Health and safety inspector
Buildings can present a great number of risks to health and safety, both in construction and operation. There are many duties placed on those commissioning, designing, constructing, operating and demolishing buildings to control those risks.
The legislation affecting health and safety in the construction industry falls under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act through regulations such as the Control of Asbestos Regulations, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) and in particular the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, first introduced in 1994. (See Health and Safety and CDM for more information).
Health and safety in construction is usually enforced by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors, although lower risk works such as small-scale fit out works may be the responsibility of inspectors from the local authority.
HSE's Construction Division is part of the Field Operations Directorate (FOD) based in Bootle, Merseyside and includes operational units with more than a hundred inspectors across the country. s health and safety in the workplace are reduced, by providing advice and guidance on how to comply with the law, ensuring compliance, inspecting workplaces, investigating incidents, accidents and complaints and taking enforcement action.
Inspectors have the power to:
- Visit sites without notice.
- Enter premises.
- Talk to employees.
- Require co-operation and answers to questions.
- Take written statements.
- Issue notices requiring that improvements are made.
- Stop processes where there is a risk of serious injury.
- Prosecute a business or an individual for breaking health and safety law.
- Offer guidance, education and support.
The subjects of the inspection can require proof of identity from inspectors, and may ask for written instructions and explanations. Businesses receiving improvement or prohibition notices have the right to appeal to an industrial tribunal, although the action required by a prohibition notice is not suspended pending the appeal.
Records must be kept of any reportable injury, disease or dangerous occurrence.
HSE must be notified in writing before construction starts if the work is expected to either:
- last longer than 30 days; or
- involve more than 500 person days of construction work.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- CDM Regulations.
- Clerk of works.
- Commercial manager.
- Construction site inspection.
- Deleterious materials.
- Fee for intervention.
- First aider.
- Health and safety.
- Human resource management in construction.
- Injuries on construction sites.
- Notify HSE.
- Safety audit.
- Safety management.
- Site induction.
- Site supervisor.
 External references
Featured articles and news
An Arc de Triomphe for the late-20th century, the La Grande Arche of Paris.
Richard Hayward of Legrand asks whether technology could help developers meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population.
Thomas Heatherwick's ambitious steel structure begins construction.
The principles, practice and formwork of one of the most important components of modern architecture.
New report claims that inappropriate standards and regulations are holding back the use of composites.
The global smart homes and smart light commercial market will grow fastest in the UK.
Have a look at our article explaining the different types of construction contractor.
Futurist Thomas Frey explores the concept of Disposable Housing - could it be a reality sooner than we imagine?
ICE to host new exhibition offering a window onto the civil engineering achievements beneath our feet.
Do you know all the various types of defects in brickwork?
US museum reveals plans for an installation made entirely of paper tubes.
Review of a book looking at how contemporary architecture found its expression within neoliberal capitalism.
The Great Mosque of Djenne, the largest mud-brick building in the world.
Amanda Clack, RICS President offers recommendations to government on Brexit and the construction skills shortage.