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Building Legislation

Building Legislation

Under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, you become a ‘principal’ when you undertake a building project (unless you’re living in the house while the work is going on). As a principal it is your responsibility to ensure that people working on the site don’t get hurt, which means you also must identify hazards and remove them, isolate them, or minimise them as much as possible if the first two options are not open to you.

As the principal, additional things you need to do are:

  • Ensure the builder keeps your site fenced
  • Ensure the builder has a Health and Safety (H&S) site plan – ask to see a copy
  • Engage contractors & sub-contractors that are compliant with H&S requirements
  • Have clear responsibilities for the management of H&S

The Builders Health and Safety Plan needs to include:

  • The person responsible for health and safety on site
  • Identification and control of potential hazards
  • Posting of notices and warnings of potential hazards
  • Restriction of access to the site to authorised people only
  • Guidance on ensuring a safe working environment at all times, for example, avoiding stacking things that could topple over
  • Instruction in safe methods and practices
  • Provision for safety meetings
  • Safety audits on plant and procedures
  • The recording and investigation of accidents

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