Health & Safety and Domestic Building Sites

When it comes to health & safety requirements and certifications, Parker Home is ahead of the curve. In fact, we’re one of the few small building companies that are on a par with the big construction organisations in this area.

What does Health & Safety mean for you?

As the homeowner, if you’re not working with a company that has taken the necessary health & safety steps and precautions, the responsibility falls to you.

How can that be? It’s because without clear, documented ownership, you are seen as the principle contractor.

Accidents happen

The fact is that accidents happen, and more frequently than you may imagine. What’s more, and a reason for genuine concern, is that many of them (including deaths) occur on small sites.

When you think about it, an unplanned site is an accident waiting to happen.

Working at height presents one of the main risks. Using ladders instead of investing in scaffold towers invites overreaching and slips, as well as items being dropped onto workers below.

Speaking of slips, simply trips and spills can have traumatic consequences with trenches, drops and sharp edges aplenty on site.

The list goes on and on, with asbestos, collapsing masonry and electrocution being other key risk factors.

Being Health & Safety aware

When engaging contractors, it’s essential that they are not only aware, but conform to current Heath & Safety standards and requirements. At a minimum, your ‘principle’ contractor (the main firm that may engage other trades) should take responsibility for all things Health & Safety. This should include key job descriptions and risk assessments, each of which should be documented and kept in a health & safety file.

Your responsibilities

If the above sounds over the top, or somewhat draconian, bear in mind that ultimately, responsibility may end with you. Without a designated ‘principle’, responsibility defaults to you, the homeowner.

In the event of an accident, or worse, you are then potentially liable to claims and compensation that may follow.

What to do?

First and foremost, as the homeowner, you should ensure that contractors and any workforce on your property is following health and safety protocols and procedures. It’s easy to think this is an unnecessary hassle, or to fear that it may impact costs.

However, the potential liabilities and pay-outs massively outweigh the cost of putting the right health & safety considerations in place at the start.

If you require further information around domestic construction health & safety, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.