Project managment

The resident engineer’s duties with regard to safety

The safety regulations applying to construction in the UK are described in detail in Chapter 10. Under the CDM Regulations, there must be a health and safety plan drawn up by the employer’s planning supervisor and extended by the ‘principal contractor’ to cover special or unusual aspects of the project. Primarily it is the responsibility of the contractor to comply with such a plan as needed for construction, and all safety regulations, as required by the ICE conditions of Contract (Clauses 8(3), 15(1) and 19(1)).
The RE will normally be appointed the engineer’s Safety Manager on site.
Hence he must ensure that his staff and any visitors he brings to site conform with all safety requirements and co-operate with the contractor. If the RE shows visitors round the site, he should advise the agent that he wishes to do so, and should see such visitors are accompanied when touring the site and have been informed of the safety rules. Normally all formal visits by outside bodies to view the project should be prior agreed with the contractor or his agent.
If the RE notices a failure by the contractor to comply with a statutory safety regulation or any site safety rule, he should inform the agent or contractor’s Safety Supervisor and request compliance. The RE’s request should be verbal in the first instance, since the failure might not have come to the notice of the agent or Safety Supervisor. If the correct safety measures are not adopted within a reasonably short time, a written note should be sent to the agent confirming the requirement. If the contractor still does not comply, the RE can instruct the contractor to comply, suspending the unsafe works if necessary or warning him that he proposes to call in the Health and Safety Inspector – but this action should not be adopted until all possible means of persuasion have failed. It would be impolitic of the RE to contact the Health and Safety Inspectorate without first warning the contractor. Also the RE must be sure of his grounds, and it must be borne in mind that a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector might not be available to visit the site immediately.

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