Avoiding health-and-safety concerns

Contractors at work — but is the site safe? A ‘code of practice’ from two contracting organisations summarises the issues.
An initiative by two major contracting organisations to help its members meet health-and-safety competencies has been welcomed by the Health & Safety Executive. The move by the Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association and the Electrical Contractors’ Association comes against a background of increasing prosecutions by the HSE as too many building projects and developments use contractors that flout relevant legislation, standards and good working practice. The development of the guide ‘Core criteria for assessing contractor safety’ by the HVCA and ECA is in effect a code of practice. It clearly states what contractors should be doing to meet health-and-safety requirements and is based on the key requirements in the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Robert Higgs, chief executive of the HVCA comments, ‘The ECA and HVCA are working to ensure that members of both associations have the know-how required to meet the new code of practice, and I urge clients to recognise compliance with the new criteria. ‘Using a reputable contractor that complies with the code means that the health and safety of everyone in and around the site is secured, including existing workers, occupiers of the building and members of the public.’ A free copy of the ‘code of practice’ can be downloads from the HVCA web site.
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