The United Kingdom The Health Safety Executive Construction Essay

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The importance of health and safety in construction cannot be overstated. The employer has both a moral and a legal obligation to ensure that his employees work in both a safe and healthy environment. Morally it makes good business sense to ensure that workers are both safe and healthy during working hours. Sick or injured workers lead to a drop in production and a subsequent loss of profits.

In the United Kingdom the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are in change of health and safety regulations in the workplace. The HSE not only enforce these regulations, but will also prosecute employers when they are breached. While this is very necessary, it puts an enormous strain on employers whose first concern, quite naturally, is to run their businesses as efficiently as possible.

While the HSE produces plenty of information on the regulations, which are often updated, the typical busy employer or manager often has little time to read through them, let alone fully understand them. It is because of this that agencies have emerged that advise employers, managers and key employees just what the law demands and how to comply by keeping your work premises and practices as safe as possible. These agencies also run courses on various aspects of health and safety, many of which are certificated.

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One of these courses is the CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme). This course meets the HSE's requirements as a safety certificate. It defines and identities risks and hazards and looks at ways of improving safety performance. The course also looks at safe systems of working, and considers personal responsibility for safety in the workplace, as well as the protection of staff in the working environment. The fact that such courses exist emphasises the importance of health and safety at work in the modern world.

Training is an important method of alerting employees to workplace hazards because, without this information, workers may feel that their safety is at risk, and become demoralized and unwilling to work in such conditions. Training is also a good way of fulfilling legal obligations, because attendance can be taken at a training course, and therefore the company can prove that they have taken adequate steps to prevent accidents or injuries.

In order to achieve such standards, safety campaigns are put forward to help make people more aware of the risks and accommodate people with safety courses to keep their knowledge up to date.

With on-going training, employees are more aware of the hazards they face. As a result, workers can identify risks before they cause harm or injury, and take safe and sufficient steps to either remove the hazard, or minimize it. The rate of accidents, injuries and fatalities within an organization will become lower, giving workers more confidence that they are working in a safe environment, and thus boosting productivity and reliability.

1.1 Background to Research Topic

In recent years Health and Safety in Construction has emerged a major issue as statistics proved that the industry provided a substantial number of fatalities every year. The basis behind the concept of Health and Safety in construction is that the approach is essential to the industry to improve and implement any legislations and concerns which affect the numerous incidents which occur every year. With an increasing awareness of these fatalities throughout the industry, health and safety campaigns have begun to creep their way into providing knowledge to both the public and the construction industry. Campaigning of Health and Safety in the industry has developed worldwide with countries such as Canada and Singapore introducing new standards in their countries. The European standards have also increase and been rectified over the years and campaigning have certainly assisted in making people more aware of the problems.

1.2 Rationale

The underlying principle and reason for choosing this is to get a greater understanding of the implementation of health and safety schemes in the construction industry. In years gone by, statistics have proven that the construction industry lies in one of the most dangerous sectors to work in, as the number of fatalities has been huge colossal and injuries occur far too often in this region. The reason behind this research is to encourage health and safety in the form of taking notice of the campaigns which help us to understand the problem. Ireland has a history of only realising the problems present in society when a tragedy occurs. This can be seen in the numerous fatalities and this research sets about to encourage people, both on and off the construction site, to be aware of campaigns out there which promote helping the issue.

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This dissertation was conducted to investigate the implementation and effectiveness of Health and Safety Campaigns in the construction industry. As an overall review, apart from looking at the successfulness of the campaigns, this was aimed to encourage construction workers and the public to rethink their health and safety procedures when on site and to improve and acknowledge the areas identified during the course of the dissertation.