Insurance, Safety & Security

An explanation of the health and safety obligations you will need to adhere to on a building site and the sourcing of health and safety information from HSE. When undertaking a building project you will need to plan for security and understand what insurance you will require.

Health & Safety

Whether you are managing a project yourself or employing the services of a contractor to carry out the work it is important to understand your health and safety obligations. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 covers all work carried out by professionals but doesn’t cover homeowners who are doing the work themselves although any person in contact with the project has a right to be protected from danger. Measures should be in place to remove or reduce the risk of accidents.

Any contractor working on the property is responsible for health and safety of all operatives and must take the necessary steps to ensure all safety of all people of site including residents, visitors and public. The contractor is also responsible for the care and protection of the property, construction, materials and equipment supplied for works.

You can source further information on Health & Safety via the HSE helpline or website:

Ph.: 0845 345 0055



It pays to use common sense when protecting the materials and equipment on site from theft. Lock away tools and valuable materials when they are not being used. If they are too big to lock away, keep them out of view or chained up. It may pay to build a lockable room or garage first or even hire a lockable storage chest. If you are hiring contractors the responsibility for the security of their equipment and materials lies with them.



Before you start your project, ensure you and your contractor have sufficient insurance. To identify what insurance you need check out Cover for builders and contractors will include:

Employers Liability – required if you employ any subcontractors and undertake your own project. If one of your subcontractors is involved in an accident and it is deemed as your fault, you may have legal action taken against you. Employers Liability insurance will cover you in such a situation. Most insurance companies will cover you for £5m or £10m.

Public Liability – covers people and property not employed by you but may be impacted by the activities at the building site, e.g. if a neighbour’s car, fence, house is damaged as a result of the work getting carried out on the site. Make sure your contractors’ have adequate insurance cover. Cover usually starts at £1m.

Contract Works – covers theft of plant and materials on site, fire and structural damage. Check to see what cover your builder has before taking out your policy. Note: any existing structure getting altered, converted or extended is covered by regular building insurance.


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