Claims Ireland

The Independent Service that Assesses Compensation Claims

2006 Construction Regulations are Introduced

2006 Construction Regulations are Introduced

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006 (SI 504/06) were signed into law 28 September 2006 and will come into effect on 6 November 2006. Speaking at the launch Minister Killeen said: “these new regulations will tighten controls on appointments and contracts and I believe they will in particular ensure that red tape cannot screen any offenders from the rigours of the law”. In 2005, 23 people lost their lives in accidents on construction sites making the Construction Industry second only to the agricultural sector as the most dangerous place to work. Injury rates for the sector are also well above average. Foreign workers are particularly vulnerable.     They are up to 3 times more likely to be killed at work according to the latest Health & Safety Authority report.

The duties of the client, designer and site managers are especially onerous. The new Regulations build on design and management requirements introduced in earlier regulations in 1995 and 2001. These duties while always in place were in our experience poorly understood. Designers must inform Clients of the requirement for a Project Supervisor for the Design Process. This part of the process is vital for the proper implementation of a Safety Policy. We have found that especially in major construction projects, safety is something of an afterthought. It is essential that it be incorporated in tender documents and be properly costed and planned for. As in most other spheres, if there is not a budget in place, it is very difficult to make things happen.

A Project Supervisor for the Construction stage must also be appointed. These appointments must now be made and accepted in writing. Timelines are set out for Project Supervisors to be in place. Phase-in provisions of 18 months are provided for projects in motion before the regulations take effect on Nov 6th.  We have set out some of the key features of the legislation below.

In common with previous regulations, detailed rules are contained for access and egress, protection from falling objects, tunnels and other excavations and machinery amongst others. A copy of the regulations can be seen by clicking here. You will need Adobe Reader.

 

Key Features of 2006 Regulations

  • Clients and Project Supervisors must co-operate, particularly on the provision of information.
  • Contractors on the site must in turn co-operate with the Project Supervisors and must provide them with any information relevant to the safety of the site.
  • Safety Advisers must be in place during construction where more than 100 people are at work on site. This provides an additional level of supervision for large, potentially complex projects.
  • Additional duties for Contractors include requirements for the use of Explosives and for Road works.
  • Construction Skills Certification cards will be required 18 months after Nov 6th for 5 new tasks.
  • Employees are obliged to comply with the regulations, report any defects and use any PPE provided. It is an offence to falsely use Skills Cards.
  • Visibility aids will also be required for vehicles on-site, within 18 months for existing plant and within 6 months for new plant. These upgrades arise from research, which shows an increase in vehicle related accidents as the industry becomes more mechanised.