Health and Safety at Work – Who is Responsible?

Health and Safety at Work in Construction

Construction sites are some of the most dangerous places to work, with numerous hazards that can cause injuries or even fatalities. According to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) latest published statistics Construction is the 2nd most dangerous industry with 58,000 non-fatal injuries with 36 fatalities (averaged over last 3 years). With such high stakes, it’s essential to understand who is responsible for health and safety at work in construction.

Who is responsible for Health and Safety in the workplace?

Ultimately, health and safety at work in construction is the responsibility of all involved. Employers, employees, subcontractors, vendors, and regulatory bodies must all work together to ensure a safe work environment. The level of responsibility varies upon your role within the workplace.

The Employer or Main/Principal Contractor has the greatest responsibility to provide a safe work environment for their employees and those that are affected by their undertakings. 

This includes ensuring that all workers are properly trained, equipped with the necessary safety gear, and that the job site is free from hazards. They must ensure suitable and sufficient safety policies and procedures are implemented, regularly assess risks, and take corrective action as needed.

Employees, subcontractors, vendors etc also have a role to play in ensuring they do not put their own safety at risk and the safety of others e.g. colleagues, other contractors, visitors, public etc. They must follow all safety policies and procedures put in place, wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and report any hazards or unsafe working conditions to their supervisor or employer immediately.

Regulatory Bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  also play a critical role in ensuring health and safety at work in construction by setting standards, legislation, inspections, targeted campaigns, advice etc

Ensuring a safe work environment in the construction industry is a joint responsibility. Employers, employees, subcontractors, vendors, and regulatory bodies must collaborate and contribute to promote a positive health and safety culture at work. By taking a proactive approach to safety and following established policies and procedures, we can help prevent avoidable injuries and fatalities on construction sites.

Managing Health and Safety in the workplace

Risk assessments are an essential tool for those responsible for health and safety in any workplace, including construction sites. By carrying out suitable and sufficient risk assessments, those responsible for health and safety can identify areas of concern and take appropriate action to minimize the likelihood of accidents or injuries occurring on-site. Reasonably practicable measures adopted following the identification of hazards can help to protect workers, reduce the risk of legal action, and improve the overall safety culture of the workplace.

Constructionline is a platform that helps promote health and safety at work in the construction industry. It provides a pre-qualification process that assesses the health and safety practices of suppliers and contractors before they are allowed to work on a project. 

This process includes checking compliance with relevant health and safety legislation, reviewing risk assessments and method statements, and ensuring that the necessary safety training has been completed. 

By vetting suppliers and contractors in this way, Constructionline helps to ensure that only those with a strong health and safety record are selected to work on construction projects, which helps to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries occurring on site.

Included in a Constructionline membership, companies can receive Acclaim Accreditation at no additional cost. As a Registered Member of SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement), Acclaim Accreditation will assess a company’s health and safety policies, procedures and key health and safety documentation to ensure that they meet the required standards set by SSIP. On successful completion the company is issued with a SSIP Certification.

By achieving SSIP Certification, companies can show that they take health and safety seriously and are committed to providing a safe working environment for their employees and others affected by their undertakings. 

Not only does this help to show legal compliance, but it can also help to build trust and confidence with clients and customers enabling companies to maintain contracts and potentially securing new ones.  In addition to providing reassurance to clients and customers, the process of Certification can also help companies to improve their health and safety practices by raising awareness of key health and safety issues and required documentation/practices. 

Ultimately, Acclaim Accreditation can play an important role in promoting health and safety at work by encouraging companies to prioritize the safety of their employees and helping to create a safer working environment. 

Blog Health and Safety, SSIP, Supplier
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