Reasons for and against actioning health and safety on the construction site
Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Do you trust to luck and take your chances when it comes to health and safety on the building site or do you cover all bases and leave nothing to chance?
Why not try our ‘fun’ quiz (with a serious message) and choose either an a or b answer. Then see what it says about your attitude to health and safety at the bottom!
a. Well it’s a costly process spending time on paperwork when I could be earning money on site. And the thought of using a Health & Safety advisor – well that’s another overhead I can do without. Then there’s the cost of implementing any recommendations…
b. I dread the financial impact of a fine on the business, or my insurance premiums having to go up, or even say a £700 Fee for Intervention because I’ve got slippery steps up the site cabin, or I’ve not considered the welfare of the guys on site.
a. Every site induction for a new employee, sub-contractor or apprentice just slows the job down. Site Attendance Registers, they’re another waste of time. Risk Assessments, Method Statements, COSHH Assessments… they probably add a day, if not more, to a job that’s only going to take a month.
b. I can’t imagine a ‘man down’, someone I’ve worked with for years being injured or worse. Morally, ethically, there can be nothing like it – having to tell friends and family that an accident happened that could have been prevented if it weren’t for my negligence. Why would I risk cutting corners or ignoring problems?
a. Health and safety is political correctness gone mad. It’s red tape for the sake of red tape. Some of the things you’re supposed to do are laughable. I’d go so far as to say much of it is b******t. I’ve been in the construction business for more years than I care to remember and nothing’s gone wrong on my watch.
b. I’ve employees who have been working for me for years. I’ve customers who recommend my firm to neighbours, family and friends. And I’ve never had any trouble getting subbies. They trust me to be fair. I sponsor the local kids football team and we take part in the odd charity match. Reputation is everything to me, so stringent health and safety is a given.
a. The responsibility is so onerous I actually don’t want to think about it. To be honest it’s making me reconsider whether I want to be in the construction business at all. It has become a burden and instead of dealing with it, I just cross my fingers and hope for the best.
b. I read online and on the television about corporate manslaughter and the thought of being in that situation is unimaginable. Leaving it to chance is not an option for me. I’ve got too much financially invested in my building business (including my home) to not follow all the rules and abide by all the laws.
If you mainly answered ‘a’…
We hope you carry a good luck charm on you as your luck may run out. Health and safety management needn’t be complicated or expensive. Construction is still one of the top four risks to injury and death alongside mining, quarrying, deep-sea platforms and agriculture. The odds are stacked against you!
If you mainly answered ‘b’…
You have a good attitude and clearly take your responsibilities seriously. We hope you’ve got the right tools in place to make the process as easy as possible. Sleepless nights are not necessary! Health and safety can be very straightforward if you adopt a logical approach. See our piece on the HSE HSG65 four steps to health and safety management as an example.
There’s a tongue-in-cheek saying ‘the harder I work the luckier I get’. When it comes to health and safety management you could tweak it to say ‘the harder I plan, the luckier I get’. Funny that! Users of HBXL’s Health & Safety Xpert software stand a much greater chance of sailing through HSE inspections with all the right paperwork in place and all the requirements implemented. And be under no illusion – the HSE have upped their visits to small to medium sites this year – it was one of their focuses. So you need to be ready.
Have a chat with one of the team about Health & Safety Xpert and they’ll give you the no-bull low-down on how it can help your firm. It has been produced in association with a health and safety consultant. It follows all the guidelines, covers all the legal requirements and assists in best practice.
Health & Safety Xpert is also great value for money and is simple to use. You only have to answer a few questions before the clever software selects ALL the relevant documents for the job – automatically. Stand back and watch them come out of the printer!
Call us on 0117 916 7898 or find some more information here.