IStructE Core Objective – 3.3 Health and Safety

All designers have responsibility under the CDM 2015 regulations, and so this is an obvious place to start for this objective. It is advisable that you attend a CDM course to understand your responsibilities under the health and safety legislation.

There are a number of places where you can read regular health and safety bulletins/information, such as SCOSS reports, HSE construction bulletins and ICE/IStructE institution magazines. Mention the sources such as these that you use to keep up to date with H&S news and legislation.

Your firm will probably have some health and safety policies in place, and you can describe how you follow these. This may include attending regular internal health and safety meetings. You are also likely to have a risk register associated with each of your projects, which you might have written yourself, or it may have been produced by a CDM coordinator (or Principal Designer) in which case you will have read through it and made your own suggestions to be added.

There are other things which your firm's health and safety policies might cover, which might affect the way you work. Do you have a lone working policy? Do people ever visits sites alone, or must they be accompanied by a colleague? You may also be required to write a risk assessment before attending a site visit. Indeed under the health and safety legislation all working activities should be covered by a risk assessment. This even includes working at your computer, which is why you may have had to complete a checklist about the position of your computer screens, keyboard and chair etc.

This risks to health and safety working in an office are obviously much less than those on a construction site, but it is still relevant to this objective. The IStructE of course wants to see that you understand there are risks in the construction industry to those who build and work in the buildings that we design, and we need to consider what these risks are and eliminate or minimise them where possible.

One important contribution structural engineers can make to health and safety is during site visits and inspections. Have you ever carried out a site visit, and made a comment relating to health and safety matters? You may have recorded this in a site visit report which you submitted to the site manager.

What to say in your final report:

  • List the relevant training course you've been on
  • List the sources you have read which publish relevant health and safety information
  • Describe the health and safety policies you follow and how they affect your work
  • Give some examples of how your design has considered and mitigated against risk
  • Give some examples of when you have made a comment about health and safety on site

What to put in your final report:

  • Training course attendance certificates
  • A risk register you have produced or contributed to
  • Minutes of any health and safety meetings you have attended
  • Any reports you have written that contain health and safety comments/information

Reading List


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