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Unit 3 Supervising Health, Safety & Welfare on a Construction Site


Section 1. Information needed to plan and operate a safe and healthy working environment

Section 2. Induct the workforce and visitors regarding safe working

Section 3. Identifying and Assessing Hazards


Information and Guidance is available on how you should study

Study Guide

Assignment for Unit 3

Before Submitting your assignment you MUST read and conform to

Instructions for

Submitting Assignments


Additional Learning Resourses




Additional Information

You should relate your responses to any of the tasks set in this unit to the documents listed below; these will provide information about the type and size of the project.  

Section 1



Section 2

Section 3





Unit aim: This unit is designed to meet the needs of construction Site Supervisors, to provide them with knowledge of how to supervise safety in the workplace.

This unit has an Introduction and is divided into 3 study sections.


Section 1 Information needed to plan and operate a safe and healthy working environment

3.1.1 Identify the information required in order to be able to plan and operate a safe and healthy working environment. 
3.1.2 Check that health, safety, welfare & environmental protection systems are in accordance with organisational and statutory requirements. 

Section 2 Induct the workforce and visitors regarding safe working

3.2.1 Prepare an induction talk for the workforce and visitors. 
3.2.2 Deliver an induction talk for the workforce and visitors. 

Section 3 Identifying and Assessing Hazards
3.3.1 Contribute to the identification and assessment of health and safety hazards. 
3.3.2 Contribute to the identification and assessment of health and safety risks, and their reduction.
3.3.3 Identify which notices and warnings are required in accordance with current legislation and organisational requirements.

Unit Recommended Reading

Hughes P & Ferrett E Introduction to Health and Safety in Construction (3rd Ed), Butterworth-Heinemann; Oxford. 

HSC Approved Code of Practice (2007) Managing Health and Safety in Construction, HSE Books.

Books can be ordered from most bookshops or online from Amazon.

Before starting you should read the ‘Study Guide’ accessible from the link on the left.


The construction Industry has one of the worst records for accidents in the UK. On average one worker is killed each week and many thousands are injured, which results in them being absent from work for more than three days.
This record has led over the years, to the introduction to a raft of health, safety and environmental legislation. The duties and responsibilities of all people engaged in construction work, including supervisors of The Works, have been laid down by Acts of Parliament that cover health, safety and environmental protection. Those with particular relevance to this unit are identified throughout the text but a more detailed explanation of each can be gained from the references indicated in each section
Supervising safety in the workplace is about effectively planning site works and implementing systems that ensure safe and healthy working whilst protecting the environment. It is about identifying and assessing hazards and risks and introducing measures that eliminate, control and reduce their effects. It is also about obtaining the information that is needed to plan and operate safely and recognise the need to pass on information and how this is done.
In this unit you will learn the ways that the site supervisor will implement the measures in order to ensure safety in the work place. We will start by looking at the information you will need in order to ensure that all matters of safety are conformed to so you should proceed to ‘Unit 3.1 Information Needed’.

Please Note

All information contained in this Study Unit was considered correct at the time of writing but Students must not rely on information contained in the Study Unit and/or references for any purposes other than use within this CIOB qualification aim as legislation and working practices are constantly being revised and updated. Students are advised therefore to continually up-date themselves as to current legislation and construction practice and must not to rely on information contained within the Study Unit and/or references for practical applications in the workplace. Where legislation or construction practice has been superseded to that contained in the Study Unit Students should note this within their responses to the tasks.

 Section 1  Information needed to plan and operate a safe and healthy working environment

Learning outcome: On completion the learner will know the Information needed to plan and operate a safe and healthy working environment.


3.1.1 Identify the information required in order to be able to plan and operate a safe and healthy working environment. 
3.1.2 Check that health, safety, welfare & environmental protection systems are in accordance with organisational and statutory requirements.

3.1.1 Identify the information required in order to be able to plan and operate a safe and healthy working environment.
It is essential you are familiar with the sources of legislation relating to the supervision of construction work as these impose duties and responsibilities on the supervisor. These are specified in the following:
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW 1974) lays down a legal frame work that contains general duties aimed at protecting people (workers, the public and others who may be affected) from an employer’s undertakings. The duties require an employer to provide:
  • A safe place of work with safe means of access and egress
  • Safe plant and equipment
  • Substances that can be safely used, handled, stored and transported
  • Safe systems of work
  • Adequate information, instruction, training and supervision
HSW 1974 enables further laws to be made (regulations or statutory instruments) which set out specific duties and requirements for employers. These are generally published along with an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) that give details on what is needed for compliance with those requirements. The most significant regulations include:
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to undertake suitable and sufficient risk assessments, with due consideration of the Principles of Prevention. It includes requirements on health surveillance, health and safety advice from competent persons and the protection of young persons and new or expectant mothers.
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 require construction projects to be properly planned and managed from initial design, through construction, onto commissioning and future dismantling or demolition. They require all people on site to receive suitable information, the competence of workers and appointed people to be checked and a construction phase plan to be developed and implemented on notifiable projects. They incorporate, and thereby replace the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 with requirements to provide safe and secure places of work and suitable and sufficient welfare facilities.

