Health and safety by any other name……

Enforcement of Health and Safety

The Health and Safety Executive

While many regulations contain rules which are relevant to health and safety, not all are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive for which reason they are often omitted from lists of health and safety regulations. Much of the health and safety regulations applicable to building deals with risks during construction and were traditionally regarded as matters for contractors rather than for the design professions. This has been addressed by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, which requires designers to consider how their designs can be built without unnecessary or excessive risk to the health, safety and welfare of builders. Relevant regulations include:

    • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH)

    • Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations

    • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act

    • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER)

    • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations

    • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)

    • The Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations

    • Work at Height Regulations

Building Inspectors

While the above health and safety regulations deal with safety during construction, the building regulations, with limited recent exceptions, deal with the health and safety of those in and about buildings. In addition buildings which are places of employment may be required to provide adequately for the health, safety and welfare of the employees working there.

The need for Regulation and Registration

Thus in combination there are many interrelated regulations which require considerations of health, safety and welfare in the design, construction and use of buildings. Managing this requires professional competence, diligence and care.

Despite this, there is no UK wide statutory requirement for building design and supervision to be by registered and chartered professionals. Anyone in the UK can claim to practice architecture, structural engineering, etc. The UK in this respect differs from the approach taken in the rest of the EU which, to varying degrees, outlaws the unsupervised activities of unregistered or unlicensed ‘pretend’ architects and the like.