Health and Safety for Construction

Construction Companies Affected by New Health and Safety Legislation

Construction companies have definitely had to swallow a bitter pill when it comes to changes in health and safety legislation if they have been non-compliant.  There were revisions made in February and there have been heavy consequences for companies that don’t comply.  It is said to be the largest overhaul of legislation of this nature in over 40 years for not only health and safety but for corporate manslaughter and food hygiene.

Since February the BLM Health and Safety tracker have recorded that nearly 40% of construction business have not only breached legislation but have been given fines which have totalled over a massive £8 million.

A variety of things were taken into consideration before handing out these heavy fines, the size of the corporation is one of them.  Construction companies that are larger and have a turnover of over £50 million are the ones that are hit the hardest as if their offences are serious – the fine could be over £10 million.  3 of the largest cases have accumulated fines of £5.6 million and examples have also been made of Directors who were given custodial sentences.  Of course, legal fees were also applicable and totalled over £185,000 for the 3 cases.

Helen Devery is the head of the SHE Practice and she stated that if there is a large construction company that are in serious breach of any of the new legislation, then they can expect some hard-hitting fines.  It has definitely opened some eyes and more care and attention has to be placed on ensuring that everything is to the regulated standard for the sake of the company and the employees.  If you are interested in any of our health and safety training courses – please contact us for a free consultation.

What does Brexit mean for Health and Safety

What Does Brexit Mean for Health and Safety?

The whole of the UK is still reeling from the result of the EU referendum, and although many questions have been asked, one of them is “Could this mean changes to legislation?”

The concern with health and safety legislation is that although held by the UK, the policies are a mix of that implemented by the UK and the EU.  It is probable that if there was a complete exit from the EU a 2 year notice period would need to be given and during this time legislation that has been derived from the EU would still remain in place.

One of the main concerns for employees is that much of the legislation that has been derived from the EU are based on workers’ rights, so it’s natural that there has been a growing concern among UK workers.  The Framework Directive was implemented in the UK as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 is just one example of legislation that could be affected. This was put in place for companies to ensure that health and safety risks in the workplace are identified and evaluated.

Although there are growing concerns amongst UK citizens, realistically we wouldn’t expect that too much would change.  It makes sense for the UK to continue to work with the European Trade Organisation in some form which means that there would still be cooperation needed by the laws that have been enforced by the European Free Trade.

There has also been a discussion about another Scottish independence referendum since Scotland voiced their preference to remain part of the EU and further complications that could arise there.  Although there may not be a complete overhaul of laws it is likely that there will be some changes to legislation including health and safety.