Construction workers: roles and responsibilities

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

A worker is anyone working for or under the control of a contractor on a construction site. Examples of workers include: plumbers, electricians, scaffolders, painters, decorators, steel erectors and labourers, as well as supervisors like foremen and chargehands.

Workers have an important role and should take an active part in helping to manage health and safety risks. In particular, workers must:

  • only carry out construction work if they have the relevant skills, knowledge, training and experience - or they are provided with the training and supervision that enables them to do it safely and without risk to health
  • make themselves aware of the health and safety risks involved in work on every site and the way those risks are managed
  • always follow site rules and procedures
  • cooperate with other dutyholders, such as the contractor in control of their work and the principal contractor (who controls the overall project when there is more than one contractor)¬†
  • report any risks they find to whoever controls the work on site, whether the risks affect their own health and safety or anyone else, including other workers and members of the public

Employers must consult their workers (or their representatives) on any health and safety matters that affect them. Many employers go further by using positive worker involvement to highlight areas of concern and implement effective practices. For more information, see HSE's Leadership and worker involvement toolkit.

Further guidance for construction workers is available at Are you a construction worker?

Is this page useful?

Updated 2022-11-01