With the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reporting that the construction industry was responsible for the highest number of workplace fatalities last year – with a total of 39 deaths between 2020/21 – Health & Safety in construction has never been so important.
The best way to make sure your site is safe? Regular Health & Safety inspections.
A Health & Safety inspection is key to ensuring the safety of construction site workers and visitors. Conducting a Health & Safety inspection assesses the safety regulations in place and identifies any potential hazards on a site. Your inspection findings will also provide a basis for improvement going forward.
We’re here to help you decipher all the legislation you need to understand in order to complete your Health & Safety inspections, so that you can make sure you are keeping your employees and your business safe and protected.
What is a construction Health & Safety inspection?
A Health & Safety inspection is a methodical process that looks at your current practice and makes sure that you’re compliant with construction Health & Safety regulations.
It can focus on specific areas, such as work-at-height control measures, or take a broader approach and look at all areas of your construction site.
While inspecting, you may also review and observe staff members’ working practices to ensure they’re complying with the latest Health & Safety regulations.
It may be beneficial to have someone independent of, but familiar with, the area to be inspected (such as another construction site manager) complete the inspection for fairness and objectivity.
Alternatively, you may wish to have it carried out by a third party independent of your organisation. This could be a Health & Safety service provider or an external inspector – however, it must be conducted by a qualified competent person.
Construction site Health & Safety inspections typically cover the following:
This list can be extended, reduced or modified depending on the scale and nature of your site.
The importance of Health & Safety inspections in construction
Construction site managers must follow specific Health & Safety regulations to ensure the safety of workers and visitors. Failing to prioritise Health & Safety can result in fines and, more importantly, serious workplace accidents.
Identify Health & Safety problems
High-quality Health & Safety risk assessments will help to identify potential hazards on a construction site, along with the controls required to mitigate them. It is important to regularly monitor and inspect your site to ensure that the controls are being followed. Any high-risk hazards or poor practice should be addressed as soon as possible.
Prevent workplace injuries
Poor Health & Safety management can result in serious injuries and even fatalities. A professional Health & Safety risk assessment reduces the chance of an accident happening on your construction site and ensures that you’re following regulations.
Greater legal compliance
All businesses in the UK must adhere to Health & Safety legislation in the workplace. In the construction sector, there are also specific processes outlined by the HSE for firms to follow. Download our handy Health & Safety in construction checklist to make sure you’re sticking to these.
Health & Safety inspections provide a useful tool to improve compliance and ensure all team members are sticking to the right procedures. A good Health & Safety record can give you an edge over competitors and even lower insurance premiums.
How we conduct a Health & Safety inspection
The key steps of a Health & Safety inspection are:
1 – Conduct an opening meeting with all relevant construction site workers
This is to confirm the inspection plan and prior arrangements.
2 – Visit the construction site and assess risks for employees
Your inspector will inspect your whole site, or a portion of it, and identify hazards and risks.
3 – Note down on-site observations
Your inspector will note their findings in a simple and easy-to-digest format, i.e., a checklist, notes or table.
4 – Identify strengths and weaknesses
We’ll highlight what you’re already doing well and identify any areas for improvement.
5 – Rank site issues based on their severity (major risks should be addressed first)
This will help you prioritise which tasks need your immediate attention and give you a risk management to-do list.
6 – Implement a performance review system (if there isn’t one in place)
We’ll help you put in place a performance review system, to help you track your improvements over time.
7 – Submit the inspection report
You can store reports, risk assessments, method statements, incident logs and more online using our software, Atlas. This way, you’ll have a clear trail to show to inspectors and prospective tenders.
8 – Take steps to eliminate hazards and improve practices
You could outsource Health & Safety training to make sure that you’re following best practices; work with an external party to improve your Health & Safety policies; replace old construction equipment and more.
9 – Conduct a closing meeting
Closing meetings should discuss the inspection’s purpose, rating criteria and overall findings.
Citation Health & Safety inspections
There’s no room for error when it comes to Health & Safety in the construction sector. We’ve helped countless construction firms to assess their current Health & Safety performance and make improvements going forward. This has resulted in hundreds of happy clients with safer workplaces, who have been able to access the many benefits of achieving complete compliance.
Ready to take advantage of our Health & Safety services? Get in touch with a member of our team today!
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