Life lessons on health and safety

Health and Safety is one part of your business that, if you get it wrong, has the potential to lose you your freedom, ending in a prison sentence.

I have witnessed suffering to mankind that I would not wish others to experience. In corporate life this has included investigating a fatality of a man who died from first degree burns in an industrial incident and in my personal life at the age of 19 being caught up in the tragic events at Hillsborough in what became the largest loss of life in a UK sporting disaster where 96 people lost their lives.

With most experiences in life, great or small, we have a choice, often not easy ones I grant you, but we have a choice.

We can allow our experiences to alter our destiny and take a ‘hands off the steering wheel’ approach, or we can seek the valuable lessons and understanding and create positive enablement from them for the future, where they can then be part of defining your future self, by design.

As developers, Health and Safety must be right at the heart of our business, systems, processes as well as being integral within the culture of the business. It is a fundamental part of your business due diligence.

We all expect each other to come home safely to loved ones at the end of each day and a few points of common sense, self-awareness, compliance and consideration of our actions to others, goes a long way ensure this happens.

Ensure you know and follow all the regulations; the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a lot of very good quality guidance on their website. I recommend that you go to this website.

From a business perspective you must ensure you have these things in place in considering health and safety:

  • Health and safety policy

  • Health and safety statement

  • Correct equipment

  • Sufficient expertise and resource

  • Training

  • First Aid book

  • Method statements

  • Risk assessments

  • Responsible person

For more detail see page 112 of my book, Commercial to Residential Conversions: The essential manual for property developers, available now on Amazon.

As with every other element of due diligence in your business, evaluate the expertise and knowledge available and consider engaging a professional to support you formally in this area to ensure compliance.


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