From 1st August 2013, nearly all domestic clients undertaking construction works will have extended statutory health and safety obligations under S.I. 291 of 2013 (Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations). The purpose is well intentioned by giving wider ranging controls to site safety but consequences for the home owner are immediate. These Regulations apply to all construction projects (domestic and non-domestic) including the alteration, decoration, maintenance and repair of buildings and the installation, maintenance, and the removal of mechanical and other fixed systems within or to structures. They place obligations on clients and designers to ensure that safety and health is taken into account before any construction work begins.
A comprehensive and easy to read guide for homeowners undertaking domestic building works can be found here.
All clients must now appoint (in writing) a Project Supervisor for the Design Stage (PSDP) and for the Construction Stage (PSCS) of a construction project and notify the H.S.A. that the project is starting. This applies to nearly all projects involving an Architect; except for those projects which are small, uncomplicated and almost risk-free. The AF1 form notifies the H.S.A. of a project design starting – this can be found on the H.S.A website, http://www.hsa.ie/. This website also includes useful guidance for designers, clients and contractors and should be carefully reviewed. Projects which are likely to take more than 30 working days, or 500 person days or which will likely involve more than one subcontractor are notifiable and subject to these regulations. Therefore the vast majority of projects will be subject to these regulations save for very small, uncomplicated projects without a particular risk.
This text is intended as a brief overview and therefore the accuracy or completeness should not be relied on without detailed reference to the HSA website and current information.