Construction – Site Induction for Site Visitors

Construction – Site Induction for Site Visitors

20th May 2019

Last week here on Safety Fabrications, we took a look at site inductions and explained that in the construction industry here in the UK, there’s a legal requirement for the Principal Contractor on any project to ensure that a suitable site induction is provided.  Under the Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) it’s not particularly clear who should be provided with these inductions. 

We’ve already pointed out that anybody working on a construction site (and all new employees) should undergo site induction in order to provide them with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety in the workplace.   However, when it comes to site visitors, it may be difficult to ascertain what level of site induction will be necessary, as site visitors tend to vary in their reasons for visiting and the frequency of their visits.

Whilst the purpose of the site induction is the provide people with the information, they need to stay safe on site, this means that anybody entering your site may need certain and specific information in order to stay safe.  This is especially important for visitors who may not be familiar with the site, or construction sites in general, for that matter.

Employers have a duty of care to anybody who may be affected by their work, not just their employees:

“It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety” – Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974.

A visitor arriving at your site will need certain information in order to stay safe.  Consider the following questions:

  • Do they need to sign in?
  • Are there specific areas they need to stay away from?
  • Who should they report to on arrival?
  • What do they need to wear?
  • Do they need any special clothing or equipment, such as safety helmet, Hi-Viz vest or safety footwear?

Providing an induction enables the site manager to make sure the visitor has the information necessary to stay safe and it’s also a great opportunity to assess the capabilities of the visitor and decide if they will need close supervision or an escort whilst on site.

Inductions provided for escorted visitors do not need to be as detailed as those for unescorted visitors.  Visitors who are escorted only need to be made aware of the main hazards they’re likely to be exposed to and the control measures in place. 

When it comes to visitors who only access the office or other low-risk area (for instance cleaners, delivery drivers, etc.), they are unlikely to be exposed to any serious hazards.  Site induction should be “proportionate to the nature of their visit”.