02-04-2014

Not all construction firms are large organisations working on big contracts to build office blocks, hotels and commercial buildings. Other less-sizeable enterprises will use tool
hire services and focus on residential projects or a specific area of construction, such as installing insulation or fitting solar panels.

However, these smaller firms still have health and safety regulations they need to follow on site in a bid to reduce the risk of accidents. Although they vary slightly from the rules larger contractors have to abide by, they still need to be adhered to and firms may be penalised if they are caught out.

Health and safety is an extremely important aspect of running a building site and this guide will go through the things smaller businesses have to know, as well as who is responsible for managing the construction site and, ultimately, the wellbeing of the workers.

There are two basic categories small builders come under, according to guidance set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The first is enterprises that are employed privately to work on residential projects such as building extensions, refurbishing homes or using equipment hire to carry out repairs.

Alternatively, contractors could operate in the small business project sector, which is when they are employed by commercial clients to carry out repairs or refurbishment work over a short duration of less than 30 days.

 In the first case, it is the sole responsibility of the builder to manage the health and safety aspect of the project. However, in the second the responsibility lies with both the building firm and the business client and they must work together to manage risks.

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