Construction is one of the most dangerous industries to work in. The safety of your employees should be your main priority. With so many rules and regulations to follow it can be easy to forget the basic standard you are expected to provide for your employees.
Safety at work
When working in construction, safety is imperative. You’ll face potentially dangerous working conditions everyday as part of your job. As a construction business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure all staff are provided with adequate safety training and equipment. Employees should also risk assess the workplace, and safety procedures should be followed at all times. Employees can claim compensation if an accident occurs, but they do hold part of the responsibility for their safety, and you can dispute any claim where an employee has been injured due to ignoring health and safety regulations.
You are required to provide hard hats, high visibility jackets and any other essential uniform that is there as a means to keep your staff safe. When necessary, you should be expected to replace damaged or worn safety garments as they are essential within such a potentially dangerous working environment.
The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 state that your employees should be supplied with adequate protection and that you have a responsibility to ensure everyone in the workplace follows the dress code.
Sickness and injury
Between 2011/2012 the Health and Safety Executive(HSE) found that 22.7 million work days were lost due to work place related illness. In 175,000 cases the injured party had to stay off work for over 7 days. You should do all that you can to protect your employees. Due to the nature of your working environment it is likely that employees may fall ill or suffer an injury which requires time away from the workplace. You should expect employees to keep you in the know when recovering from work related ailments.
You cannot dismiss a member of staff for taking time off work for an injury. The Employee Rights Act 1996 protects your employees from unfair dismissal due to injury. Upon their return to work you are expected to accommodate your employee’s needs should they be at an increased risk of injury, or still recovering from their accident. Dismissal is a last resort, and you should take the appropriate steps to rehabilitate your employee back into the workplace.
With 39 deaths to construction workers within the past year, your employee’s and your own expectations to feel safe are never too demanding. You should ensure that all members of staff are up to date with the latest health and safety laws and should promote a positive attitude towards safety in the workplace.
Kristin Hodgkinson is the digital marketing manager for Direct365 - a facilities management and business products specialist.