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Section 1 Workplace Death and Injury Statistics

Section 2 Health and Safety Management

Section 3 Risk Assessment Procedures

Section 4 Enforcement of Health & Safety Policy


Description:  This unit identifies and describes management structures and procedures necessary to abide by current Health and Safety Legislation.

Author:  Gates MacBain Associates

Section 1  Workplace Death and Injury Statistics

Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to:
  • Identify the source of work place death and injury statistics.
  • Interpret work place death and injury statistics.

Accidents at work will result in injury, damage to property or a combination of these. There are regulations (RIDDOR) which specify procedures when certain types of accident occur.   

Reportable Incidents under RIDDOR

As an employer, a person who is self-employed, or someone in control of work premises, you have legal duties under RIDDOR that require you to report and record some work-related accidents by the quickest means possible, these incidents include: 


If there is an accident connected with work and your employee, or self-employed person working on the premises, or a member of the public is killed you must notify the enforcing authority without delay.  

Major injuries 

If there is an accident connected with work and your employee, or self-employed person working on the premises sustains a major injury, or a member of the public suffers an injury and is taken to hospital from the site of the accident, you must notify the enforcing authority without.

Reportable major injuries are:
  • Fracture, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes;
  • Amputation;
  • Dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine;
  • Loss of sight (temporary or permanent);
  • Chemical or hot metal burn to the eye or any penetrating injury to the eye;
  • Injury resulting from an electric shock or electrical burn leading to unconsciousness, or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;
  • Any other injury: leading to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or unconsciousness; or requiring resuscitation; or requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;
  • Unconsciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to harmful substance or biological agent;
  • Acute illness requiring medical treatment, or loss of consciousness arising from absorption of any substance by inhalation, ingestion or through the skin;
  • Acute illness requiring medical treatment where there is reason to believe that this resulted from exposure to a biological agent or its toxins or infected material.     

Reportable over-three-day injuries 

If there is an accident connected with work (including an act of physical violence) and your employee, or a self-employed person working on your premises, suffers an over-three-day injury you must report it to the enforcing authority within ten days. 

An over-3-day injury is one which is not "major" but results in the injured person being away from work OR unable to do their full range of their normal duties for more than three days.   

Reportable disease 

If a doctor notifies you that your employee suffers from a reportable work-related disease, then you must report it to the enforcing authority.  Reportable diseases include:
  • Certain poisonings;
  • Some skin diseases such as occupational dermatitis, skin cancer, chrome ulcer, oil folliculitis/acne;
  • Lung diseases including: occupational asthma, farmer's lung, pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, mesothelioma;
  • Infections such as: leptospirosis; hepatitis; tuberculosis; anthrax; legionellosis and tetanus;
  • Other conditions such as: occupational cancer; certain musculoskeletal disorders; decompression illness and hand-arm vibration syndrome.
  • A full list of reportable diseases   can be found in Schedule 3 of RIDDOR by selecting the link below.
More information is available on Industrial Diseases and Accidents Statistics from the web link below.     

Reportable Dangerous Occurrences (near misses) 

If something happens which does not result in a reportable injury, but which clearly could have done, then it may be a dangerous occurrence which must be reported immediately. Reportable dangerous occurrences are:
  • Collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;
  • Explosion, collapse or bursting of any closed vessel or associated pipework;
  • Failure of any freight container in any of its load-bearing parts;
  • Plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines;
  • Electrical short circuit or overload causing fire or explosion;
  • Any unintentional explosion, misfire, failure of demolition to cause the intended collapse, projection of material beyond a site boundary, injury caused by an explosion; Accidental release of a biological agent likely to cause severe human illness;
  • Failure of industrial radiography or irradiation equipment to de-energise or return to its safe position after the intended exposure period;
  • Malfunction of breathing apparatus while in use or during testing immediately before use;
  • Failure or endangering of diving equipment, the trapping of a diver, an explosion near a diver, or an uncontrolled ascent;
  • Collapse or partial collapse of a scaffold over five metres high, or erected near water where there could be a risk of drowning after a fall;
  • Unintended collision of a train with any vehicle;
  • Dangerous occurrence at a well (other than a water well);
  • Dangerous occurrence at a pipeline;
  • Failure of any load-bearing fairground equipment, or derailment or unintended collision of cars or trains;
  • A road tanker carrying a dangerous substance overturns, suffers serious damage, catches fire or the substance is released;
  • A dangerous substance being conveyed by road is involved in a fire or released;
  • The following dangerous occurrences are reportable except in relation to offshore workplaces: unintended collapse of: any building or structure under construction, alteration or demolition where over five tonnes of material falls; a wall or floor in a place of work; any false-work;
  • Explosion or fire causing suspension of normal work for over 24 hours;
  • Sudden, uncontrolled release in a building of: 100 kg or more of flammable liquid; 10 kg of flammable liquid above its boiling point; 10 kg or more of flammable gas; or of 500 kg of these substances if the release is in the open air;
  • Accidental release of any substance which may damage health.

