Phase 3: Build


This activity opens by establishing that safety is a legal obligation. It helps students to understand the difference between a hazard and a risk, using a simple online interactive. Students explore what employers and employees can each do to manage risks. Finally, students can select a role-play that reinforces their safety obligations when they enter the world of work.

You can adapt Why should I be safe on site? for use as a quick introductory activity or extend the small group and subsequent whole class discussion into a full lesson. For a short delivery, elicit from the group what each of the four words means. Write these on the board as prompts for during the main activities. For a longer delivery, split the group into four and get each group to create a concept map around each work. Make these into a classroom display.

Exploring safety on site


  • Consider why every worker should be safe. If students don’t mention it, explain that they have a legal obligation.
  • Read the CDM 2007 quote in Why should I be safe? and discuss what it means in practical terms.

Main activity

  • Use an example to help students understand the concept of a hazard.
  • Open the interactive in Hazards and risks and identify the hazards, working as a class or in pairs/small groups. Create a class list and add other ideas to it.
  • Consider which ones could be avoided and which will always be present on a site.
  • Establish the idea of risk – use a common example to help, eg the risk of death in a car crash v lightning strike.
  • If time permits follow up with How can I be safe?


  • Discuss how employers and employees can each take steps to manage risks. Return to the four words in Why should I be safe? and quickly discuss how each can reduce risk.


Easier/Level 1:
Use the board to write down hazards and their risks, using simple examples. Focus on what students can do themselves to stay safe. Print the CDM 2007 worker guidance as a handout for students to use as you do this.

Work quickly through the interactive and emphasise the role-plays etc. in How can I be safe? as your main activity. Encourage students to consider a future supervisory role.


This is a good activity prior to a site visit. Bring home safety information examples and use these when completing the role-plays in How can I be safe?

Answers: Why should I be safe?


Competence: only use equipment, or complete tasks, for which you have been trained.
Co-operation: ask for help and information from mates and supervisors; offer help; play your part in maintaining a safe site; doing as you are told; contributing to safety discussions.
Co-ordination: know the safety officer and how to contact them; report incidents using the proper system.
Prevention: work safely and maintain a safe working environment; report potential hazards and take action as appropriate.


Competence: ensure workers have been trained in site safety; only ask workers to complete tasks for which they have been trained and given a method statement.
Co-operation: take worker reports seriously; help workers to be safe; involve site workers in risk assessments.
Co-ordination: ensure safety information is communicated to all workers on site; make sure that workers can report safety issues.
Prevention: take all steps to identify hazards and manage risks; respond to serious and imminent danger; ensure cleaning and maintenance is undertaken for all equipment and plant.

Answers: Hazards and risks

Students should find the following hotspots:

Heavy machinery – which can cause injury or death to workers nearby.
Deep hole – into which workers could fall if they go beyond the barrier.
Chemicals – which should be stored as per guidance and only moved/used by trained personnel.
Scaffolding – follow rules for working at height to avoid a fall or dropping equipment onto those below.
Power line – which could be severed by a tall vehicle.
Power tool – which could cause injury or death if not used safely by a qualified operative
Work overhead – be aware of falling equipment or materials.
Main safety sign – the instructions and information on this must be obeyed by every person on site.
Loud noise – danger of ear damage, and of not hearing approaching vehicles or shouted warnings.
Unstable demolition – danger of injury or death from falling structures

  • How can I be safe? builds on the activity above. It uses real documentation for workers to helps students to complete a simple role-play or writing activity. The activities combine reading for information, speaking and listening, and writing, in real-world settings. Use this activity after the main activity above, or as a separate session.

Answers: How can I be safe?

Although obvious, the risks posed by the use of illegal drugs on site should be stressed to students.

Prescription drugs: may cause drowsiness, leading to reduced co-ordination, awareness and reaction times. Alcohol: risk of reduced co-ordination, awareness and reaction times; this risk may still be high the day after drinking. Sun / UV exposure: short-term risk of sunburn and dehydration; long-term risk of skin cancer.

  • Safety systems work provides some background on Wates’ success in improving site safety and provides another opportunity to reinforce personal responsibility.

Answers: Safety systems work

Wates’ ‘near miss’ reporting policy is important because it helps to make the safety system more proactive rather than reactive. It leads to a long-term reduction in site incidents by preventing potential accidents that have not been captured within existing risk analysis and reporting, and helps to involve every site worker in this proactive, preventative approach.




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Site safety

Race against the clock to identify all of the on-site hazards.