construction health and safety legislation

Every worker has the right to a safe and healthy place to work. But the world is a long way from getting this right. The International Labor Organization (ILO) says that more than 125 million workers get sick or hurt on the job every year. About 220,000 of these workers die, and about 10 million are seriously hurt.

Due to the nature of construction and the number of people involved, it is hard to get by without a legal system. Therefore, it is very important to make laws that govern the construction industry (Jaseikis and Suazo, 1993).

In the last few decades, many acts and laws have been passed that affect the health and safety of construction around the world. Among them, it was found that Sri Lanka followed the following rules.

The factories Ordinance No. 45 went into effect in 1942. Since then, it has been changed several times. The main focus of the Factories Ordinance was on factory workers. But some parts of the law could be used for building work and civil engineering projects.

The following rules are first put in place in the USA and the UK. The responsible Sri Lankan authorities copied these laws without question, so at the moment, these rules only exist in writing.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA),USA
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations of 1994,UK

Safety and health at work are important to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of the United States. The employees can tell the trade unions about any safety violations made by the employer. In this way, the workers get more power over their safety and health at work.

The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 (HSWA) makes sure that health, safety, and welfare are taken care of in the UK. The Act gives certain responsibilities to;

  • Part (I) – employers who have duties to employees and others who are not their employees
  • Part (II) – Employees who may be junior staff, managers or indeed even safety representatives.
  • Part (III) – occupiers of premises
  • Part (IV) – designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers and their responsibilities for articles/substances

Construction (Design and Management) regulations are new laws that get rid of things that didn’t work well in the old laws. When designing, it is said that designers should think about the safety of the workers on site. They should also give safety information and tips to both the client and the contractor, who should then put them into action and report back to the designer.

Sri Lanka’s health and safety record is very bad. There are a lot of laws in place to protect the rights and health of workers, but they are not always followed properly, so only a small number of workers get to enjoy the benefits. There are a lot of low-skilled workers who are easy to find, and the high unemployment rate makes them easy to take advantage of. Getting a job is more important than the risks that come with it.

Constitutional provision for occupational safety and health

Safety and health are very important in Sri Lanka’s constitution, which says that children under 18 can’t work in factories, mines, or other dangerous jobs. The goal of the policy is to keep all workers healthy and strong.

It keeps people from working jobs that aren’t right for their age or strength. The government’s goal is to make sure that people can work in fair and humane ways. The constitution sets up a broad framework that could be used to make policies and programs for worker health and safety.

regulations and standards for construction safety

With the construction industry growing so quickly, it’s becoming more and more important to have rules to prevent accidents. Due to the development of technology, most construction companies today tend to use new building techniques and processes. To prevent accidents and ensure safety on construction sites, policies, regulations, and standards have become a very important part of the construction industry.

Accidents on construction sites cost contractors and the other people involved time and money. So, not only does management have to deal with the loss of work, but they also have to pay compensation to those who were hurt.

Accidents also cause social problems because most of the time, when a worker gets hurt on the job, he can’t support his family with the money he gets from his employer for a long time. If he can’t do his regular job after the accident and doesn’t know how to do any other work, he might feel frustrated and helpless and try to make money by doing something illegal, which would be dangerous for society.

So, the government needs to come up with fair policies, rules, and standards to protect workers and the public from these accidents, to make sure that construction sites are safe, and to make sure that building team members and workers know what their specific responsibilities are.

benefited through changes in Health & Safety legislation

Health and safety are important, but you also need to make sure your employees are safe. Health and safety affect construction in many ways. Most of the time, the effect will be good if you have a good safety record. But if they have a bad safety record, the opposite will happen.

1. Reduces Accidents or Incidents

We couldn’t make this list without talking about how important health and safety are for reducing accidents and problems at work. The urban development authority (UDA) says that almost a quarter of all deaths at work happen in the construction industry. Also, that number doesn’t even include injuries that don’t lead to death. But you don’t have to be part of this number. If we follow the health and safety correctly in our construction work, then we can archive more benefits to our work.

2. Keeps Your Project on Budget

When there is a safety incident, accident, or even a near miss, there is often downtime to write up what happened. In many cases, equipment or property is damaged and will need to be fixed or replaced. Also, if a key employee gets hurt, you might have to look for a replacement until they can come back to work. This doesn’t even take into account the financial effects of worker’s comp claims, UDA fines, or higher insurance costs.

3. Win More Business with a Good Safety Record

Your business can only grow if you have a good safety record. If you have a bad safety record with a lot of UDA violations and injuries at work, you could lose customers and miss out on opportunities. Some construction companies may also have their licenses or memberships taken away, or they may get bad reviews online that turn off potential clients.

Important of communication in health and safety

To keep employees safe, it’s important to communicate quickly and well. When you use the right tools, you can get in touch with your employees right away and warn them of danger. When you have a big team, it’s important that everyone knows about the project and any changes, problems, worries, etc. The right tools for communication make it easy and quick to share information.

When workers don’t know what to expect, accidents are more likely to happen. Surprises that could hurt people will happen less often if the day’s goals and plans are talked about directly. Construction companies would be smart to give their workers devices like smartphones, walkie-talkies, or headsets that make it easy and quick for team members to talk to each other. If people on the construction site don’t talk to each other well, they won’t know what to expect. Clear and concise communication with everyone speeds up the project and helps keep everyone in the loop. A good way to talk to people and make sure they understand construction site safety is to tell the staff what to do and make sure everyone is doing their job.


construction health and safety legislation is crucial for protecting workers, preventing accidents, and maintaining a safe working environment. It is necessary to enforce laws, regulations, and standards to ensure compliance and promote worker well-being. Effective communication plays a vital role in conveying information, addressing concerns, and enhancing overall safety outcomes. Prioritizing health and safety in construction benefits workers, project budgets, business opportunities, and the industry as a whole.

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