This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

Social media

Javascript is required to use HSE website social media functionality.

Are you a smaller builder?

What you need to do

We use the term 'smaller builder' to describe contractors who undertake work on:

The law requires smaller builders to:

What you need to know

Smaller builders must be competent to carry out their work safely. You should not accept work for which you do not have the necessary health and safety competency.

Most fatal injuries in the construction industry now occur on smaller building projects involving refurbishment of existing homes and workplaces. Over 60% of those deaths involve falls from ladders, scaffolds, working platforms, roof edges and falls through fragile roofs or rooflights.

Other fatal injuries on such projects arise from the collapse of excavations, lifting operations, electricity and mobile plant.

Manage hazards and risk

As a smaller builder, you are a contractor under Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) 2007 and you must:

Inform and train your workforce

You must also provide your workforce with the information and training they need to secure health and safety. This includes:

Cooperating with the client or home occupier

Close co-operation and co-ordination among everyone involved in a project can help to prevent injury and ill-health.

Business clients – have safety responsibilities on even the shortest of projects and will need to check the arrangements made by the smaller builder for managing the work.

For example, if there is a risk of falling through a fragile roof or rooflight the client will need to know how the smaller builder plans to manage the risk and ensure the safety of the workers and those in his premises. This will require effective co-operation.

Home occupiers – the home occupier has no responsibility for workplace safety. However, the smaller builder and occupier have a common interest in making sure the building work does not put residents at risk. Close co-operation will help achieve this objective.

For example, you will want to leave the site in a safe condition at the end of the day and ensure that the residents are not put at risk while your work is in progress. The occupier will need to know of and co-operate with your plans.

Find out more

Busy builder leaflets

Busy builder presentations