Construction Health and Safety Organisations, Associations and Governing Bodies

Construction Health and Safety Organisations, Associations and Governing Bodies

Promoting a safety culture in the workplace and ensuring that the relevant legislation is enforced is a crucial function of every organisation in the construction industry. Due to the importance of this function and in order to improve the occupational safety standards of this industry at national level, it has been necessary to create several associations and governing bodies. Below you will find a guide to the most important public bodies and organisations involved in occupational health and safety matters in the United Kingdom.

The Health and Safety Executive

The Health and Safety Executive is the United Kingdom's foremost public body when it comes to health and safety matters. This organisation was founded in 1974 and it has since been headquartered in Liverpool. Although the HSE is a non-departmental body, it is currently sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Today, the Health and Safety Executive functions as a regulatory body for the construction industry and it has created a specialised advisory committee to take care of all health and safety matters related to this industry. The CONIAC (Construction Industry Advisory Committee) holds regular public meetings on topics like safe construction planning, construction site strategy, construction design and management regulations, etc. However, the Health and Safety Executive does not limit its functions to a regulatory role, since it currently has other duties, such as disseminating information and statistics, providing advisory services, arranging training, and funding and carrying out research.

The research function of this public body is particularly noteworthy, as the efforts carried out by the Health and Safety Executive in this respect have resulted in vastly improved occupational standards that have been beneficial to both employers and workers in the construction industry. For example, research carried out by this UK public body highlighted the need for personal protective equipment, especially in high-risk industry sectors like construction. The Health and Safety Executive published the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations in 1992, which made wearing hard hats and safety footwear mandatory in construction sites. There are also regulations concerning other types of personal protective equipment, including high visibility clothing, gloves, goggles, safety harnesses, faceshields, gauntlets, etc. Detailed information on the personal protective equipment regulations can be found at

To find more information on the Health and Safety Executive's functions, publications, and advice, visit its official website at More details about the CONIAC are available at

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health was created with similar goals to those of the Health and Safety Executive. However, this organisation does not have regulatory powers, as the institution has been registered as a charity since the early 1960s. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health was created in 1945 with the objective of raising awareness at national and international level in all matters related to health and safety at work. Some of its key functions include funding and running informative campaigns, lobbying political bodies, promoting the exchange of information between members, putting together public resources and arranging professional development training courses, and funding individuals and / or organisations that are devoted to improving occupational health and safety standards.

This organisation has a specialist construction group, which has more than 11,000 members nationwide. This working groups aims to identify and promote best practice in the construction industry. Further information about its strategies and upcoming events can be found at

Safety Groups UK

Safety Groups UK was founded in 1947 under the name of The National Health and Safety Groups Council. Since its foundation, this organisation has had mainly a co-ordinating function, helping bring together the various working groups and organisations that exist in the UK and that are devoted to raising health and safety awareness and standards throughout the country. Safety Groups complements the work of the Health and Safety Executive and of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health by working at grass roots level, organising seminars throughout the year and encouraging small and medium-sized construction enterprises to promote best practice in the workplace.

Construction companies can find their local safety group by visiting

Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Services

The Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Services have been offering health and safety support and advice to both public and private organisations over the past 20 years. This institution specialises in providing independent advice on topics like asbestos management, occupational health, occupational hygiene, health surveillance, and risk assessment. The main objective of this organisation is to help businesses and public bodies create a healthier and safer working environment. This institution also offers tailored advice to construction companies on subjects like policy implementation, risk assessment, noise assessment, vibration measurement, and independent health and safety auditing procedures.

To learn more about the services offered by this institution, visit