What are your health and safety responsibilities if you are the only contractor on a building site or a construction project? The answer is straightforward, you’ll have sole responsibility for health and safety issues on the project.

In these circumstances you have to do a risk assessment and prepare a construction phase plan to address the arrangements for health and safety risks on site. You also have to update this plan as the project develops and communicate those arrangements to the people involved in the project for example other tradesmen, workers (if applicable) and the client.

What information does a typical construction phase plan include?

  • a description of the project including anticipated start and finish dates;
  • relevant information supplied by the client (such as any restrictions to accessing the property);
  • details of the risks and hazards to be considered (such as falls from height, exposure to solvents and dust etc) and
  • the control measures that are in place in relation to these.

What are the key elements that you should keep in mind?

The aim is to ensure a safe working environment for everyone on site. To achieve this you should:

  • Carry out a risk assessment to identify the risks and manage them to an acceptable level.
  • Supply information, instruction, training and supervision to enable the workers and other contractors to carry out their jobs in a health and safety compliant manner (for example the choice of work equipment and work methods).
  • Communicate all issues in relation to health and safety between the client, the designer(s) and other contractors or workers.

The attached read by the Health and Safety Executive has useful guidance for organisations and individuals on this topic and can be found on their website along with an example of a basic construction phase plan. 

You'll note that if you have a large job coming up that will last longer than 30 working days with more than 20 people on site during that time, or last for more than 500 person days in total, then you'll need to get in touch with the Health and Safety Executive to notify them of your plans and you may need a more detailed construction phase plan.

We have a team of experienced lawyers who will be able to assist you, if you find yourself in need of friendly and clear legal assistance on any health and safety matter. To find out more, or if you’d like a quote give us a call on 0345 351 0025 and we can talk you through your options.

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