The Importance of Being Site Safe Ready

At SafeContractor, we’re often asked why clients expect their contractors to meet the SafeContractor standard, and we’re challenged regarding the need for policies, procedures, and questionnaires to establish an organisation’s health and safety credentials.

We understand the administration headache health and safety can have on a business, in particular, to an SME. So, in this blog post, we’ll answer these questions and explain why it’s important to both your clients and your business that you’re ‘Site Safe Ready’.

Let’s start with the obvious, it’s the law!

As a contractor, both you and your client will have responsibilities under health and safety law to ensure you take the right precautions to reduce risks of workplace dangers to employees and the public.

Which laws apply?

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – Section 2 and 3
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) 2015 – implemented April 2015 replacing CDM 2007

To comply with the above legislation, your client is required to ask you to prove your organisational capability. 

contractors safe onsite

What is organisational capability?

Organisational capability means the policies and systems you have in place to comply with acceptable health and safety law and standards.  It also covers the resources you have to ensure that these standards are delivered, including staff, materials, equipment, etc.

 

To decide your organisational capability your clients may ask you the following:

  • Do you have a health and safety policy in place?
  • Has the HSE ever taken action against you?
  • What are your health and safety procedures?
  • Do you plan to use sub-contractors? If you do, what checks and procedures do you have in place?
  • Will you provide safety method statements for the job you’ll be undertaking?
  • What safety checks do you carry out on your equipment and materials?
  •  What health and safety training do you undertake?
    • Can you show your training programme and records?
    • Have you got current certificates of competence and participation?
  • Are you a member of a trade/professional body or association?
  • What insurances do you have in place and are they valid?
  • Risk assessments for the planned work you will be undertaking.

Please note this is not a complete list, there may be more depending on the work activity you undertake.

Don’t think it will never happen to your company….

Whatever sort of business you’re in, there‘s always the possibility of an accident or threat to someone’s health.

UK Health and Safety Statistics issued by the HSE for 2014/15 reported 76,000 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation) and 1.2 million working people suffering from a work-related illness. On a more serious note, there were 142 fatal injuries to workers in the main industrial sectors, with  construction, agriculture and waste having the highest rates.

If you think that it won’t happen to your business, click here to see how often companies are fined and/or sentenced by the HSE. Don’t ignore the issue, it could happen to you!

Getting it wrong can be a costly business

The HSE has also reported that 23.3 million days were lost in 2014/15 due to a work related illness, and 4.1 million days due to workplace injuries. On average each person suffering took around 15 days off work, 19 days for ill health cases and 6.7 days for injuries.

Across Britain, 728 cases were prosecuted for health and safety breaches in 2014/15. These cases led to 682 convictions and total fines received of £19m. Prevention is always better than cure. And in the case of health and safety, getting it right can save you money in the long run.

Becoming 'Site Safe Ready'

By becoming SafeContractor approved, your organisational capability will be independently assessed. This gives your clients the confidence that you’re Site Safe Ready. In addition, protecting the health and safety of the public and your employees saves you both time and money!

Successfully passing the SafeContractor assessment and maintaining your accreditation, can also improve your existing procedures, and while this cannot confirm that your arrangements are adequate in every circumstance, it is a strong indicator that you’re compliant with legislation.

To find out more about SafeContractor accreditation, contact one of our registration advisors today on 02920 266 242 or to join online click here

Post date: 04 Mar 2016

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