Running Your Own Construction Business: Health & Safety
March 19 2023 - Some industries are more perilous to operate within than others, and construction is one of them. It is one thing to work within the industry and another entirely to own your own construction business. As the business owner, you are responsible for the health and safety of everyone that you employ. In addition to keeping your staff safe, you also need to ensure that you are adhering to health and safety protocols to keep your business compliant with the laws and regulations set out by regulatory bodies.
Risk, in terms of the workplace, simply refers to any hazards or issues that could cause harm to a member of staff or sometimes the inventory and equipment too. When thinking specifically about the construction industry, there are a number of potential risks which could befoul one of your workers. It is up to you to work out the likelihood of each of these things occurring. Builders are most commonly injured by accidents on the site, whether this is down to the user error of a builder using equipment or the presence of debris and even working at height.
Developing a Health & Safety Policy
For the most part, your health and safety policy is going to be heavily dictated by the guidelines and regulations set out for your industry. In fact, you will need to demonstrate compliance and adherence and working with a business like SMAS can be incredibly useful in doing this, so it is definitely worth exploring.
You will then need to build upon what these regulatory bodies have set out for you and develop your own approach. Think about the risks specific to the construction industry, things like working with tools, falling debris, visibility, and eye protection is also often paramount. Have you thought about all of these things? Does your health and safety policy address them, as well as what the workers should do if there is an accident or injury on-site?
You are duty-bound to create a risk assessment if your business has more than five employees. Providing the necessary training, equipment, and facilities is also likely to be your legal obligation too, so bear that in mind.
Lessening or Controlling the Risks
Realistically, your health and safety policy should be designed to address all of the risks that you have identified as being a part of your business. In addition to developing a health and safety policy, you should also do everything possible to lessen or control the risks to your workers. It is integral to ensuring that your workers are kept safe.
Regular walk-throughs and revisions to your health and safety policy are key here to make sure that you are continually spotting and addressing risks as they appear. Eliminating risks entirely is not always possible, especially within the construction industry. You cannot always expect your staff to use their common sense, which is why you need to stay on top of things.
As a business owner, or manager, you are directly responsible for the health and safety of those that work under you; this responsibility is even more pronounced in an industry that is as rife with hazards as construction is. Failing to adhere to the health and safety regulations set out for you could lead to serious injuries or even be fatal, which is why you need to take them seriously.