Most of the health and safety regulations relevant to construction have been made under HSW since 1974. There are more than 30 relevant regulations and amendments identified in ‘Introduction to Health and Safety in Construction’, Section 21: Summary of the main legal requirements (references).HSW 1974 also created the Health and Safety Commission (HSC), now part of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that publishes guidance in the form of legal and best practice. The guidance explains the technical aspects of health and safety regulations and are generally published to accompany the Regulations and ACOP.
The Environmental Protection Act 1990, partly repealed by the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 is the founding legislation of the current integrated approach to preventing emissions and controlling pollution. Through regulation and a permit system it controls emissions into the air, water or land and prevents waste production or reduces it to acceptable levels. The Act places a duty of care on anyone who produces, imports, stores, transports or disposes of waste. Duty holders must keep waste safe and before giving to someone else they must ensure the recipients are authorised to transport, recycle or dispose of it safely.

Regulatory Reform Act 2001 that enabled the Fire Precautions Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 placed a duty on the Responsible Person (generally the employer) to take general fire precautions that ensure the safety of employees and other relevant persons. The Order requires a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and fire safety arrangements including fire detection, fire fighting, emergency route planning and maintenance.

Health, Safety, Welfare and Environmental Plans

Planning must be carried out for each project to ensure that the Regulations and Legislation is conformed to. This planning must consider the following:
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. On projects that are notifiable under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, the Principal Contractor must prepare, develop and implement a Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan. The Plan must ensure that the construction phase is planned and managed to ensure the safety of all persons carrying out construction work and any others who may be affected. It must have due regard for the information provided by the designer and any pre-construction information that was provided to ensure the works can be started and carried out without risk. Its contents should include:
    • Description of the project including key dates, personnel and the location of existing records and plans.
    • Arrangements for managing the work including the management structure, arrangements for reviewing safety performance and keeping people informed and arrangements for welfare, first aid, fire, emergencies and incident reporting.
    • Arrangements for controlling significant site risks arising from the plant and materials being used, the manner in which operations are conducted, the objects that could be encountered and the dangers presented by the site and its users.
    • Health and Safety File that details the arrangements for collecting and storing information that will alert those responsible for the completed project of the health and safety risks to be dealt with during its subsequent use, maintenance, repair or demolition.
  • Site Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008 require a Site Waste Management Plan to be produced for all projects with an estimated value over £300,000 (excluding VAT).The plan must identify the Client, Principal Contractor and the location of the site. It must identify the types of waste to be removed (plus a description of the waste if the project value exceeds £500,000), the name of the person who will remove the waste (plus their waste carrier registration number for projects over £500,000) and details of the site the waste will be taken to (plus details of its environmental permit or exemption for projects over £500,000).
Health, Safety, Welfare and Environmental Equipment and Resources

Requirements are laid down with regard to specific working. These relate to the protection that must be provided generally and in relation to specific types or areas of work, examples of these are shown below.
  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPE 1992) set out basic duties for the provision of all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held to protect against one or more risks. Regulations requiring specific protection (for example the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 or the Noise at Work Regulations 2005) take precedence over the requirements under PPE 1992. The suitability of any equipment must be determined by assessing the risks and its provision must be accompanied by adequate information, instruction and training.
  • Confined Spaces Regulations 1997 require a safe system of work to be in place, which may form the basis of a permit-to-work that will include the provision of PPE, RPE (Respiratory Protective Equipment), gas supply equipment, access, lighting, rescue and resuscitation equipment.
  • Work at Height Regulations 2005 require the provision of suitable and sufficient equipment providing protection or temporary support that prevent falls of people or materials. Such equipment can include guard rail, toe-boards, barriers, scaffolds, working platforms, ladders, fall arrest and work restraint systems.
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 describe the requirements for a safe and secure site and the facilities suitable for proper site welfare. Accordingly the site plans must include the provision of safe means of access/egress, temporary supports, hoarding, signs, barriers as well as sanitary conveniences and equipment associated with washing facilities, drinking water, changing and rest facilities.
  • Protection of the environment and safeguarding the health of employees and others who may be affected is generally provided under the:
    • Environmental Protection Act 1990
    • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
    • Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002,
    • Noise at Work Regulations 2005
    • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.
They require the introduction of control measures effecting protection or prevention and can include the need for equipment to measure and monitor exposure.

First Aid Arrangements
Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, amended 2002, set out an employer’s duties to provide adequate first-aid facilities. First Aid is intended to provide treatment that will reduce the effects of injury or illness at work and the requirements will take account of the nature of the work, the numbers of people employed, site conditions and the severity of the specific hazards. First Aid requirements will include facilities and equipment, qualified first-aiders and appointed persons, arrangements for training (including refresher training) and information to advise employees and others on site of the facilities and arrangements. The HSE produces ‘Basic Advice on First Aid at Work’ which can be used to supplement effective training in the emergency treatment of casualties.

