All employers have a duty of care to any person that is employed or may be affected by their business premises or activities. There are many rules and regulations regarding occupational health and safety at the workplace, but the construction industry tops the league. The list of what H&S any company needs changes depending on the activities they are carrying out. For instance, some employees might need permits for confined spaces, hot works or height. Other employees might need scaffold signed off, or CAT and Genny testing before a dig.
As a general rule though the four main documents you need are:
A company health and safety policy. This is a document that lets other know how and what your business is doing about managing health and safety at work. It is a legal requirement to have a health and safety policy if there are five or more employees.
Risk assessments. A risk assessment isn’t just an assessment of risks for a specific task, it also contains control measures. Control measures are instructions for a person carrying out the task, and they tell them what to do and what to avoid in order to work safer and reduce the likelihood of harm.
Method statements. The best example we can give here is an Ikea instruction manual for assembling furniture. They are perfect method statements, are suitable for all language speakers and have ticks and crosses telling the assembler what to do and what not to do. Method statements in the construction industry are usually text based, but are designed to do the same job, which is to advise workers on how to carry out a task safely. In many instances a supplier will provide method statements, so when installing a lock, the correct method would be to follow the manufacturers instructions.
COSHH assessments. These are risks that specific products pose and a COSHH assessment is created from the product data sheet which the supplier provides. COSHH stands for Control Of Substances Harmful to Health, but it doesn’t just cover the health of the person using the product. The damage the product can do to the environment, safe disposal methods, amount of time a person can use the product, fire fighting measures, harmful ingredients, PPE and first aid measures are all included.
Principal contractors and project managers may also ask you for a host of other documentation including training records, traffic management plans, anti slavery policies etc…