Accident Statistics   

The figures below show the provisional statistics for 2005/06 and indicate how the construction industry compares with other industries. The method of making a comparison is to relate all injuries, fatalities and major accidents per 100,000 employed persons. This helps in comparing one industrial sector with another.     

Occupational Accidents Statistics (Source : ROSPA)   

The following statistics are provisional for 2005/2006:  
    • 212 workers were killed at work (0.7 per 100 000 workers)
    • 28 605 major injuries to employees (110.0 per 100 000 workers)
    • 117 471 injuries to employees causing absence of over 3 days (452.2 per 100 000)   

Provisional statistics (excluding sea fishing) for 2005/06 show that the injury rate per 100,000 employees for all injuries:  
    • extractive and utility supply industry at 1 090.3 
    • manufacturing at 988.5,
    • construction at 945.8.   

Fatality rate by Industry (per 100,000 employees):  
    • agricultural employees at 4.6
    • extractive and utility supply industries 3.8
    • construction  3.5.   

Major Injury by Industry (per 100,000 employees):  
    • construction at 310.2
    • extractive and utility supply industries at 238.2
    • agriculture at 212.7.       


Construction has the largest number of fatal injuries of the main industry groups. In 2007/08 there were 72 fatal injuries giving at rate of 3.4 per 100 000 workers.  This represents 32% of all fatal accidents but this is lower per 100,000 persons employed than the other two major sectors.  Major injuries are highest in the construction sector.   

Although there have been significant reductions in falls from height, handling and slips are showing a slight increase.  


Self-Assessment Task

  • Using the construction statistics links, Investigate the number of work days lost due to ill health and accidents between 2003/04 to 2007/08.

Section 2  Health and Safety Management

Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to: 
  • State the key objectives of successful Health and Safety Management.

There has been substantial evidence over many years that accidents are caused by people. People at work are under the control of Managers and Supervisors. It therefore follows that legislation and guidance on successful management of health & safety is worthy of careful consideration and implementation. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has laid down detailed guidance with regard to the management of Health & Safety and this can be found by visiting the HSE website shown below.  

Key Elements of Health and Safety 

The five key elements of H & S Management are identified as: 
  1. Policy
  2. Organising
  3. Planning & Implementing
  4. Measuring Performance
  5. Reviewing Performance
Within any construction company there is an identifiable management organisation with a Managing Director (MD) who heads a Board of Directors. There may then be a number of Contract Managers who in turn oversee several Site Agents who are responsible for a site which might have several sub contractors. 

The Site Agent will have a number of assistants who coordinate sectors of work and a General Foreman reporting to each Assistant Site Agent. The General Foreman co-ordinates the activities of a specified number of sub contractors or in some cases trades and operatives. This organisation may be the PC under the CDM 2007 Regs. 

Within this structure there must be an identified health and safety duties for each of the above job roles. The ultimate responsibility lies with the MD who may delegate duties but is still responsible for the actions of those in the organisation. 

The Safety Policy must set out clearly the H&S duties at each level within the organisation and the arrangements to ensure these policies are implemented.  

This safety organisation is a legal requirement and each contract requires planning because the types of work and demands of each site will vary. If the contract is within the scope of CDM 2007 then the planning begins at the design stage. 

At the beginning of the contract a health and safety plan is produced by the Principal Contractor (PC) and the roles of all key personnel along with risk assessment from the contractors are part of the implementation stage. The PC must also provide welfare facilities and a structured site layout along with site security arrangements. 

The PC must co-ordinate all activities on the contract and oversees the implementation of the control measures contained within the risk assessments. Any accidents which occur must be reported to the PC and investigations carried out by the Site Agent or his Assistant. 

Accident reports and investigations are a measure of performance. The outcome of an investigation might identify a shortfall in control measures and a review of the risk assessment may be required. The number and type of accidents and incidents is an important performance indicator.


Self-Assessment Task

  • List the main areas and objectives of successful Health and Safety management.

Section 3  Risk Assessment Procedures

Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to: 
  • Understand the application of the risk assessment procedures.

Suitable and sufficient risk assessments being carried out by employers are a corner stone of health and safety legislation and procedures. 

The HSE identify FIVE steps in the risk assessment process. 

Step 1: Identify the hazards   Hazards are the potential to cause harm. With a clear description of the work activity consider and list all the safety, health and environment hazards 

Step 2: Decide who might be harmed and how   With the given list of hazards consider the risks: Risk are different to hazards because they are the likelihood for harm. For example a container of bleach is always a hazard it becomes a risk when you have people using it. So the bleach is the hazard and its actual use is the risk because given certain conditions it is likely to cause harm. So think of the work activity, who will be involved, the nature of the activity and environment and decide how the hazards might become risks. If we take that logic a step further it is possible to predict who might be harmed and the likely injury outcomes. 

Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution     The injury outcomes are the risk. Taking each risk in turn we then think of the control measures or workplace precautions which reduce the risk to a reasonably practicable level. Remember absolute safety is not required but the measures we take must be proportionate to the risk outcomes. Some companies carry out a risk rating using a numerical risk calculation or simply rate as high, medium or low risk. The powerpoint presentation below gives a numeric method of risk rating   

Step 4: Record your findings and implement them    The risk assessment is recorded and communicated to those at risk in booklets and accompanying works orders etc and will be back up by tool box talks and direct supervision to ensure the precautions are being used. 

Step 5: Review your risk assessment and update if necessary Risk Assessments must be reviewed if an accident or dangerous occurrence identifies a shortfall or if the there are any changes to methods or materials which will affect the risks. 

There are various formats for risk assessment and the one below is produced by the HSE. Those who need to write risk assessments would require specialist training as well as vocational experience in the area being assessed.  

More details are available from the HSE webesite and you can access these by clicking on the link below. Though the following presentation below looks at some issues which need to be considered when writing risk assessments and quantifying risk.   


Self-Assessment Task

  • Produce a Risk Assessment for the laying of a drain 1.75m deep using the format in the above link.

Section 4  Enforcement of Health & Safety Policy

Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to: 
  • State the role of company safety officers and the enforcement of Health and Safety policy.


Enforcement of Health & Safety legislation can be on two levels: 
  1. Prosecutions and notices under Health & Safety legislation by HSE or Local Authority enforcement officers.
  2. Actions within a company to enforce adherence to its Policy Documents and therefore ensuring conformity with legislation.

Enforcement Officers under HASWA are appointed by: 
  • the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for most factories, construction sites, mines, railways and other premises
  • local authorities acting as agents of the HSE (offices, shops and similar premises are normally visited by a local authority enforcement officer).
These officers have wide powers to enforce the law, including rights of entry and to take samples and statements, and may issue:  
prohibition notices where there is a risk of serious injury
improvement notices for not meeting a legal requirement.

They may also initiate prosecution in a Magistrate's Court (or Sheriff's Court in Scotland). The maximum fine that can be imposed is currently £20,000 (2008).  

For a more serious offence, proceedings may be initiated in the Crown Court, where the fines that may be imposed are unlimited. For some offences, there is the option of imprisonment for up to two years.  

The enforcement within a construction company will depend on the size and complexity of its operation. The Safety Policy and the arrangements for carrying out the policy is likely to use one of the following approaches: 
  • Enforcement totally in the hands of management with a Company Safety Officer acting as inspector and adviser.
  • Company Safety Director(s) have executive powers and can issue their own improvement and prohibition notices which can result in disciplinary actions and in extreme circumstances dismissal. Management still have duties and legal responsibilities under the Policy.
  • Management are responsible for enforcing the policy and a Company Safety Officer is not employed but assistants are appointed by virtue Regulation 7 of MHSWR 1999  with model c) most likely to be used on smaller less complex organisations.
More information on enforcement can be found on the HSE website below.  

Safety Director's Duties (example) 
  • To provide a visible management commitment to higher standards of health and safety achieved through monitoring performance and the continuous improvement of the health and safety culture throughout the company
  • To monitor the effectiveness of the Safety Policy and to ensure that the policy is regularly reviewed and revisions made when necessary.
  • To ensure all Company employees are aware of the Safety Policy and understand their individual duties.
  • To monitor the company’s safety performance review procedure, and to read and act upon reports produced by the Heath & Safety Manager in conjunction with the company’s safety consultants, and the recommendations contained therein.
  • To ensure adequate arrangements are made for Health and Safety training of all
  • employees on a regular basis as required by the relevant statutory provisions and to meet proactive and reactive demands placed upon the company by other organisations such as architects, planning supervisors and clients.
  • To ensure that the main office documentation relating to accidents, diseases, insurance, training, plant registers and certificates are maintained and to ensure that notification and reporting procedures to the relevant statutory authorities are carried out.
  • To keep the Board of Directors advised as to their responsibilities, and those of the company, in respect to health and safety matters.
  • To ensure adequate financial arrangements are made to meet statutory requirements.
  • To ensure that the management of health and safety within the company is periodically audited so that high standards of health and safety performance are maintained, and areas where improvement is required are identified.

These duties would be set out in the Safety Enforcement Policy, an example of which can be found at the link below.  


Self-Assessment Task

  • Produce a chart for a medium sized construction company showing the responsibilities for health and safety of each person within the company.

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