Risk Control Procedures
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 place a duty on employers to carry out suitable and sufficient health and safety risk assessments that cover both employees and others who may be affected by their undertakings. Specific risk assessments are required by at least 11 other regulations including Control of Asbestos, Noise at Work, Manual Handling, PPE, COSHH and Confined Space Regulations.
Assessing Risks
As part of the risk assessment process the employer must evaluate the level of risk presented by each hazard and develop risk control measures that reduce the risks to a manageable level. When considering the adequacy of these controls, a hierarchy of risk controls should be considered. These are:
  • Elimination or substitution
  • Engineering controls
  • Reduced exposure
  • Good housekeeping and safe systems of work
  • Training and information
  • PPE and welfare
  • Monitoring and supervision
Schedule 1 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, specifies the general principles of prevention that were set out by European Council Directive. There are 9 principles that must be used to identify and implement precautions necessary to control risks and should be considered in conjunction with the hierarchy of risk control. The principles include adapting work to the individual, replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous and giving collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures. There are some people who may be more ‘at risk’ and who require additional consideration when assessing the risks and control measures. These include:
  • Young Persons
  • New and expectant mothers
  • Workers with a disability
  • Lone workers
  • Site visitors and trespassers
For a risk assessment to be ‘suitable and sufficient’ only the significant hazards and conclusions, including risk control measures need to be recorded. The prioritization of the implementation of risk control measures will depend on whether the risk rating is high, medium or low and whether they involve complex or simple solutions.
Method statements and/or safe systems of work that describe the safe manner of completing an activity or task will incorporate the identified control measures. Periodically it will be necessary to review these control measures to ensure they are understood, are still working or if they need strengthening for example by the addition of a permit system. A change in site conditions, new legislation or changes in the workforce may also warrant a review of risk controls.
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 impose the following duties in relation to risk control:
  • Clients: Check the competence of appointees, allow sufficient time for all stages and provide pre-construction information.
  • Designers: Eliminate hazards and reduce risks during design and provide information about remaining risks.
  • Contractors: Prepare a construction phase plan that sets out the arrangements to manage risk, prepare site rules, check competence of all appointees and ensure they receive a site induction and any necessary information and training.
  • Everyone: Check own competence, report obvious risks and ensure the safety of others who may be affected.
Emergency Drills
The purpose of emergency procedures is to deal with serious or imminent danger and thereby limit the damage to people and property. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 emergency procedures must be established with particular regard to first aid, emergency medical care and rescue. The procedures are intended to address foreseeable emergencies and evacuation. They should take account of the type of work being undertaken and the associated equipment, the nature of the site and the numbers of people engaged and any additional dangers arising from the materials or processes in use.
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, which replaced the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 require all people to be familiar with the emergency procedures and for those procedures to be periodically tested. Similarly any fire fighting or fire detection equipment shall be examined and tested at suitable intervals. Provision should be made for a sufficient number of emergency routes and exits to enable all people to quickly reach a place of safety.

Task  3.1.1 Information Requirements

List the information required to plan and safely operate the site of a new housing development including service roads.

