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Accidents at Construction Sites

Good preparation and organisation onsite site reduces risk of accidents significantly

The rules on facilities, sanitary and safety measures in construction work and other temporary construction work in force in Iceland were set in the light of the Directive applicable in the European Economic Area. The purpose of the rules is to coordinate safety and health measures in such workplaces.

Particular attention is given to the responsibilities and obligations in which more than one developer is employed. The role of the buyer, contractor, employers and coordinator of safety and health measures is defined both at the preparation and execution stage of the work.

The rules require the buyer to ensure that a safety and health plan is drawn up before the construction site is organized, setting out the procedures applicable to the construction site in question. The plan shall, inter alia, prescribe specific measures for work involving hazards for workers.

Purpose of the safety and health plan

The purpose of the safety and health plan is to ensure that everyone who works in the construction or construction works in a good working environment. The plan must be designed to ensure the safe execution of the work. The plan is also a tool for joint work on safety issues in the workplace. A safety and health plan must be made if two or more employers / contractors have more than 10 employees at work on the construction site.

Who should do the safety and health plan?

The buyer must ensure that a safety health plan is established for the building site. At the preparatory stage, he shall appoint a coordinator of the safety and health measures that will oversee such a plan. During the execution phase of a project, the coordinator shall ensure, inter alia, that the plan is being carried out. He shall also ensure that the necessary changes to the safety and health plan are implemented as the work continues.

When is the plan available?

Before starting work, make a safety and health plan. When an auction is made, the plan must be prepared as a continuous document. It should take into account workplace conditions, including the hazards that may exist with regard to the safety and health of workers, and what prevention measures are taken. The plan must be available in full before the work begins.

The plan shall be accessible to all


The safety and health plan must be accessible to all people at the workplace, ie. stored in a place that everyone has access to during working hours, for example, in a security-related facility. The plan should be presented as a continuous document, for example, in a security folder containing all of the information.


With regard to design data, the plan should contain a further version describing how individual tasks and tasks are organized with respect to each other. The implementation includes, inter alia, the time when the various contractors work on projects at the construction site and how much time is required for the project. It should be clearly stated where and when the work involves a particular risk.

Description of the situation

The plan shall describe all health and safety implications to ensure that the various employers / contractors can work on their projects in accordance with the requirements of the Occupational Safety Act. The plan shall require clear delimitation, including who has the role of installing and maintaining the various safeguards in the program at any given time.

Initial circumstances

The plan shall, with reference to the designation of designers / advisers, describe measures taken for safety purposes, ie. on. m. markings on: where pipelines lie in the ground, such as location of power lines. which may be a danger zone.

Joint actions

Reference should be made to what should usually be included in the program under the heading: Who does what, when and quality requirements. For example, what requirements are being made for building cranes, scaffolding, when to install them and who should do it. Ensure that the scaffolds meet the requirements of all those who are intended to use them in their work. They must therefore be suitable for all the work that is carried out from them.

Comprehensive coordination of all contractors at the implementation stage

To prevent accidents and accidents it is very important to work in accordance with the safety and health plan. A coordinator is appointed to ensure the safety of all employees involved in the implementation with regard to the progress of individual tasks. It is also important that the coordinator has a full overview of all important tasks undertaken by different contractors and can stop work and allow as necessary. If the security officer is at the construction site, he may perform the role of coordinator.

Prior to carrying out work, a risk assessment and prevention plan must be available to ensure the safety and health of employees, see Regulation no. 920/2006 on the organization and implementation of occupational health and safety at work. It is important that employees have been introduced to the risk assessment in a language they understand and follow.

You can learn more about the main responsibilities of the parties and to build a safety and health plan for the building site in the educational and guidance document on this topic.

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