Is your construction site Covid-19 secure? What if an HSE Inspector were to pay a visit? Joanna Mulgrew, Operations Director for HBXL Building Software advises on meeting the HSE’s requirements while Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc.
Apart from the obvious ‘moral’ obligation to make sites safe, there’s a legal requirement too. The Government has put in place legislation that makes sure businesses look after their workers and are both COVID-secure and COVID-compliant.
The Health and Safety Executive has been tasked with enforcing the rules that have been set in law, and inspectors are conducting spot inspections to make sure they’re being followed. And they are appearing on site – despite plenty of chat on social media suggesting the contrary!
The more infectious strain of Covid-19 has seen a redoubling of efforts across all businesses, none more so than construction. The trouble is, running a building firm is hard enough already, so all the protocols have certainly added another layer of pressure for business owners.
We very quickly ramped up our health and safety software back in March to help our customers meet the new regulations. And Health & Safety Xpert continues to be updated as and when required. It has helped reduce many a sleepless night, of that I am sure.
And I don’t mean we simply added the legally required Covid-19 Risk Assessment for site and office to the software; there’s more to site safety during these Covid-19 times than that.
We produced a new Covid-19 Toolbox Talk, along with a Work Equipment Inspection Record, and updated existing documents where it was appropriate. Covid-19 clauses were added to the Company Health & Safety Policy; Pre-Construction Info; Construction Phase Health & Safety Plan; Young Persons Risk Assessment; Site Rules and Site Induction.
Users tell their software what they’re building and answer a few questions. The software gives them the documents they need immediately, and then in a matter of minutes the user tailors the documents to their business and site. It then advises at what stage the documents need to be acted on. Of course adherence to the rules and recommendations falls to the building firm, we help our users get to that point more easily.
Health & Safety Xpert will have identified the procedures to follow, the safety measures to put in place, the information to give employees and visitors, and so on. Valuable prompts to getting it right.
So if the HSE Inspector calls it shouldn’t be an issue when they ask to see records and documents, observe activities on site and speak to employees.
Not surprisingly we’ve seen a significant increase in outright purchases and subscriptions of Health & Safety Xpert, which was a best bet even before the Covid-19 documents were included. We don’t believe there’s anything else on the market quite like it for residential building firms.
It’s a difficult time for the industry and safety must come first. One-way systems, 2-metre distancing, washing protocols and more, all prolong the job and increase the price. But with the support of companies like HBXL and strict adherence to the rules, the show can go on.