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Health & Safety Regulation - Construction

Homeowners FAQs

The following is a copyright of www.has.ie

What types of work are defined as construction and therefore included under these Regulations?
Examples of construction work on your house, which may come within these regulations, would include employing somebody to complete:
1. Building an extension, porch or garage
2. An attic conversion
3. Re-fitting a kitchen etc
4. Re-slating a roof
5. Getting solar panels or skylight fitted etc.

DIY work does not come within the regulations.

What are the Construction Regulations?
They are a set of regulations which set out the safety and health requirements for construction work. These requirements stem from European legislation known as Directives which Ireland as a Member of the EU must implement fully.

Does this apply if I am doing all the work myself, for example DIY?
No, these Regulations will not apply if you are carrying out the work yourself and not employing anybody to do it for you. In these circumstances you are not a client and not subject to occupational health and safety legislation.

Who is a "Client" under the Regulations?
A "client" is any person having building/construction work carried out. Clients include individuals such as homeowners and those running small businesses. Clients can also be entities, for example local authorities and private bodies such as companies and similar undertakings, including charities and other non-profit organisations.

My partner and I are having construction work done on our home, which one of us is the Client under the new Regulations?For the purposes of the regulations it is acceptable (if agreed in writing) that one of the parties takes on the role of Client for the project. It is also acceptable for both parties to take on the role of Client.

When will these changes take effect?
These Regulations are effective from August 01st 2013.

What if I've started my construction work prior to the effective date?
The requirements/obligations under these Regulations are applicable for all construction projects on homes which commence on or after 1st August 2013. If the design or construction stage of a project has started prior to the effective date then the duties of the client with regard to appointing project supervisors or notifying the HSA do not apply for a period of 12 months. If the projects runs past the 1st of August 2014 then at this stage you will have to take on the duties of the Client in relation to appointment of Project Supervisors and notification to HSA.

What new responsibilities will the Regulations impose on homeowners?
You will have to:
1. Ensure you use competent people to do paid construction work for you,
2. Appoint project supervisors for projects that involve more than 1 contractor, involve a particular risk or are planned to last greater than 30days,
3. Keep the safety file for the work as appropriate (this will be provided to you by your Project Supervisor at the end of your project, and
4. Let the Health and Safety Authority know if your project is going to take longer than 30 days or more than 500 person days (person days mean the number of days the work takes multiplied by the number of people doing the work).

What is a Project Supervisor Design Process?
A "Project Supervisor Design Process" (PSDP) is a person who coordinates the design safety aspect of your project. This can be the client, the lead designer or another person where competent to do so.

What is a Project Supervisor Construction Stage?
A "Project Supervisor Construction Stage" (PSCS) is a person who coordinates the construction safety aspect of your project. This can be the client, the main contractor or another contractor where competent to do so.

Can a Project Supervisor for the design and construction be the same person?
Yes, if they are competent to take on the roles.

Can I fulfil the Project Supervisor's roles myself?
Yes, it is possible to appoint yourself in these roles. It is important to note, however, that you must be competent to carry out these roles and they do carry duties under the Regulations. Normally these roles are carried out by experienced designers or contractors.

When do I need to appoint Project Supervisors for my project?
You must appoint project supervisors if:
- there is more than one contractor involved in the work, or
- there is a particular risk (see below), or
- the work is going to last more than 30 days or more than 500 person days.

How do I appoint Project Supervisors?
The appointments must be made in writing at the start of the design and the start of the construction stages. These appointments must also be accepted in writing by the Project Supervisors. There is a template form available for this in the HSA Homeowner guide.

Do you have a list of competent contractors/designers/Project supervisors?
There is no list of competent contractors/designers/supervisors but you can make a reasonable assessment of competence by asking the questions in the Homeowner Guidance. One of the questions in the guide relates to designers or contractors being members of professional or industry trade bodies. These organisations would encourage competency and promote health and safety amongst their members. An example of these professional bodies are:

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