Word Guide: 300 - 400

3.1.2 Check that health, safety, welfare & environmental protection systems are in accordance with organisational and statutory requirements.
You must continually check that all systems relating to health, safety and environmental protection are being followed by all workers. This will be done by observation and by the use of check lists and registers, as not only have you to carry out the checks and ensure conformance but you must also show that you have carried them out.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, as amended 2002, define PPE as all equipment that is worn or held by a person at work to protect them from one or more risks to their health or safety. Its provision is free of charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which also makes it an offence to detrimentally interfere with the equipment. PPE is the last choice in the principles of prevention and will not be suitable unless:
  • It is appropriate for the identified risks
  • It takes account of the ergonomics requirements and health of the wearer
  • It fits the wearer or can be adjusted to fit properly
  • It complies with UK legislation on design/manufacture (ie contains CE marking)
  • It does not increase the overall level of risk
Before selecting and providing PPE an employer must make an assessment to determine if the equipment is suitable. This will include an assessment of the risks, the characteristics needed to combat the risks and any issues of compatibility with PPE being worn simultaneously. An employer is also required to provide suitable information, instruction and training which will include an explanation of the risks and why PPE is required, the problems that may affect the equipment, how to recognise defects and suitable practice in its fitting and use.
The provision of PPE is also a requirement of specific legislation, for example COSHH, Noise and Construction Head Protection regulations and in such circumstances the requirements of the specific legislation should prevail. Organisations may choose to implement standards over and above those defined by legislation, for example the compulsory wearing of hard hats at all times, and if this course of action is taken then all must be made aware of the enhanced standards. Site inductions and site rules would be typical means of reference suitably reinforced by signs and notices.
Welfare Facilities
Welfare facilities are provided to maintain the health and well-being of people at work and include washing and sanitation arrangements, the provision of drinking water, heating, lighting and accommodation for clothing, seating and eating. Rest rooms and first aid arrangements are also included.
Welfare facilities are covered by Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, as amended 2002. Specific details on their provision are given in the Approved Code of Practice that accompanies each of the regulations and the official health and safety guidance HSG 150. Welfare for transient sites, ie where construction work is of short duration (up to 1 week), will be different to those for fixed sites.
First Aid Facilities
The purpose of First Aid facilities is to preserve life and reduce the effects of injury or illness at work whether or not it was caused at work. They will also be used to provide treatment to minor injuries that otherwise would not receive treatment or do not need treatment by a medical practitioner. The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (which are currently under review), set out requirements on the arrangements to be made for first aid in the workplace. These include the provision of facilities (ie. first aid box, treatment room etc), the provision of trained personnel (ie. First Aider Appointed Person) and the provision of information and training.
The actual provision for First Aid on site will be determined by risk assessment carried out in accordance with Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 or Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988, as amended 2002. The risk assessment will consider the numbers of people engaged on site, the types of activities being undertaken and the potential dangers to health and well-being presented by site hazards.
Security & Storage Equipment
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on an employer to ensure the safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of substances and articles. It also requires an employer to maintain any place of work in a condition that is safe and without risks to the health of all workers and others who may be affected by their undertakings. Therefore when having to determine the security and storage equipment for a site or premises it is essential to assess who may be harmed and in what way. Such consideration should extend to all workers, staff and visitors as well as people using or sharing the site, neighbours and unauthorised intruders.
Security equipment is intended to protect people and property and Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 extends the above duty by requiring every place of work to be made and kept safe and for steps to be taken to prevent access by any person to any place that is not safe. Specifically the regulations require site perimeters to be fenced off and suitably signed. They also require excavations to be guarded and measures to be taken to prevent vehicles falling into excavations, into water or over embankments. The regulations also contain specific requirements on the safe and secure use, storage and transportation of explosives.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, as amended 2002, requires measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery as well as measures to prevent the unauthorised starting of self-propelled work equipment.
Specific security equipment may be installed to prevent access by intruders or indeed violence from intruders. Such equipment could include barriers (with swipe cards) or security locks and passes. CCTV systems and alarms can deter intrusion and threats but their installation will be risk assessment based. The increased vulnerability of lone workers or those working in remote locations may be addressed by the provision of radios, pagers, mobile phones or tracking devices. All such issues are only one aspect of the array of risk reduction measures determined by a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.
Storage equipment is determined by the materials and equipment to be stored, the manufacturer’s instructions and the specific regulations that govern their provision and use. For example COSHH Regulations 2002 stipulate that control measures to minimise exposure must include safe handling, storage and transport. The duty of care arising from the Environmental Protection Act 1990 includes a requirement to ensure the safe storage and, when appropriate, isolation of waste. Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, as amended 2002, requires appropriate accommodation to provide storage for PPE that will prevent its contamination or deterioration.
Specific storage equipment may include storage bays for aggregates and include ventilated, waterproof temporary buildings for dry materials. Storage facilities may be required to maintain a constant temperature whilst tarpaulins may be sufficient if the need is just to prevent contamination and water impregnation. Lockable cages in the open air will be required for the storage of liquid petroleum gas whilst highly flammable materials may require a concrete or brick building suitably signed and ventilated. ‘Highly Desirables’, such as ironwork, lead, copper, building accessories etc, will always require secure, safe storage.
Accident Reporting Systems
Incidents and accidents, whether they cause damage to property or injury and ill-health, should be thoroughly investigated to determine actions that will prevent recurrence and encourage a continuous improvement in safety performance. The investigations may also enable an employer to demonstrate compliance with legal requirements, to review and update safety arrangements and to make a full disclosure of the circumstances of an accident in compliance with the Woolf Report on civil action.
All accidents and incidents should be investigated though the effort spent on the investigation will be determined by the level of risk it presents; severity of harm and frequency of occurrence. It is therefore essential that all accidents and incidents are reported in accordance with company procedure and their circumstances are recorded appropriately.
Certain more serious accidents and incidents must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or other enforcing authority (eg. Environmental Health, Environment Agency, Fire and Rescue Authority etc.). In general terms local authorities are responsible for retailing, warehousing, offices, hotels, catering, sports, leisure and places of worship leaving HSE responsible for all other places of work. There is a centralized national system called the Incident Contact Centre (ICC) to which all incidents are reported directly.
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 require the reporting of specified accidents, ill-health and dangerous occurrences to the relevant enforcing authorities. The events to be reported include death, major injury and accidents that result in absences over 3 days. The regulations specify the types of ill-health cases to be reported as well as giving descriptions of the events considered dangerous occurrences. The details of what is to be reported can be checked by consulting the RIDDOR guide, completing all sections of the standard report form or by referring to the HSE website.
HSWE Records
Construction projects and construction-related operations call for the keeping of an extensive array of records and examples of these are outlined below. The list is intended as an example of a typical site requirement but is in no way exhaustive or comprehensive. Statutory requirements are detailed in appropriate safety regulations and explained further in accompanying Codes of Practice or official Health & Safety Guidance. These relate to:
  • People:
    • Timesheets, certificates of sickness, health surveillance
    • Licences, qualifications, training (including refresher), competence certificates
    • Inductions, Tool Box Talks (TBT), safety & risk assessment briefings, emergency drills, PPE issues
  • H&S Requirements:
    • Safety Policy (signed), risk assessment reviews
    • Project notification (CDM), Construction Phase Plan, records for H&S File
    • RIDDOR records (F2508, F2508A), incident investigations, near miss reports
  • Environmental Requirements:
    • Waste Management licence, waste transfer notes, waste permit
  • Plant:
    • Operating records, inspections, examinations, tests, report of findings
    • Defect reports, repairs, alterations
  • Equipment:
    • PAT (electrical equipment including DSE), statutory examinations (Lifting)
    • Work equipment inspections
    • Fire fighting equipment inspections and testing
    • Equipment for controlling hazardous substances (inspections)
  • Operations:
    • Inspections of excavations, scaffolding, temporary works
    • Permits to Work (hot work, digging, lifting, confined space etc .)
  • Materials:
    • Asbestos (licence, notification, testing)
HSWE Training
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of his employees.  
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and other regulations specify the legal requirements with regard to the provision of that training. This provision can relate to the acquisition of basic skills, recognised competence or specialist skills associated with work equipment, plant, materials, systems of work, higher risk activities or emergency procedures. It may also be provided to address the introduction of new responsibilities, new technology, new systems or equipment, changing circumstances or new employees.
Training is required to ensure the environment is properly and effectively protected. Specifically it involves training in processes that prevent construction activities from polluting the air, water and land by effectively managing noise, dust, vibration, spillages and waste. Training can be categorised as:
  • Induction training (including a 3 month follow up with new employees)
  • Job-specific training (including TBTs, risk assessment results and accident investigation findings)
  • Specialist training
  • Supervisory and management training (including legal requirements, accident prevention, monitoring H&S performance and changes in the law)
Training is also about encouraging an appropriate health and safety culture that promotes standards that minimise health and safety risks. This requires commitment and clear leadership by management, requires employees to be appropriately trained and competent and requires attendance at all additional site related and specialist training. This requirement extends to training in fire drills and emergency evacuations as well as the proper reporting and investigation of accidents and incidents.

