Contractor safety

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Clients can greatly influence the occupational health and safety aspects of a project. Among other things, they have the greatest influence on the amount of time and resources to be made available for the project and must allow sufficient time for those they appoint to carry out their duties in good time. Sufficient time must be allowed to carry out the design, develop the health and safety plans for the pre-tender and construction phase. They must also allow contractors enough time to organize their labour force and equipment, including welfare facilities, planning, and preparation for the project as well as carry out the actual construction work.

To obtain and maintain health and safety standards on site, it is important to note that: 1. a health and safety approach is to be taken right from the start, namely at the design stage; 2. appointments of project managers and contractors must be made as early as possible; 3. in order to facilitate to discharge their duties effectively, it is important that any relevant and significant information concerning health and safety is provided to all who need it. This information must as much as possible also be provided in good time and well in advance, such as a pre-tender health and safety plan to tendering contractors; 4. the time allowed for the work, including planning and preparation, must be realistic and reasonable; 5. duties cannot be avoided by passing them on to someone else who shares the same responsibility; 6. the amount of resources and the level of effort (such as time, trouble and money) exerted to protect health and safety must be commensurate and proportional to the risks involved. Thus the higher the risk and the more difficult it is to manage such risks, the more resources and effort could be needed to counteract such risks associated with the project.

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