Recently it came to the Association’s notice that in Northern Ireland the Buildsafe-NI Action Plan had a requirement that all contractors seeking to tender for public sector works contracts shall have a health and safety management system certified by a third party.

Government Construction Clients shall recognise third party certification of a health and safety management system, provided:

  • It is based upon ILO OSH 2001; BSI’s OHSAS 18001 and 18002; BS 18004; HSG 65 or equivalent.
  • It is construction focused and incorporates site inspections.
  • The third party certification body is accredited and /or is recognised by a professional health and safety body or institution as having the knowledge and skill to undertake construction focused third party health and safety audits.

Unfortunately a number of the certification bodies on their list of health and safety certification scheme providers were not accredited by a national accreditation body, such as UKAS. ABCB passed this information to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills who liaised with the appropriate Northern Ireland government department. Action has now been taken to ensure that in the future only certification bodies accredited by UKAS or another national accreditation body will be included in the list of health and safety scheme providers.