What are the benefits of safecontractor accreditation?

What is safecontractor accreditation?

Across a number of sectors, such as construction and property management, it is becoming increasingly more complex for contractors to monitor compliance. As a result, it has never been more important to make sure that your business has the right systems and schemes in place to monitor your health and safety obligations, such as safecontractor.

safecontractor is the UK’s leading health and safety assessment scheme. It enables contractors to demonstrate that their health and safety responsibilities are a top priority. Gaining safecontractor accreditation comes with a host of benefits not only to you as a contractor, but also to any client you may carry out work for. While the process of applying may seem daunting at first, Direct Safety Solutions is here to offer our full support in helping you achieve SSiP accreditation.

Why get safecontractor accreditation?

safecontractor is called upon by hundreds of organisations in their search for health and safety accredited contractors. Therefore, the accreditation will provide you with a multitude of benefits:

    • You will be added to the client portal of approved safecontractor members

      • Hundreds of organisations access this portal when looking for potential contractors, using the accreditation as a pre-qualification. This shows that you meet safecontractor requirements and do not pose a health and safety risk to their business, ultimately making you a more attractive prospect


  • Save time and money
    • Being safecontractor approved means you won’t have to fill in pre-qualification questionnaires when carrying out new work
    • The scheme is an SSiP approved accreditation, meaning applying for similar accreditations, such as the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) is easier, and quicker
  • Peace of mind
    • You can rest assured that you are health and safety compliant, and not losing work to one of the 30,000 other contractors currently using the service due to non-accreditation
  • Use of the safecontractor logo
    • Once you become accredited, you can use the safecontractor logo on your website and marketing materials, and will also receive van stickers. This will demonstrate your health and safety compliance to potential clients


How do I gain safecontractor accreditation?

The process of gaining accreditation involves reviewing and auditing your current health and safety procedures and policies, along with any documentation you hold. It is important that you have all the information needed in place before starting your application in order to save time. Dependent on the size and nature of your business, you may need to provide details of the following:

  • Your safety policy
  • Health & safety arrangements
  • Work equipment procedures
  • Health & safety training
  • First aid provision
  • Risk assessments & COSHH assessments
  • Accident reporting
  • Fire risk assessments
  • Electrical safety
  • Manual handling assessments

Not having the correct documentation and information available may hinder the acceptance of your application, and may even mean it gets rejected. If you need support with your safecontractor application, or other nationally recognised contractor standard, Direct Safety Solutions is here to help. Based in the West Midlands and with years of experience in the health and safety sector, you can trust us to bridge any gaps and identify possible problem areas within your application.

Don’t delay gaining this valuable accreditation – let Direct Safety Solutions help you get safecontractor approved today.


The Importance of RIDDOR

RIDDOR is an acronym for “Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.” In 2013, RIDDOR policy was introduced to ensure serious work-related accidents and diseases were recorded and collated. As a result, it’s likely that you have come across the term RIDDOR before.

This article explores the term, as well as a number of the applications and implications that you may need to bear in mind next time there is a health and safety incident at work.

What does RIDDOR stand for?

The term itself is instantly recognisable. However, remembering what the acronym stands for can be a little harder. As mentioned above, RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations and requires employers, and those managing work premises, to report and keep records of:

  • Work-related accidents leading to death;
  • Work-related accidents causing certain serious injuries (reportable injuries);
  • Diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases; and
  • Certain dangerous occurrences (incidents with the potential to cause harm).

What qualifies as ‘reportable’ according to RIDDOR?

Generally, if any reportable, work-related accident or injury occurs in the workplace, it should be written up and reported under regulations of RIDDOR 2013. This sounds relatively simple, but how are reportable accidents, incidents, and injuries determined? Let’s discuss.

Reportable injuries according to RIDDOR

  • Deaths – all deaths (workers and non-workers) must be reported if they arise from a work-related accident.
  • Specified injuries – including fractures, amputations, loss of sight, serious burns, scalping, and unconsciousness.
  • Over seven day injuries – this applies when a worker is away from work and unable to perform their usual duties for over seven consecutive days.
  • Injuries to non-workers – work-related accidents involving members of the public, or people who are not at work, must be reported if that person is injured, and is taken from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury.

For a more detailed insight into the injuries required to be reported, click here.

Reportable industrial diseases according to RIDDOR

The following are examples of the types of industrial diseases that must be reported under RIDDOR.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Severe cramp of the hand or forearm
  • Occupational dermatitis
  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome
  • Occupational asthma
  • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
  • Any occupational cancer
  • Any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent

It is important to remember that these diseases/conditions must have been diagnosed and must have been caused or made worse by the work of the affected.

Read a more in-depth guide on reportable diseases here.

Reportable dangerous occurrences according to RIDDOR

While the term ‘dangerous occurrences’ seems quite vague, there is in fact a comprehensive list of the occurrences that should be reported. You can read the full list here, however they are ultimately explained as:

“Incidents with a high potential to cause death or serious injury, but which happen relatively infrequently”

Some general examples include:

  • Structural collapse
  • Fires or explosions
  • Unintentional contact with overhead power lines
  • Release of flammable liquids and gases

Of course, these examples are quite broad and there are different regulations for different workplaces, dependant on where the work is taking place and the nature of the work. Read more detailed examples relating to your workplace here.

Reportable gas incidents according to RIDDOR

If you are a distributor, filler, importer or supplier of flammable gas and there has been an incident involving the gas you’re responsible for, you will need to file a report. You need to report an incident if someone has:

  • Died
  • Lost consciousness
  • Been taken to hospital for treatment of an injury

If you are a gas engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register, you are also responsible for reporting any gas appliances or fittings that you consider to be dangerous to the extent that people could die, lose consciousness or require hospital treatment.

What happens when work-related incidents aren’t reported?

As an employer, it is a legal requirement to report all qualifying incidents within 10 days of occurrence (15 days when dealing with over-seven day incapacities). Failure to report these instances could result in you being taken to court by the HSE or local authority. Pleading ignorance to the legislation put in place and its requirements will not be a valid excuse. You could face a fine of up to £20,000 in Magistrate’s Court, or an unlimited fine if you are taken to Crown Court. In serious cases you could also face a two year prison sentence, so it’s always worth submitting the report when required, regardless of your other commitments.

How to make a RIDDOR report

Submitting a report is relatively simple, and the HSE website has a page dedicated to letting you know how. You can report online or by phone; find the relevant forms and contact number here.

Direct Safety Solutions’ qualified health and safety consultants will visit your premises to discuss your current arrangements for managing health and safety at your workplace, and highlight where we can help. Contact us now for a now obligation consultation.