The Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 became law in Ireland in 2013. These regulations intend to reduce the number of people who are injured and even killed while carrying out construction work. They are implemented by the Health and Safety Authority who has published a helpful guide for homeowners to help you to understand your responsibilities under these regulations.
What Type of Work Is Covered
If you are thinking about extending, renovating or building your home then it’s important that you read this guide and are aware of your responsibilities. The type of work covered by the regulations is:
- Building a new house or an extension, porch or garage,
- Converting your attic,
- Refitting your kitchen,
- Re-slating your roof,
- Fitting solar panels or a skylight,
- Re-wiring your house.
The HAS explains that anybody you use to carry out design work, such as drawing up plans for your house or use to complete the construction work must be competent to carry out the work. To help you do this, there is a checklist at the back of the guide that you can use to help you to establish their competency.
Safe Place to Work
Your responsibility as the homeowner is that you must make sure that the work can be carried out in a safe manner. This means that you have to ensure that the site or the place that these workers are working is a safe work place. These workers must also demonstrate to you that they have allocated enough time and resources to the safety standards outlined in the regulations. Not only do workers need to make sure that they’ll work to keep themselves and their fellow worker’s safe while on site, but that they also consider the health and safety or anyone near the site.
You have to appoint a project supervisor or supervisors if the work involves a particular risk, then you have to appoint a competent project supervisor. You can fulfill this role yourself if you can demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to complete the duties involved. If you can’t do this, then you have to appoint someone to do this role
These project supervisors need to oversee and coordinate safety on site. They also coordinate the work of designers and contractors and make sure that the work is completed safely. When works are being done in or near your home, you need to make sure that this work doesn’t put you and your family at risk.
You or your project manager needs to keep a safety file for inspection. If you’re extending or renovating a building then you’ll be adding to an existing file with new documents as work is completed. If the project is a new build, then you’ll be starting the safety file from scratch, and so you need to collect documents as the project develops.
Under these regulations, you have a responsibility to notify the Health and Safety Authority if the construction work is planned to last longer than 30 working days or if the volume of work is scheduled to exceed 500 person days. This is calculated as 50 people working for a ten-day period, 25 people working for 20 days each or one person working for 500 days.
So, as you can see, there are some important requirements to consider when you are using construction workers to extend, renovate or build your home. Make sure you read the HSA guide and then take to use. And when you use our services, we make sure your project complies with all the regulations associated with building your dream home. Contact us today to find out more.