Health & Safety, An Introduction to

Maintenance & Building Work

What maintenance and building work takes place?

It’s easy to overlook these activities because they happen now and again, and it’s often a contractor or service agency doing the work. Sometimes people are in places where no one normally goes, e.g. the roof or electrical switchboard. They may be fault finding, trying to repair something quickly – often outside the routine. Not surprisingly there are many accidents. Falls from heights, eg ladders, are the most common cause of serious injury.

Does this concern me?

Did you know that if you are the person responsible for your business, you are also responsible for contractors, service engineers, etc, who do work for you?

Does anyone ever have to work on the roof, at a height or on fragile materials?

Does anyone have to fault find and repair machinery or equipment when it breaks down?

Is there a tank, pit, silo or similar confined space into which someone might go – and would you know if they did?

Have you found out whether there is any asbestos* in your buildings or plant which could be disturbed during maintenance or alterations?
*(Also see Asbestos section)

What law applies?

Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 (building work)

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

Confined Spaces Regulations 1997

How and where you can get more help

‘Working together : Guidance on health and safety for contractors and suppliers’ INDG268 (rev) FREE (available in packs of 10 ISBN 0 7176 2253 3 £5.00)

‘A guide to the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996′ INDG220 FREE (available in packs of 10 ISBN 0 7176 1161 2 £5.00)

‘The absolutely essential health and safety toolkit for the smaller construction contractor’ INDG344 FREE (available in packs of 5 ISBN 0 7176 2103 0 £5.00)

‘Health and safety in roof work’ HSG33 ISBN 0 7176 1425 5 £8.50

‘Managing contractors: A guide for employers’ HSG159 ISBN 0 7176 1196 5 £8.50

‘Health and safety in construction’ HSG150 ISBN 0 7176 2106 5 £9.95

Further information can be found on the Working Well Together (WWT) website at or contact the WWT Campaign Helpline on 0845 2727 500.

You can order any of these titles through HSE Books.

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