Additional Information

If you would like additional information you can visit the constructionsite unit listed on the left.


Task  3.1.2 Check List

Produce a check list stating the factors which you need to ensure are in place on a site in order that all aspects relating to Health, Safety and Welfare conform to the legislation.


Section 2  Induct the workforce and visitors regarding safe working

Learning outcome: On completion the learner will know how to induct the workforce and visitors regarding safe working.

3.2.1 Prepare an induction talk for the workforce and visitors. 
3.2.2 Deliver an induction talk for the workforce and visitors.

3.2.1 Prepare an induction talk for the workforce and visitors
Legal Requirement
Regulation 13(4) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 requires every contractor who engages workers to provide them with suitable information and training including a suitable induction. For further information on the necessary arrangements and contents of a site induction see the references at the foot of this sub-unit.

Site induction training is seen by the HSE as an essential action to reduce accidents and incidents on site. Site inductions provide workers and authorised visitors with specific information about the site risks and the arrangements being made to control them. They are not intended to provide general health and safety information or training but site-specific information needed to secure health and safety on site. The quality of the information delivered at the site induction and the manner in which it is presented will determine the effectiveness of the message.
Site inductions should be conducted at a location where the message can be imparted without distraction or interruption. There are clear benefits to using the different recognised forms of communication:
  • Verbal communication should be used for relatively simple pieces of information and instructions
  • Written communications can be used to confirm more important messages (eg. site rules, safety policy and organisational chart) and can be given out individually or posted on the safety notice board
  • Graphical communications, which include the use of drawings, photographs and DVDs are useful means for giving a constant message and explaining more complicated procedure

It is important to periodically check that the induction message is being understood. Construction sites employ workers of many different nationalities so language and dialect could be barriers to learning as could be the over use of abbreviations and acronyms. People will have varying degrees of experience, may have limited sight or hearing and may have a learning disability but still need to understand the message. Question and answer sessions during the induction, during the 3 monthly follow-up review and after any associated TBTs are acknowledged means of conducting such checks.

Having received an induction, a worker or visitor should sign a record to confirm the training that was received. This may be important evidence with any subsequent legal claims.


Task  3.2.1  Induction

Outline the arrangements that would have to be considered to ensure workers who will be engaged in building a new housing development are properly inducted.

Word Guide: 300 - 400


3.2.2 Deliver an induction talk for the workforce and visitors
The contents of a health and safety induction will depend on the nature of the site, its operations and the people engaged. Typical topics and the information covered include:

Health, safety, welfare & environmental responsibilities:
  • Health and safety policy, organisation chart and delegated responsibilities
  • Senior management commitment to health and safety, project requirements
  • Environmental policy, project criteria and waste management
  • Consultation arrangements and any formal Communications Cascade
  • Procedure for reporting accidents and incidents
HSWE plans:
  • Construction Phase Health & Safety Plan
  • Demolition Plan, plans for dealing with hazardous materials
  • Waste Management Plan, plans for hazardous waste removal
HSWE facilities, equipment & resources:
  • Welfare facilities (sanitary conveniences, washing facilities, drinking water)
  • Facilities for food preparation and eating
  • Facilities for changing, rest and storage of PPE
  • Safety equipment (rescue, safe lifting, specialist PPE, access equipment)
First Aid arrangements:
  • First Aiders, Appointed Persons, Basic Advice (emergencies)
  • First Aid facilities (First Aid kit provision and location, treatment room)
Risk Control Procedures:
  • Project outline, site-specific hazards, site-specific hazardous operations
  • Site rules (including smoking, D&A), traffic routes, security arrangements
  • Summary of relevant risk assessments, method statements, SSOW
  • Works requiring permits, hearing protection zones, PPE arrangements
  • Manual handling procedures, materials storage procedures
  • Planned training including Tool Box Talks (TBT)
Emergency Drills:
  • Fire precautions, Responsible Persons, use of fire fighting equipment
  • Raising the alarm, escape routes, assembly points, site evacuation

Task  3.2.2  Induction Content

List and give a brief explanation of the likely contents of an induction.

