22 October 2015

No Change to H&S Law for Self-Employed Workers in Construction

Construction work has been exempted from the new Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 which means that self-employed construction workers are still required to comply with all relevant health and safety law. The new regulations that came into force on 1 October 2015 specify that health and safety law no longer applies to self-employed people only where their work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public.

Health and safety law continues to apply where any of the following are involved:

• Any work which is carried out on a construction site, including any work in relation to a project carried out by a designer, a client, a contractor, a principal contractor or a principal designer which gives rise to a duty under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

• Any work with asbestos (under Regulation 2 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012) including the removal, repair or disturbance of asbestos or materials and sampling activity (even when asbestos might not be present)

• Any activity to which the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 apply

• Any work which is an agricultural activity

• Any work which may pose a risk to the health and safety of another person (other than the self-employed person carrying it out or their employees).

The HSE has produced some basic legal guidance to assist in complying with the new regulations.

Build UK members can receive free advice on all health and safety matters via the Health and Safety Helpline on 0844 249 9874.