Why Evidence Matters on Construction Sites
Recent research reveals that 70 per cent of construction firms will be investing money in order to exceed legislative health and safety standards in 2016. And, for a good reason—on a daily basis, the construction industry’s almost 3 million employees confront dangerous and sometimes life-threatening risks, which contributed to 69,000 cases of work-related illnesses and 65,000 workplace injuries in 2014-2015. These newly diagnosed illnesses and injuries account for an estimated 1.7 million lost working days and £500 million in treatment and care annually.
While this industry-wide investment in health and safety has been partially responsible for a 40 per cent decrease in workplace injuries over the last decade, the number of prosecutions by the HSE has steadily risen. In 2014-2015 alone, the HSE prosecuted 258 cases, with a conviction rate of 94 per cent resulting in fines totalling almost £4 million. If your construction firm wants to avoid a prosecution, it is essential that you keep detailed and accurate records of your health and safety practices and procedures to prove your compliance.
Effective, well-kept health and safety management schemes generally include the following information:
- Risk assessments for each piece of equipment, vehicle and task
- Health surveillance procedures and records, including the date of inspection and the signature of the inspector
- Machinery inspection procedures and records, including the date of inspection and the signature of the inspector
- Thorough accident records
The above list does not reflect a comprehensive outline for every document that should be included in your firm’s records. Good record-keeping not only helps prove your firm’s compliance and ensures that you will not be prosecuted by the HSE, it helps to ensure that your employees are provided with a safe working environment.