Health and Safety Acts
are so many acts and regulations in construction industry, majorly industry
deals with 3 acts which are called as Health and Safety Act 1974, the
Management of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1999 and Construction
Design and Management Regulations 2007(CDM 2007).
1.1 Health and
Safety Act 1974
The Health and Safety at work Act
1974 is the basic legal branch which covers work related health and safety in
the United Kingdom. It was introduced by Secretary of State for Employment,
Michael Foot on 22 March 1974. (Health and Safety at Work Act 197, 2017)
It is called as umbrella act because this act
is included a number of other acts.
Health and Safety Executive is the
person who has responsibility to enforce health and safety legislations under
the act 1974. Also supervisor is the person who works under the employer and
helps employer to ensure health and safety at his premises.
This act discusses about the way in
which risk and hazardous situations can be minimized and the measures should be
followed by both employer and employees.
1.2 The Management
of Health and Safety at the work Regulations 1999
This act was introduced to reinforce
the Health and Safety at work Act 1974. It gives more details about risk
assessments, management arrangements for Health and Safety, health and safety
training and emergency procedures.
Design and Management Regulations (CDM 2007)
Though 1974 and 1999 acts have
described regarding the health and safety, there are some areas which haven’t
been touched by them. The complexity and bureaucratic approach of the
regulations had revealed the requirement of another effective act. Therefore as
a combination and replacement of the Design and Management Regulation 1994 and
the Construction Health and Welfare Regulations 1996, the CDM 2007 was
introduced on 6thApril 2007
with the intention of simplify the regulations, improve clarity , maximizing
flexibility and covering each and every
welfare facility. CDM 2007 has given
information to avoid the doubts of previous regulations.
CDM 2007 guides CDM coordinator and
other people more effectively who involve with construction projects to control
all the risks and hazards during all stages of the project conception, design, planning,
construction work, future maintenance and use of the building, including
v CDM Coordinator
The CDM Regulations 2007 replace the
role of the planning supervisor with the
CDM coordinator. He involves to the project since the beginning by
giving advices and helps regarding the health and safety, giving helps to the
project client, coordinating the planning and designing stage and preparing the
health and safety file are his main responsibilities. Therefore he plays a
dominant role than the planning supervisor. The CDM coordinator should be
introduced to the Sri Lankan construction industry to maintain a better Health
and Safety culture.
Importance of Staff Training
training makes a person more efficient and capable. It gives a clear awareness
to him of the work what he has been appointed for. An effective Health and
Safety training teaches the people who works in a construction firm to work
safely and without risk to health. Also it helps to employer to ensure his
legal duty complying with health and safety regulations.
Identifying the Situations that Training should be given
1999 Act, there are some situations where health and safety training is
an employer requires his one of the employees to do another work which is
totally different from the familiar work, the worker should be trained properly
to do that work. It is necessary to give information about the risks, hazards
and techniques which are related to that specific work.
introducing a new work equipment, workers should be given training to use that
equipment. Also they should be consulted related to the risks and safety
methods of that equipment.
introducing a new system of work, employees will have to face for the problems
because of the unfamiliarity. So employer has responsibility to give proper
training for the identification of that system.
The training should be repeated periodically where
appropriate and it should be given during working hours.
Approved Code of Practice 2007(ACOP)
The concept of Approved code of practice which was introduced
in 1984, was modified under the CDM 2007. It gives the practical advice on how
to comply with the law.
“Codes of practice provide guidance for employers,
contractors, people in control of workplaces and workers on the management of
safety and health hazards and risks associated with an issue and some of the relevant
requirements under the legislation.” (Codes of practice approved under
the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 , 2018)
4.1A list of
Ø “L 27 Control of Asbestos at work (third edition)(ISBN0717616738)
Ø L 86 Control of Substances hazardous to
health in fumigation
Ø L81 Design construction and
installation of gas service pipes(ISBN0717611728)
Ø L43 First AID(ISBN0717606171)
Ø L21 Management of health and safety
Ø L65 Prevention of fire and explosion
and emergency response on offshore installations(ISBN0717613860)
Ø L101 Safe work in confined
Ø COP34 Use of Electricity(ISBN0118854836)
Ø L22 Safe use of work
Ø L113 Safe use of Lifting
Ø L24 Work place health, safety and
welfare(ISBN0717604136)” (List of
approved codes of practice, 2005)
These Approved codes of
practice discuss how to work safe and particular responsibilities of each and
every person who involves with the construction project beginning to end.
Persons who fail to comply
with the Approved codes of practice become guilties of the law.
Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination
The code of
practice about Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination can be used for staff
Consultation is a legal requirement and an essential part of
the staff training. Each and every worker should be consulted properly.
As the first step of the consultation, company duty holders
can be introduced to the workers. Employer should consult workers about the
duties of his staff. Then they need to be consulted about the risks and hazards
arising from their works and the measures which can be taken to minimize those
Also the information regarding to welfare should be given
such as toilets cleaning and using, drinking water, dining areas and washing
Employer should hold daily or weekly meetings such as tool
box and pre start meetings, to give instructions and listen to the worker’s
concerns regarding to workplace matters. Then he should consult them with
appropriate solutions for that matters.
Not only workers but also staff members should be consulted
regarding the health and safety matters.
v Cooperation and Coordination
A good coordination and cooperation help to maintain a good health and
safety culture and achieve company goals. So workers should be trained to
cooperate with each other and there should be a better coordination between
workers and the employer.
As an example, think there is an ongoing building construction site. An
electrician of that site has wanted to cut off the electricity supply for a
period of time to fix an electrical fault of the site. So he will turn off the
main switch and continue his work. If
there is not a good cooperation and coordination, another worker will turn on
the switch with the intention of getting power for his work and at once the
electrician will be electrocuted.
So giving training on cooperation and coordination is a significant
Identification of Risks and Hazards within the planning stage
According to Approved codes of practice, there is a responsibility
of the designer to identify risks and introduce effective designs to minimize
the risks in the planning and designing stage. Risks witch have been identified
by the designer should be informed to the employer. Employer should give
information, instructions and sufficient training to employees for the
identification of these risks.
Giving training to CDM coordinator
He should be given awareness about new amendments of Health
and safety acts. Also employer should encourage him to attend for the health
and safety workshops.
The code of practice about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE should be worn by workers to minimize exposure to specific
hazards. Employer has a responsibility to provide training for choosing
suitable PPE in relevant condition and using it correctly. A member of the
staff can be appointed as the safety officer. He should be given training and
knowledge regarding the PPE and he can be used as the trainer for workers. Also
PPE workshops can be organized for employees to deliver the knowledge.
The code of practice about Safe use of work Equipment
Unawareness of using construction machinery and equipment
correctly will be caused to injuries, deaths and very unpleasant incidents.
Those incidents can be minimized by an effective training. Firstly
instructional manuals of these equipment should be read carefully and safety
officer or an appointed person should be trained regarding to that information.
Also employer can take the proper assistance from a professional operator to
train them. Secondly the trained person should teach those instructions to
employees who operate equipment and machinery in a comprehensible way.
The code of practice about First Aid
First aid training is a very important thing within the
training procedure. The person with a good knowledge of first aid can save a
Firstly employer should give a proper training on first aid
to a member of the staff. Training should be covered with the treatments for
cuttings, bruises, burnings and bleedings. Also giving awareness on medicines
and the way of giving artificial respiration are the other important facts
which should be included in a first aid training.