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Vanfleet  
#1 Posted : 29 January 2020 14:40:38(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Vanfleet

Hello

I've been in a back office H&S role for a c. 10 years now doing the administration of our H&S Management System. There is a possibility that i will be going to a construction site in a few months for the first time (at my own request) to act as our company's H&S advisor. I completed the IOSH Managing Safely last year.

Rather a broad question i know but what pointers can anyone give me about the initial procedure/checks to follow when i first arrive on site. I must admit i'm a little nervous, going from a desk job for 20 plus years to actually getting to the coal face is a bit daunting!!

TIA.   

Mark-W  
#2 Posted : 29 January 2020 15:21:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

To begin with I'd look at your own H&S management systems and apply them. But you must go through the induction process, this way you can see what the rest of the workforce receives. And you can then decide if this process is fit for purpose.

As for being onsite, the only advice I can give is don't take any **** from tradesmen, stand your ground and don't be taken for a fool.

As soon as they see a chink of weakness they will expoit it. 

I do my best to avoid construction sites and if I have to visit, I'm there as short a time as possible

1 piece of advice I received from a wiser person than me is to not quote chapter and verse the regs. Example I was given, you go on site and see an operative working in an unsupported excavation. Don't quote rules and regs but phrase it differently. Ask the operative, who you'd have to see to tell them the bad news if it collapsed and he died, or ask him who was going to wrap his kids presents at xmas if the excavation collapsed and he died.

The message hits home a lot quicker if you relate it to something that means the world to theoperative

thanks 1 user thanked Mark-W for this useful post.
UKCG73@GMAIL.COM on 03/02/2020(UTC)
RayRapp  
#3 Posted : 30 January 2020 09:12:58(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Great advice from Mark-W, not a lot more to add except it depends whether you are doing a general walkabout or an actual site inspection. With the latter, I usually took a checklist with me to act as an aide memoire and to make notes. Checklist would include things like welfare facilities, first aid provisions, traffic routes, etc. It is easy to forget things when you are in the thick of it. Good luck. 

Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 30 January 2020 10:04:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Ask the principal for any site rules you need to be aware of e.g. type and colour of PPE before travelling to site.

Wasted journey to be refused access because your have a yellow hard hat and the site wants visitors in blue.

Centurion  
#5 Posted : 30 January 2020 10:27:21(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Centurion

Vanfleet

As it is by your request to go on to site, surely your company  should offer you some mentoring until you get up to strength?

  

peter gotch  
#6 Posted : 30 January 2020 19:57:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Vanfleet. What does your company actually do on such a site? Are you the principal contractor or a subbie or some other party? Site may have some specific requirements that you need to be able to tick off, e.g. a CSCS or equivalent card.

MrBrightside  
#7 Posted : 31 January 2020 15:37:28(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
MrBrightside

We all have to start somewhere, for me I had previously worked on the tools when I was younger, so I was used to being on sites.

Construction sites are a hazardous place and can require specialist knowledge. Be prepaired to reconise that fact, but they are also fantastic for gaining experience. Going from an office to a site is a big ask for anyone, see if you can find someone to shadow maybe a Site Manager or even someone on here might be willing to take you around site they look after.

Ask questions, loads of questions. Ask why, people love to talk about what they do and don't be afraid to come off sounding stupid. The worst thing would be to pretend you know it all (you will get found out very quickly).

Some very good information here:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/construction

https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg150.pdf

Good luck.

thanks 1 user thanked MrBrightside for this useful post.
UKCG73@GMAIL.COM on 03/02/2020(UTC)
boblewis  
#8 Posted : 02 February 2020 09:28:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
boblewis

Construction is also the place where you can be involved safety wise in virtually every task known to humankind. As such it is one of the best places to be in order to develop as a practitioner.
chris.packham  
#9 Posted : 04 February 2020 15:12:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

One thing to remember with a construction site is that it is unlike most other working environments in that it is almost continuously changing. You might encounter demolition work, excavation for underground car park, concreting, bricklaying, plumbing, etc. etc.  I am sure you get the picture. So what you see is just a quick snapshot taken at the time of your visit. Hazards can change, possibly daily. You will probably also find that on a larger site there are different companies operating there simultaneously on different tasks (and coming and going, possibly over quite some time), with the prime contractor in overall management.

And please don't overlook health hazards as opposed to physical accidents. They might not be quite so dramatic but can be every bit as serious (just think asbestos!).

Hsquared14  
#10 Posted : 05 February 2020 11:08:02(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

Don't panic - I'm sure most things will come naturally to you if you are level headed and sensible in your approach.  Question everything and everyone - don't be afraid of seeming odd or silly by asking questions tell people you want to get a proper understanding of what is going on in terms of everyday activities.  Check the toilets - often - ladies and gents, you can glean a lot by the state of the toilets and more specifically from the graffiti on the back of the doors.   All the best!

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