Word Guide: 300 - 400


Task  3.2.3 Delivery of an Induction

You are to prepare and deliver an induction talk for someone entering your place of work.

This should be attended by your line manager who will be required to complete a statement on company headed notepaper confirming that this has been delivered by you. This should then be forwarded to us.


Section 3 Identifying and Assessing Hazards

Learning outcome: On completion the learner will know how to identify and assess hazards and the placement of Notices Required.

3.3.1 Contribute to the identification and assessment of health and safety hazards.
3.3.2 Contribute to the identification and assessment of health and safety risks, and their reduction.
3.3.3 Identify which notices and warnings are required in accordance with current legislation and organisational requirements.

3.3.1 Contribute to the identification and assessment of health and safety hazards
A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm. Hazards take many forms and could be presented by, for example, a chemical, substance or component and its storage, the movement of plant or vehicles, an operation and the equipment being used, the location of the operation on the site and the bi-product or waste it produces, the use and storage of fuel or a power source.
Identification of hazards
Hazard identification begins at the design stage of a project when it is possible to eliminate or control hazards by changing the project design, the specification, the system of transportation or the principal construction processes. Once in the construction phase, hazard identification will be the first step in the risk assessment procedure. The identification process will utilise information from different sources in conjunction with the experience of management and workers.
Hazards can be identified by a desk top study of the site, project and operations or by observation during a tour of the site. Consultation with the workforce and consideration of accident and incident investigations or ill-health records can also reveal potential hazards. Official Health & Safety Guidance and industry best practice guides are further useful sources of information. Whilst hazards vary from site to site a standard checklist (Appendix 5.1, page 79 of ‘Introduction to Health and Safety in Construction’, see references) can help with the process. This suggests that hazards are associated with the following:
  • Equipment and machinery
  • Transport
  • Access
  • Handling/lifting
  • Power sources/fuels
  • Chemicals/materials
  • Fire/weather
  • Bi-products/waste
  • Biological
  • Environmental
  • People/the individual
  • Operations/interface
Whenever conducting a site inspection to identify hazards it is important to differentiate between hazards and unsafe conditions; examples could be unsafe access, unguarded machinery, plant encroachment into pedestrian routes etc. Conditions such as these should be corrected immediately and not await the conclusion of a risk assessment.


Task  3.3.1  Identifying Hazards

Briefly explain the process that you would go through in order to identify the possible hazards on a site and their influence on the work to be carried out.

