construction NVQ levels are usually levels for and or five, depending on both the trade and the role. These involve modules that relate to both the job and site management. This includes the task of conducting a risk assessment. Because of this, the supervisor or manger is the ideal individual for carrying out risk assessments on the job site.
There are five elements involved while conducting a risk assessment. Every industry basically follows the same patter. The elements considered are in order as follows:
- Identifying potential hazards
- Identifying individuals who could potentially be harmed because of these hazards, and how the potential hazards can harm these individuals
- Evaluating the risks and identifying precautionary measures that should be taken. This is the key aspect to conducting a risk assessment successfully.
- Recording what is found
- Reviewing the assessments on a regular basis to ensure new risks are being identified
There are two main types of precaution that can be taken against identified risks. You can either control the risk or avoid the risk. The goal for any job site health and safety is avoiding risk. Because of this, the main goal of the risk assessment should be finding methods that will enable risk to be avoided. This can typically be done by simply substituting one process for another type of process.
There are areas in which potential hazards cannot be avoided, but they can be controlled. Finding these risks is essential to the safety of the workers. Controlling the hazard could mean using personal protective equipment or implementing training agendas and practices that are designed in order to ensure workers are carrying out their work as safely as they can.
The Method Statement
Construction sites are requiring the method statement to take place more and more as part of the initial tender to the job. The method statement, also commonly referred to as a safe system of work statement, describes in specific detail how each part of the job is going to be completed. It provides evidence that the job has put in place the required health and safety controls needed to keep the workers and clients safe during the time the workers are at the job site and provides a proposal to the client for work.
The method statement should, in technicality, be written by you. In reality, you are probably going to need some help writing it. There are templates available that contain the guidelines you need to write an effective method statement. If you follow the following steps, however, you will not have to purchase a template and will be able to develop an effective method statement by yourself.
- Tip 1: Complete The Risk Assessment First.
- If you are bidding on a job, doing a risk assessment provides the information needed to complete the method statement. The method statement is supposed to act as your proposal on how you can complete the job both safely and effectively. The best way to begin this process is to look at the potential hazards found on the job site, and detail how you can avoid these hazards.
- Tip 2: Provide more Detail.
- If you want to ensure that you are correctly writing your method statement, make sure that the top is concise and then goes more into detail as you go through. This will allow the client to quickly look over the main points, and then read it in order to gain a deeper understanding.
- Writing the Statement: Step 1
- The first thing you should do is briefly detail the job. Start by describing the task you are bidding to do in order to provide a structure for the rest of the statement. It also proves to the client that you know what they are asking you to do. Make sure to include estimated start and finish dates and contact information for the relevant project manager.
- Writing the Statement: Step 2
- The next thing you should incorporate into your method statement is information on hazard identification and control. Make sure that you summarise all threats to health and safety present and list the personal protective equipment and control measures you plan to put in place in order to decrease the danger posed to employees, users, and the client while they are on the job site. This is the part of the Method Statement that the risk assessment is useful for. The identifications found in the risk assessment can be used, with more detail, in order to complete this part.
- Writing the Statement: Step 3
- The third thing you should do is go into more detail about the job. Outline what staff is required for the job, training staff should have, and the personal protection equipment you will have to supply. You can also include safety procedure descriptions in this section.
- Writing the Statement: Step 4
- The last thing you should include is the conclusion. Your conclusion should be detailed and provide a step by step procedure and time table for the entire job. You should include everything you have previously written and provide and clear and precise plan on how the job will be completed.