The role of a health and safety professional on a construction site


Construction sites have the potential to be extremely dangerous places. In an environment filled with power tools, elevated workspaces and heavy machinery, there needs to be someone who is able to take responsibility for the overall health and safety of those working on the site.

Every individual is responsible for their own health and safety – no matter what industry they’re employed within – but health and safety professionals are still needed. The individual worker is expected to use protective equipment such as hi-visibility vests, hard hats, steel toe-capped boots and goggles. Above them, however, the employer has a duty of care to their employees and it is their responsibility to ensure every risk is assessed, and changes made where necessary.

Overseeing health and safety

You will often find that the health and safety of a site is overseen by a certain person. They will be responsible for ensuring that all tasks and areas are risk assessed which means that all hazards, potential hazards and dangers are recorded and steps are put in place to manage these risks. If people are working on scaffolding with heavy tools then there is a danger that a tool could be knocked or kicked off of the scaffold. A suitable way to manage that risk would be ensure that people are not working directly beneath it. Additionally, putting up a toe board to stop tools from tumbling off would also be advisable.

Jobs in health and safety also encompass ensuring that all workers on a site have had the correct site induction (what to do in the event of a fire etc) and have had the appropriate training for any equipment they are using. Without this knowledge, workers could put themselves at risk unknowingly. Mph online programs can give you an opportunity to explore what a career in public health can offer.

Importance of health and safety

Although health and safety is sometimes teased, it is directly responsible for saving countless lives within and far beyond the construction industry. There is solid evidence that workplaces that have designated health and safety personnel have a far lower rate of accidents. This mean less days taken off by staff due to injury and most importantly a far lower statistical chance of a fatality occurring in the place of employment.

Employers are moving beyond addressing health and safety issues at work due to just the legal requirements and are instead embracing it as a means of retaining staff and achieving the most from them. Avoidable accidents at work can be very expensive to an employer, especially if it is proved that negligence was to blame and everything from property jobs to retail work and construction jobs are now closely scrutinized for their safety.

Jobs in health and safety are varied, interesting, often challenging but extremely rewarding and the role of a health and safety professional can be an enviable position.