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Health and Safety on Building Projects

February 18, 2015

A building owner engaging in construction work must do the following;

1. determine the competency of people doing paid construction work for you,
2. appoint one Project Supervisor for the Design Process and a Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage if
  • there is more than one contractor involved in the work, or
  • there is a particular risk, or
  • the work is going to last more than 30 days or more than 500 person days.
3. keep the safety file for the work as appropriate, 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).

Residential Construction work is defined as the following;
• building a new house or an extension, porch or garage,
• converting your attic,
• refitting your kitchen,
• re-slating your roof,
• fitting solar panels or a skylight, and
• re-wiring your house.

Project Supervisor Design Process
The project supervisor for design process (PSDP) must be a suitably qualified individual or company and can be a firm of architects, chartered surveyors, consulting engineers or project managers.  It can also be the main contractor (e.g. in cases of design and build contracts or small projects with minimal design input).  In all cases the person or company undertaking the role must have the necessary competence to carry out the relevant duties.  The PSDP must be appointed before design work commences.  This is to ensure effectiveness in addressing and co-ordinating safety and health matters from the very early stages of a project.

Duties of the Project Supervisor for the Design Process (PSDP)
The duty of the project supervisor for the design process is to ensure co-ordination of the work of designers throughout the project.

The PSDP must:

  • Identify hazards arising from the design or from the technical, organisational, planning or time related aspects of the project;
  • Where possible, eliminate the hazards or reduce the risks;
  • Communicate necessary control measure, design assumptions or remaining risks to the PSCS so they can be dealt with in the safety and health plan;
  • Ensure that the work of designers is coordinated to ensure safety;
  • Organise co-operation between designers;
  • Prepare a written safety and health plan for any project where construction will take more than 500 person days or 30 working days or there is a particular risk and deliver it to the client prior to tender;
  • Prepare a safety file for the completed structure and give it to the client;
  • Notify the Authority and the client of non-compliance with any written directions issued.

The PSDP may issue directions to designers or contractors or others.

For further guidance on the role and duties of the PSDP please see our guidelines.

Project Supervisor for Construction Stage
The role of the project supervisor construction stage is to manage and co-ordinate health and safety matters during the construction stage.  The project supervisor construction stage is appointed before the construction work begins and remains in that position until all construction work on the project is completed

For further guidance on the role and duties of the PSCS please see our guidelines.

A helpful Homeowners Guidance Document is available here and it comes with a helpful checklist to help owners assess the competency of tradespeople and professionals

For information on Getting your construction project certified see here

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One comment

  1. […] Click here for more information on appointing a PSDP and PSCS […]



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