How To Run A Safe Construction Site

No matter how large or small your refurbishment project is Safety should be your Number 1 Priority

You may think making a profit is the priority but we will say it again Safety should be your Number 1 Priority

CDM Regulations 2015

Under the CDM Regulations 2015  CDM Regs anybody engaged in commercial activity (work carried out on any property that is not their main residence) is classed as a commercial client. As a result, they have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of anyone working for them. This includes any subcontractors you may employ. In addition these subcontractors have a duty to the people they employ.

Everyone has the right to go to work and to go home safely. However construction work by its very nature is inherently dangerous. Above all safety must be given importance when planning a project

The Construction industry is the 3rd most dangerous in the UK. For instance, in the period 2018-2019 there were 30 deaths

In the period 2018-2019 there were 30 deaths. Half of these were falls from height. When the HSE talk about falls from height they mean any height including floor level. In addition there were thousands of life changing injuries

Which projects are more dangerous?

Small refurbishment projects can be more dangerous then large construction sites

Safety on large construction sites is rigorously enforced and a zero tolerance approach to unsafe working is adopted. Therefore, although there are more man hours worked there are less accidents

However on smaller jobs run by developers who are not full time construction professionals the rules are often far more relaxed

Many part time developers just assume that the men will sort out their own safety arrangements. In other words they don’t feel they have to consider safety on site. Therefore a lot of them allow unsafe working without realising it

Before beginning a project you should get advice from a qualified Health and Safety professional and ask them to write you a Site Safety Plan. This is one of the site set up essentials you should have

These are some essentials you should have in place for your project

  • Every project must have a construction phase plan
  • Everyone must wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Task specific PPE to be worn for dangerous activities
  • Every activity must have a Task Briefing and Risk Assessment
  • The above can be combined in a set of RAMS ( Risk Assessed Method Statements)
  • No 230 Volt electricity to be used on site
  • Only 110 Volt electricity via a step down transformer to be used on site
  • All power tools preferably to be battery powered
  • Extension leads to be tied safely out of the way and not trailed across floor to avoid trip hazards
  • Scaffolding only to be erected by qualified persons
  • Scaffolding to be inspected and tagged once a week
  • Step ladders to be inspected for damage before being allowed on site
  • No alcohol on site
  • Safety footwear to be worn at all times
  • Site Manager to hold CITB SMSTS card
  • All operatives to hold CITB CSCS card or relevant trade skill card
  • Only insulated tools to be used for electrical work
  • All substances containing SHH* must have a COSHH* assessment
  • First Aider to be on site at all times
  • All excavations to have shorings and barriers and warning notices
  • Safety notices and site rules to be displayed on site
  • All COSHH* materials to be stored offsite or onsite in locked metal box

Each project is different

The above is not a complete list. Each project will have its own particular risks. Therefore there is no one size fits all site safety plan. For instance, one site may involve a lot of work at height , while another project is all based at ground level


If you need specific safety advice or a Site Safety Plan prepared please contact us as we have people who are qualified in these matters. Knowing how to run a safe construction site should always take priority over profit


* Substances Hazardous to Health

** Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

If you are not sure what COSHH is there is a link below












Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>