Word Guide: 300 - 400

3.3.2 Contribute to the identification and assessment of health and safety risks, and their reduction
Definition of a Risk
A risk is defined as the likelihood of harm being caused by an identified hazard. It is important to recognise that the risk identification and assessment process not only considers the likelihood of harm happening but also takes into account the severity of its consequences. The outcome quantifies the level of risk presented by a hazard.
Risk Assessment
The purpose of a risk assessment is to determine the measures that must be taken to comply with the law. The Act of Parliament and some of the relevant regulations that lay down a duty to carry out risk assessments are identified in the text. Further details on the duty and the specific actions entailed can be gained through the references at the foot of the unit. The practical purpose of a risk assessment is to ensure the health and safety of all persons at work and any others who may be affected by the works or the activities involved. The process is divided into six elements; hazard identification, persons at risk, evaluation of risk level, risk control measures, recording the findings and reviewing when necessary.
Risk Evaluation
The process of evaluating health and safety risks involves the consideration of two aspects; the possibility of harm happening (likelihood) and the level of harm that could be caused (severity). By looking at the two aspects separately it is possible to determine the overall effect of any control measures and to identify the level of risk that remains (residual risk) even with the control measures in place. In other words the initial assessment enables a consideration of whether a control measure reduces the chance of harm happening or whether it reduces the degree of harm that could be caused or whether it reduces both. Having taken account of the reduction effects of the control measures the results will indicate the level of residual risk to be dealt with.
Hierarchy of Risk Control
Effecting proper risk control requires the systematic application of each consideration in the hierarchy of risk controls, found in official Health & Safety Guidance HSG65. In accordance with this hierarchy, the first consideration must be the total elimination of the risk. If this is not possible then is it possible to substitute the activity or process or object causing the hazard with one that presents a lesser hazard. The order of consideration is:
  • Elimination
  • Substitution
  • Engineering control
  • Reduced exposure
  • Good housekeeping
  • Safe systems of work
  • Training and information
  • PPE
  • Welfare
  • Supervision
  • Review
Principles of Prevention
It is a legal requirement that the systematic approach indicated by the hierarchy of risk control is conducted in conjunction with a consideration of the Principles of Prevention specified by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These are a collection of principles, not a hierarchy that should be applied to ensure the effective management of identified risks. The principles of prevention are:
  • Avoiding risks
  • Evaluating risks
  • Combating at source
  • Adapting work to the individual
  • Adapting to technical progress
  • Replacing the dangerous with the non-dangerous or less dangerous
  • Developing an overall prevention policy
  • Collective protection taking priority over individual protection
  • Giving appropriate instruction
Falls from Height
Working at height is defined as any place of work from where the distance a person falls would be such to cause personal injury. The Work at Height Regulations 2004 require the application of a three stage hierarchy when considering works to be undertaken at height. The stages are avoidance of working at height, prevention of falls and mitigation of the effect of falls. Risk control considerations, which incorporate this hierarchy, will include:
  • Totally preventing a fall (work at ground level, guardrail)
  • Reducing the risk of a fall (ensure stability, prevent access onto fragile roof panels)
  • Minimising the effects of a fall (harness, safety net, fall bags)
  • Preventing objects falling (choice of equipment, securing materials)
  • Preventing danger from falling objects (fence off danger areas, signs, PPE)
Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls at the same level as where work is being undertaken are the most common hazard that pedestrians face at work and the biggest cause of reported injuries. Older workers, especially women are the most severely injured from slips, trips and falls and should be considered at greatest risk. Risk control considerations will include:
  • Walking surfaces that could become slippery (wet, dusty, pollution impregnated)
  • Pedestrian routes with obstructions (materials, waste, cables, poor housekeeping)
  • Unsuitable pedestrian routes (uneven surfaces, steps, poor lighting)
Falling and Moving Objects
These hazards are the greatest cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Risk control considerations include:
  • Moving objects (includes articles being moved or moving parts of machinery)
  • Flying objects (projectiles generated by work activities)
  • Falling objects (equipment, poorly stacked materials)
Manual Handling
Manual handling describes the movement of loads by human effort and includes their transportation, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, as amended 2002, require a series of actions by employers which include avoidance of manual handling, assessment of risk and individual capability and making proper use of any safe systems of work. Risk control considerations include:
  • Lifting loads that are too heavy
  • Lifting loads that are unbalanced, hard to grip
  • Movement of loads over a hazardous environment
  • Poor lifting technique or incapability
Health Issues
Health risks can arise from the use of hazardous substances or materials, the uncovering of contaminated ground or pollutants and working in dangerous environments. The endangering particles are transported by dusts, gases, vapours, liquids or touch. Risk control considerations include:
  • Substances that cause skin or lung inflammation (solvents, oils, cement)
  • Substances that cause burning (acid)
  • Substances that are harmful if swallowed or inhaled (paints, cleaning agents)
  • Substances that are toxic (lead, mercury, carbon dioxide)
  • Carcinogenic materials (asbestos, hardwood dust, tar-bound roadstone)
  • Biological agents (fungi, bacteria, viruses)
Power Sources
A power source can present risks to health and safety by the means in which it is transmitted (overhead and underground cables, pipelines, mains, conduits etc), by the way it is connected to equipment/machinery or by the way the equipment/machinery is used and maintained. It is necessary therefore to separately consider the risks associated with national power sources (eg transported by the national grid) and the power sources that independently fuel work equipment and machinery.
Transmission pipelines and cables carrying gas and electricity represent the principal hazards to construction workers. They vary from National grid lines using high pressure/high voltage, to regional lines of medium pressure/medium voltage to local lines of low pressure/ low voltage but all have the potential to cause severe, even fatal injuries. Any work in the vicinity of such apparatus should be controlled by the official Health & Safety Guidance HSG 47.
Construction work equipment and machinery can be powered by:
  • Electricity
  • Diesel
  • Petrol
  • Compressed air
  • Cartridge
There are a series of regulations that set out requirements to ensure equipment and machinery is properly manufactured and supplied and can be safely used and maintained. The accompanying Codes of Practice include information on possible hazards and risks and control measures to ensure safe use. They set out requirements on inspection, maintenance, examination and testing of equipment as well as information and training for operators. In particular they require operators to be informed of the particular health and safety aspects associated with different equipment, its limitations, foreseeable problems and the safe methods of dealing with those problems.
Risk control considerations include:
  • Electrical – wet conditions, trip hazards (cables), electrocution (poorly maintained equipment), short circuits, noise and vibration.
  • Pneumatic – trip hazards (air hose), disconnection/fracture (air hose), expulsion of tools, noise, vibration and manual handling.
  • Cartridge – can be cartridge-actuated or powder-actuated and require specialist training, charge too strong for task
Collapsing and Overturning
Temporary structures, mobile work equipment, plant and vehicles can collapse or overturn on construction sites for various reasons. These include:
  • Overloading
  • Instability
  • Impact
  • Unsafe driving or movement
  • Unsafe adjustment
  • Unstable or uneven ground
  • Entering excavation
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to provide a safe working environment and safe systems of work. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires a proper assessment of hazards and risks and the Construction (Design and Management ) Regulations 2007 set out clear requirements for safe places of work, the stability of structures, safety of excavations, installation of traffic routes and the movement of vehicles on site. These requirements stipulate the need for proper planning, management and control of all site activities and conditions. The risk identification and assessment process is an integral part. Risk control considerations include:
  • Proper design , installation and alteration
  • Regular inspection and maintenance
  • Proper protection (against impacting with a structure, against encroaching an excavation, against injuring a driver or operator)
  • Adequate warning (signs, barriers, SWL indicators)
  • Proper training and systems (competence, banksman, defined routes)
Confined Spaces
A confined space is any space of an enclosed nature such that it has restricted ventilation and restricted access/egress. Examples include manholes, excavations, sewers, tanks, pits, chambers and wells. Their restricted access/egress can result in entrapment and the restricted ventilation can lead to the build-up of vapours and gases. The other hazards associated with confined spaces include:
  • Asphyxiation
  • Poisoning
  • Fire and explosion
  • Drowning
  • Disease
A risk assessment carried out by a competent person is a mandatory requirement and, in accordance with the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997, will form the basis of the required safe system of work and emergency arrangements. The risk control considerations should include:
  • Previous contents of the confined space
  • Sludge and gases that it may generate
  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Physical dimensions
  • Sources of ignition
  • Ingress of surface water
  • Supervision and rescue
Entering and working in confined spaces is an extremely hazardous activity that requires special arrangements and precautions as well as specialist training and equipment. All should be managed through the implementation of a permit-to-work.
The main emphasis of fire safety law is on fire prevention. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 imposes a duty to carry out fire risk assessments that should consider the safety of employees and others who may be affected. It also imposes specific duties regarding the fire precautions to be taken. These include:
  • Reducing fire risks
  • Ensuring means of escape
  • Fire fighting
  • Fire detection and warning
  • Actions in the event of a fire
  • Instruction and training
In order for a fire to start, three things are needed -fuel, ignition source and oxygen. On construction sites these can be present in the following forms:
  • Fuel – solids (wood, paper, cardboard, plastics and waste) or liquids (paint, petrol, adhesives, chemicals) and gases (LPG, acetylene)
  • Ignition source – naked flames, sparks, electrical short, static electricity and hot surfaces
  • Oxygen – naturally present in air but enhanced by wind, ventilation systems, oxygen cylinders for welding and chemicals that give off oxygen as they burn.
Risk control considerations should include:
  • Nature of materials and their accumulation
  • Storage of chemicals and flammable gases
  • Formation of dangerous atmosphere
  • Build up of heat and ignition sources
  • Fire detection and warning
  • Fire fighting and escape requirements
An overview of the above processes relating to Risk Assessment & Hazard Indentification can be found in the multimedia presentation of the same name in the left hand column.

