Builders involved with refurbishment work spent September tightening up their paperwork to make sure it satisfied the legal obligations required as the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) launched a crackdown on the industry.

Out of date paperwork can serve as evidence of negligence or a breach of a company’s duty of care when making a claim.

Throughout the month, HSE made unannounced site visits to determine whether everything is up to scratch in terms of health and safety – and impose a big fine if it’s not.

The organisation’s latest crackdown targeted the refurbishment sector across September and builders involved in this line of work were advised to make sure their paperwork is up to date and their health and safety obligations up to standard.

The impromptu inspections involved HSE professionals examining the main causes of accidents and poor health in the workplace, including asbestos, falls from height, structural stability and welfare.

Health and safety requires “constant vigilance”

Joanna Mulgrew of HBXL, a building software specialist company, said: “The HSE has maintained quite a robust inspection initiative so building firms have to keep a constant vigilance on its health and safety obligations.

“There’s no doubt that the level of documentation and attention to detail on all things related to health and safety has increased but it’s for a very good reason.

All building firms have a duty of care to keep their employees and the public safe on-site and non-compliance can attract massive fines as well as facing site shut down, criminal prosecutions and in some cases prison sentences if we were proved to be negligible.”

She added that anyone working on building sites should look out for hazards and put in the time and effort to control the risks as far as possible.

Keeping paperwork up to date

There is no shortage of paperwork that is required in the industry under UK law, including: the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, The Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme and Construction Design Management Regulations 2007.

The spate of unannounced site visits means that it is imperative paperwork is up to date for the welfare of workers and to avoid a hefty fine.

If you have sustained an injury at work or in a public place and wish to pursue a personal injury claim, the paperwork of the company involved can serve as evidence of negligence or a breach of their legal duty of care.