The series aims to assist all members, but younger members in particular, in understanding the background and issues relating to the management of health-and-safety risks in construction.
The series ran from 2012 to 2017.
The first in a series of articles aiming to present the basic demands and responsibilities of health and safety risk management in practice. The series will outline legal requirements, hazardous materials and occupational health hazards, as well as discuss health and safety matters that are relevant to all principal construction activities and materials.
Publish Date – 1 January 2012
The history of health and safety management in construction is the history of adverse public reaction to events; a testament to the work of certain enlightened individuals and organisations, and a gradual promotion of increased standards by government.
Publish Date – 1 February 2012
This article draws attention to such topical events as the publication of the Lofstedt report, the Health and Safety Executive's interpretation of 'appropriate action' and firms prosecuted over the mishandling of asbestos.
Publish Date – 1 March 2012
This articles shows why both criminal and civil law is relevant to the management of health and safety risks in construction.
Publish Date – 1 April 2012
Employees are expected to have the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience for the tasks assigned to them, unless they are under competent supervision. This article focuses on the schemes for individuals.
Publish Date – 2 May 2012
This article demonstrates how engineers involve themselves in many tasks in connection with civil and structural engineering projects, but manage risk above all else.
Publish Date – 2 July 2012
This article reminds engineers of the hazard of Legionnaires' disease and its associated risks following an outbreak in 2012.
Publish Date – 2 August 2012
This article considers safety hazards in construction – as opposed to health hazards, e.g. noise, vibration etc.
Publish Date – 31 August 2012
This article covers how to understand whether a material is hazardous, what it can do to the health of humans and under what circumstances.
Publish Date – 26 September 2012
This article shows how engineers can reduce the risks to those who construct, maintain, use and demolish structures.
Publish Date – 26 October 2012
This article covers the importance of occupational health as part of health and safety from the point of view of designers.
Publish Date – 30 November 2012
This article provides an overview of employer obligations, the various types of PPE and the implications for ongoing PPE training and maintenance.
Publish Date – 12 January 2013
This article shows how the United Kingdom's regulations can support engineers in the design process.
Publish Date – 1 February 2013
This article concerns individual competence for professional engineers and covers education, training and Continuing Professional Development.
Publish Date – 27 February 2013
This article highlights the different types of crane available (and the factors which determine their use), the process for introducing a crane onsite and the specific requirements when using tower cranes.
Publish Date – 26 March 2013
This article focuses on the design and inspection of scaffolds. Based on UK practice and experience, the principles should be universally applicable.
Publish Date – 1 May 2013
In 2009/10, there were 36 fatalities and more than 3000 major injuries in the UK resulting from falls from height. This article provides a brief overview of UK regulations and requirements, although the principles should be universal.
Publish Date – 1 June 2013
This article provides an overview of a designer's role in eliminating hazards and minimising risks associated with the fabrication and erection of structural steelwork.
Publish Date – 25 June 2013
An overview of the importance of temporary works (as evidenced by the significant number of historical failures) and the roles of both temporary and permanent works designers.
Publish Date – 1 August 2013
Cement, a key constituent of concrete, is a chemical which has the ability to cause adverse health effects. This short article highlights the principal risks when working with the material and offers guidance on preventative measures.
Publish Date – 1 September 2013
An overview of the risks inherent in the design of concrete structures, that can occur during the pouring process and through the removal of supports.
Publish Date – 1 October 2013
A report on the accident death rate in 2013, 'specified injury' rate and ill health and occupational disease death rate in the UK construction industry.
Publish Date – 28 November 2013
Although the number of fatalities in the UK is expected to decrease, there is still significant risk to workers who come into contact with asbestos. This short article provides an overview of the safety measures employees should take.
Publish Date – 1 January 2014
Between 55,000 and 70,000 construction workers are believed to incur musculoskeletal injuries each year in the UK. These cover back and upper/lower limb disorders. This short article provides some basic advice for safer manual handling.
Publish Date – 3 February 2014
At certain times, engineers will be required to visit construction sites. All sites, whether large or small, are potentially hazardous. Junior engineers need to become acquainted with the general hazards they might encounter, as well as the corresponding means of assuring personal health and safety.
Publish Date – 28 February 2014
It will often be safe to work alone. However, in some situations people can be exposed to additional health and safety risks when unaccompanied. Establishing a healthy and safe working environment for lone workers can be different from that required for other workers. This short article sets out the primary considerations.
Publish Date – 1 April 2014
Entering into and working within confined spaces is potentially extremely hazardous. Regrettably, on a number of occasions, these actions have resulted in human tragedy. This article provides an overview of the issues and risks involved.
Publish Date – 1 May 2014
This short article provides an overview of the formal, recorded process used to control work which is identified as potentially hazardous.
Publish Date – 29 May 2014
The Institution's Health and Safety Panel set out the measures that should be taken in order for engineers to work safely at height in this manner.
Publish Date – 1 July 2014
The principal reasons for the the increased risk of on site fires are highlighted, together with several high profile examples.
Publish Date – 28 July 2014
The majority of projects involve digging holes in the ground for basements, foundations or trenches. Obvious hazards are those of side collapse or water inundation – with potentially lethal consequences to people working at depth.
Publish Date – 28 August 2014
Many construction sites have been previously built on and may contain a residue of waste products that have contaminated the land; these are known as ‘brownfield sites’. Some commonly found waste products pose a health risk to people who come in contact with them.
Publish Date – 1 October 2014
In developed countries, the space below ground is littered both with debris from past construction and with utility services – some active, some redundant. Risks from overhead services mostly relate to power lines, which may be fouled by crane jibs, scaffolding poles or plant. This short article discussed how the associated risks are best controlled.
