RR556 - Health and safety in public sector construction procurement

This study was concerned with examining health and safety issues in public sector construction procurement. The broad aim of the research was to provide an evidence-based assessment of how well the public sector in England, Scotland and Wales meets its health and safety obligations in the procurement of construction.

The research methodology involved primary data collection. The main data collection instrument was a self-completion postal questionnaire. The overall approach followed two distinct stages:

The conclusions, drawn from the evidence of the research, suggest at the broadest level that while some public sector clients performed reasonably well in terms of meeting their health and safety obligations during the procurement of construction, there is certainly more that could be done.

In terms of recommendations going forward, the evidence suggests that more needs to be done to embed current health and safety guidance among public sector clients. While the research findings appear to indicate that the majority of public clients surveyed generally followed the guidelines set out in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994. There is a sense, from the results, that 'best practice' is not as widely embedded as it perhaps could be.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-21