Steve Ashworth

2017 awards judging – what’s happening on site

Stephen Ashworth - Health and Safety Services Manager

We have just completed the judging for our seventh Health and Safety Awards and the process has provided some useful insights into what’s happening out there on site.

This year we saw an overall increase in builders adopting ‘better than industry standard’ working practices.

Interestingly, we also found a marked improvement in the health and safety practices and procedures of the medium and small category builders. In most cases, they were performing as well as the large category house builders.

It was also apparent that whilst the standards of health and safety are being maintained on site, the emphasis is mostly on ‘safety’. The sites that really stood out were those that are also dealing with ‘health’ issues much better than most.


On the vast majority of sites, as expected of a legally compliant site, we have seen:

  • Scaffolds built to the current guidance.
  • Traffic management systems in place and being adhered to.
  • Risk of falls from height controlled.
  • Excavations protected and have the required shoring/support.
  • All operatives wearing the correct PPE relevant to the task.

However there are still sites that do not meet the expected standards.


And, on many sites we also saw the following good/best practice:

  • Health initiatives on site – more than an odd poster on welfare, this included free health checks and advice.
  • Monitoring of HAVS – records kept etc.
  • Healthy food served in site canteens.
  • Rest areas with TVs, game consoles, comfortable seating for operatives to relax in during breaks and inclement weather.
  • Effective procedures to engage with the workforce.

All sites who entered the NHBC Health & Safety Awards are offered feedback as a matter of course but we are also able to provide advice on good health and safety practice to all NHBC registered builders.

For more information on NHBC Health and Safety Services call 01908 746113.