Health and Safety from a Client’s Perspective

Primer on Health and Safety before commencing your construction project

Mr Seal health and safety


If you are reading this blog because you have:

if not read on…

Your home is a familiar environment but don’t allow that familiarity to lull you into underestimating potential risks when you embark on a building or renovation project.

A general principle is that if you call our workmen to do a job no harm should come to them or to you and your family in the process. Even when the primary duty of care lies with the contractor, you should not abdicate all responsibility for a safe outcome when calling Tradies in to work for you.

When selecting a Tradesman don’t just shop on price. To do a job right with due consideration to Health and Safety issues may cost a tad more but it is money well spent. A professional who does not cut corners on the Health and Safety of his staff and clients, will not cut corners when it comes to doing quality work for you. Deal with people, like the team at Seal Plumbing, who take their professional responsibilities seriously. Check the tradesmen you use have the necessary skills and qualifications and be sure they are registered. Visit their website to review their Health and Safety Policy and their liability cover.

Before the Tradesman arrives think about possible risks that you are aware of, but they won’t be.  Warn them of possible dangers they may encounter; be it asbestos in the ceiling, the rotten boards on the deck or the territorial magpie nesting in the guttering.

Prepare by clearing the work area of household bric-a-brac, leash the dog and have a plan to occupy the children at a safe distance. When your Tradie is working be aware that there could be dangerous machinery operating, electrical cables and water around, ladders, scaffolding.  There can be a multitude of potential risks from spinning blades, high decibel equipment, dust, noxious odours from solvents, and flammable gases. Respect the potential dangers.

If things go wrong know how to react. Here in New Zealand in an emergency dial 111. For less urgent, though serious injuries, it pays to know the number and location of your nearest medical centre, and to know that you can reach St Johns ambulance 0800 785 646. Brush up on your first aid, not just for the arrival of the tradesman but for the general health and safety of your family. And that first aid kit should be available and well stocked.(NB. St John’s offer first aid training and kits)

Finally, this blog briefly touches on some Health & Safety considerations from a client’s perspective. The government Worksafe website is an excellent source of information on the Tradesman’s Health & Safety responsibilities. There are also numerous websites with First Aid Tips - take the time to find a site that you are comfortable with and have that information available should you ever need it at short notice.

We are in this together:

“Health and safety is about looking out for one another; it's about making sure that people go home from work healthy and safe. It’s not just good for business; it’s the right thing to do.”


Stephen Deacon