Publish Date – 24 October 2014
Dangers of working in close proximity to water are ever present. Many engineering projects are constructed close to or directly over water, while others may involve the creation of containers for water. To ensure public safety, taking the precautions outlined in this article is of paramount importance.
Publish Date – 27 November 2014
This article considers the safety issues regarding both visitors to a construction site and staff employed full time on a site concerning vehicles.
Publish Date – 5 January 2015
This article explains why structural engineers should be aware of the inherent dangers of electrical work on sites, particularly when planning alterations.
Publish Date – 1 February 2015
This article provides more detail on the need for electrical isolation, and is of particular relevance to refurbishment and demolition projects.
Publish Date – 27 February 2015
During the design process, it is important to be aware of the possibility of vandalism and its potential consequences. This article gives an overview of the types of incident that need to be considered.
Publish Date – 1 April 2015
This article provides a brief overview of the key changes provided by CDM Regulations 2015 and focuses on those changes most likely to affect structural engineers.
Publish Date – 1 May 2015
Within the construction industry, the most significant respiratory risk after asbestos is presented by exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS). As well as raising awareness of the long-latency ill-health risk associated with RCS, the HSE also encourages the correct use of effective control measures to minimise the risk.
Publish Date – 1 June 2015
The services of structural engineers may be required in certain demolition situations e.g. where advice is needed on propping, stability or the sequence to be followed. This article provides brief guidance on the planning of a demolition project, as well some appropriate techniques and methods to ensure that on-site safety is prioritised.
Publish Date – 1 July 2015
Traditionally, masonry was associated with stone and brick wall construction, but usage has widened to include blockwork, brick pavers, plus cladding and paving of various kinds. The standard hazards to consider are linked to manual handling and cutting. However, a particular safety issue is that of wall stability during construction.
Publish Date – 31 July 2015
According to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, the standards of health and safety on site are not dictated solely by the contractor. This article discusses some ways in which clients can influence health and safety standards.
Publish Date – 1 September 2015
Although the hazards arising from any works on operational railway sites are assessed to be considerable, in the UK Network Rail has taken comprehensive measures to manage risks by putting in place compulsory
systems and procedures.
Publish Date – 1 October 2015
This article considers the effect of changes introduced in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) for small-scale and domestic projects. Generally the requirements of CDM 2015 do not change with the scale of the project if there is likely to be more than one contractor; however, there are some changes if a single contractor will undertake the work.
Publish Date – 2 November 2015
Working at height is always hazardous. When very tall buildings are being designed, constructed or modified, a number of standard hazards become exaggerated and require special attention.
Publish Date – 1 December 2015
All excavation work is potentially hazardous; the collapse of excavation faces can have serious consequences,
both for life and purely as an economic loss.
Publish Date – 4 January 2016
This article shows why all parties to the project have a duty to be aware of the risks and cooperate in preventing accidents from roofs.
Publish Date – 1 February 2016
This article shows how day-to-day good housekeeping on construction sites is necessary to ensure that slip or trip hazards are minimised.
Publish Date – 1 April 2016
This article explores why a check on stability is required for all structures in both their permanent and temporary states.
Publish Date – 1 May 2016
This article shows why gas leaks and their consequences should be one of the standard hazards considered in any risk assessment.
Publish Date – 1 June 2016
This article explains why risk assessments should always consider the potential for human error along with the consequences.
Publish Date – 1 July 2016
This article focuses on a particular issue with toughened glass following a nickel sulphide failure.
Publish Date – 1 August 2016
Transporting materials to construction sites is an everyday activity. Materials normally have to be procured, loaded, conveyed, unloaded and stored at site before use. Accidents have occurred at all of these stages and designers should be aware of the associated hazards, of what might go wrong and of measures that can minimise the risks.
Publish Date – 1 September 2016
This article explores why it is incumbent on professional engineers to achieve objectives on structural safety and compliance within their designs.
Publish Date – 3 October 2016
This article provides a brief summary of the impact of the most common forms of degradation on the safety of structures. This is illustrated by examples of where deterioration has caused collapse.
Publish Date – 1 November 2016
This article covers the hazards associated with ground movement, and how this can be mitigated through detailed risk assessments.
Publish Date – 1 December 2016
This article covers some of the most prevalent hazards linked to fixing reinforcement, one of the most basic tasks in construction.
Publish Date – 3 January 2017
After any accident or structural failure, investigators usually conclude that someone, somewhere got something wrong. Sometimes the error results from culpable negligence, more often it will have been caused by a simple mistake or by confusion at an individual or organisational level.
Publish Date – 1 February 2017
This article considers concerns from Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety (CROSS) about the stability of steel frames during concreting.
Publish Date – 1 March 2017
Unexploded ordnance (UXO) is explosive weaponry (bombs, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, cluster munitions, etc.) that did not explode when it was employed and still poses a risk of detonation, sometimes many decades after it was used or discarded. Such items are unearthed fairly regularly on building sites both in the UK and worldwide.
Publish Date – 3 April 2017
This article covers how many safety issues on site can be traced back to a failure to assure robustness in temporary works.
Publish Date – 2 May 2017
All structural fabrics degrade and their design lives are usually qualified via expressions such as ‘life to first maintenance’. Anticipating this, heavily exposed structures, such as bridges over water, may be provided with purpose-built access gantries from the outset of operation.
Publish Date – 1 June 2017
This article explores the inherent uncertainties in design parameters, design process, issues with site execution and issues with performance in service, in reference to health and safety.
Publish Date – 1 August 2017
This article covers the importance of considering the probability of the identified hazards from risk assessments.
Publish Date – 1 September 2017