Task  3.3.2 Outline of Hazards

Using the standard hazard identified, outline the hazards that may be encountered within each category.

Word Guide: 300 - 400

3.3.3 Identify which notices and warnings are required in accordance with current legislation and organisational requirements
Some health and safety regulations require notices to be displayed in work premises and construction sites. These include:
  • Health and Safety (Information for Employees) Regulations 1989 requires the approved poster, Health and Safety Law – what you should know’ to be displayed
  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the posting throughout premises and sites of the instructions on the action to be taken in the event of a fire. These will include a fire plan, persons appointed for fire fighting and fire drills. Information should also be given in relation to any dangerous substances stored in the premises.
  • Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 1998, as amended 2004, require employers to display a current copy of the certificate of insurance in each place of business where they employ people.
Some notices are posted to warn people of unsafe conditions, plant or equipment. Examples include:
  • Scaffolding – barriers and warning notices to be in place to prevent the use of an incomplete scaffold.
  • Hoist – if a hoist is for lifting materials only then a warning notice must be placed on the platform to prevent people riding on it
  • Asbestos – all areas where licensable works are being undertaken should be demarcated and identified by suitable warning notices.

Safety Signs
The requirements for safety signs on construction sites is covered by the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 and the accompanying industry guidance INDG 184. Essentially they require safety signs to be in place whenever a risk has not been controlled by other means. The need for warnings or information to address a residual risk will have been determined by a risk assessment carried out in accordance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Safety signs come in different colours and shapes and must include a pictorial symbol. Words may be added to supplement the warning but cannot be the principal means of passing information. Safety signs have several purposes:
  • Prohibition – red circular band on white background with diagonal cross bar, black symbol
  • Warning – yellow triangle with black border and black symbol
  • Mandatory – blue circle with white symbol
  • Safe Condition – green oblong with white symbol and text
  • Fire Equipment – red oblong with white symbol

Ensuring notices and warnings are displayed and kept up to date
When safety signs and notices are in place they should be checked regularly to ensure that:
  • They are current and necessary
  • They are relevant to the hazard and carry the correct warning symbols or information
  • They are suitably located, clean and not obscured
  • They are effective and obeyed

Task 3.3.3 Notices and Warning Signs

Outline the factors relating to the placement and maintenance of notices and warning signs on a site.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 

Additional information

If you would like additional information you can visit the constructionsite unit listed in the column on the left.

You may also like to visit the Learning resource provided by the Wates Group which contains an interactive test on site safety, click on their link on the left of this page.


Task  3.3.4 Reflective Account on Unit

Produce a reflective account on what you have learnt in this unit and how it has been of use to you. You should consider what you have learnt; how you have put this into practice and the benefits it has brought to you and your organisation. You can state examples or incidences as a means of illustration.
Word Guide:  800 - 1000


Unit Complete
You have now completed Unit 3, and you should complete the assignment and send it to

When submitting your assignment you should ensure that it meets all the requirements set out on the Submitting Assignments page, which is accessible from the Student Area or towards the top of the column at the left of this page.

If it does not conform in all respects it will be returned to you and not sent for assessment resulting in delay. ALL questions must be answered in your own words. Any indication of plagiarism will mean that the assignment will fail and be returned to you.

You will be notified as soon as it has been assessed, which will then enable you to continue.
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