The construction industry can be a dangerous sector in which to work due the machinery used and nature of tasks employees have to carry out. They will often be carrying heavy items, moving around on uneven ground and working from height. Although the correct equipment hire – such as scaffolding, ladders and lifting equipment - can help with these tasks, there is still the chance accidents can occur and any risk cannot be completely eliminated.

Contractors have a responsibility to manage these risks and look out for the welfare of their employees - and small construction firms are no different. It is their responsibility to follow the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and there are four main areas under these laws they need to follow.

It is up to the contractor to effectively plan any jobs to ensure health and safety risks are taken into account. These then need to be effectively controlled with careful management during the course of the work, while employees should be monitored to prevent risks leading to accidents.

Lead times must also be established so that any sub-contractors who may use more specific tool hire and be brought in to carry out a specialist task are aware of the minimum amount of time they have for the planning and preparation for the project.

It is also the job of the contractor to carefully manage access to the site. This means preventative measures must be put in place to ensure any unauthorised individuals are not able to find their way into the area where construction is taking place. This could be extremely dangerous, especially as they will not have any proper safety equipment or training on potential risks.

Finally, small builders have to arrange welfare facilities and ensure adequate services are available for members of their workforce should they need them.

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