FAQ - Health and Safety on domestic projects

The following commentary is an overview and should always be adjusted to suit the specifics of your project, making reference to source documents, in particular guidance published by the HSE.

Q: Why is Health and Safety required for small domestic projects?

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (April 2015) have brought domestic projects into the sphere of existing statutory H&S compliance, similar to commercial projects.

Q: As a homeowner, what do I need to do about H&S compliance?

Domestic clients now have a theoretical responsibility for work carried out on their homes. Unless agreed otherwise, their duties are in practice however normally said to pass to the main contractor (the builder) by default.

Q: What should my designer do about H&S compliance?

Designers have statutory duty to make sure the client is made aware of the clients duties. They must design, if possible, to avoid or reduce foreseeable risks affecting the users of the building both during construction and in use. Where appropriate, they may identify any unusual or exceptional residual risks arising that may not otherwise be obvious to a competent contractor.

Q: What should my builder do about H&S compliance?

A competent builder should know how to manage and document projects risks in a safe manner, especially if they follow relevant HSE guidance. They will need to prepare a formal Construction Phase Plan before the work starts in order to show they have thought about Health and Safety matters.