In the construction industry, there are various safety measures, legal requirements and risks that managers and their workers need to be aware of. That’s why having the correct Health & Safety documentation not only ensures compliance with regulations, but also safeguards the wellbeing of workers, visitors, and the public within and around construction sites.

Today, we’ll take a look at what these documents are and why they’re important, with a list of the top health and safety documents every construction site needs.

What are Health & Safety documents?

Health and safety documents include a range of written records, policies, assessments, and plans designed to mitigate risks, promote safe working practices, and adhere to regulatory standards within the construction environment.

Whether you’re working on a residential or commercial site, you’ll need to present these documents during inspections, along with any accreditations like SSIP. It’s also important to have everyone involved in the project sign them and keep multiple copies on hand for emergencies or audits.

Why is Health & Safety documentation important?

Health and safety documents play a crucial role in construction for several reasons.

Firstly, they enable effective risk mitigation by providing clear guidelines on identifying, assessing, and minimising various construction site hazards, including slips, trips and falls, machinery accidents, and exposure to hazardous substances.

Secondly, these documents ensure legal compliance, safeguarding construction sites from legal repercussions or penalties by adhering to relevant legislation and governmental standards.

Thirdly, prioritising health and safety not only enhances worker welfare, but also boosts morale, productivity, and retention among workers, creating a culture of care and responsibility.

Additionally, health and safety documentation keeps track of all activities on a construction site, providing a comprehensive record of procedures and protocols followed.

Finally, well-documented health and safety practices positively influence public perception, instilling confidence in clients, stakeholders, and the public, positioning the construction company as a reliable and conscientious partner.

Health & Safety documents used in construction

The health and safety documents required for a successful construction project vary depending on the contractor’s scope of work and the work environment. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the health and safety documents you need.

1. Risk assessments

Risk assessments are the most common type of health and safety document. These are designed to identify potential hazards, evaluate associated risks, and propose control measures to mitigate them. Regular review and update of risk assessments are crucial to adapt to evolving site conditions.

2. Method statements

Method statements outline the sequence of tasks, associated risks, and control measures for specific construction activities. They illustrate exactly what safety precautions workers should take when carrying out a job, minimising the likelihood of accidents or incidents occurring on the construction site.

3. COSHH assessments

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessments identify and manage risks arising from exposure to hazardous substances such as chemicals, dust, and fumes on the construction site – see our blog on how to ensure that your business is COSHH compliant for more information.

4. PPE policies

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) policies detail the requirements for protective gear such as helmets, gloves, and safety harnesses, ensuring that workers are adequately protected and equipped to mitigate risks. These policies also include guidelines for the proper use, maintenance, and storage of PPE.

5. Health and safety policies

These overarching documents articulate the company’s commitment to health and safety, outlining responsibilities, procedures, and protocols to be followed across all construction activities.

6. CDM documents

Compliance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations requires several documents, including health and safety plans, pre-construction information, and construction phase plans (CPP), to ensure coordination and cooperation throughout the project lifecycle.

7. Training and qualifications

Records of training sessions, certifications, and qualifications demonstrate that workers possess essential skills and knowledge to perform their tasks safely and competently. They also serve as valuable resources for tracking professional development and ensuring ongoing compliance with industry standards.

8. Permits to work

These health and safety documents authorise specific high-risk activities, detailing hazards, precautions, and safety measures to be implemented before work commences. By providing a clear framework for risk management, they help ensure that all workers are fully informed.

9. Fire and emergency response plans

Comprehensive plans for fire prevention, evacuation procedures, assembly points and emergency response protocols are essential to safeguard lives and property. Regular drills and simulations based on these plans help ensure everyone on-site knows what to do in case of a fire or other emergencies, including how to use fire extinguishers or first aid kits.

10. Accident and incident records

Finally, having accurate health and safety documentation of accidents, incidents, near misses, and corrective actions encourages learning, improvement, and accountability within the construction site.

Get compliant with help from the UK’s SSIP scheme of choice

Maintaining compliance with Health & Safety standards can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be with the right support. As a trusted provider of SSIP accreditation, we offer comprehensive solutions to keep your construction site safe and compliant.

Request a quote or call our team on 01752 643962 and we’ll be happy to assist.

And if you’re looking to upgrade your accreditation, take a look at our WorkSafe PQQ packages and range of online CITB Training courses for Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme and Refresher Courses (SSSTS & SSSTS-R), Site Manager Safety Training Course (SMSTS) and Health & Safety Awareness (HSA).