Introduction to the CDM regulations
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations – CDM Regulations 2015 – became law on April 6th 2015. The aim of the regulations is to set out guidance and protection measures for those involved in construction works in order to keep themselves and anybody else involved safe and free from harm (physically, mentally and also from illness).
The core structure of the regulations is designed to assist people to improve health and safety in construction by encouraging the following good practice.
Plan the work or project so that risks involved are properly managed from start to finish. Ideally, any significant risks will be eliminated or reduced to manageable levels at the design stage.
Have the right people for the right job at the right time. This means engaging qualified, trained and knowledgeable people doing their own job so that it is carried out safely, to the proper standard and in the right time frame. (Not for example, asking a plasterer to stand in for an electrician because the job is running behind.)
Cooperate and coordinate your works with others. Nothing leads towards a hazardous workplace more than different groups of workers being thrown together all at the same time and expected to work in harmony. It more often than not leads to competition for work space, cutting corners, tension, aggravation and accidents. Plus at the end of the day, a poor quality finished result.
Have the right information about the risks involved in the project, and how they are being managed. Without knowing the risks of a project, and how they are planned to be managed, it’s almost impossible to avoid them. The key factor here is communication.
Communicate information effectively to those who need to know it. This of course leads on from the above. The right channels of communication need to be clearly defined to manage risks, accidents and ill health.
Consult and engage the workforce about the risks and how they are being managed. This point addresses a problem that occurs over and again. It’s one thing to hold management meetings and make decisions about communicating information down the line. In reality, it’s often a different proposition filtering it down to the people that it affects most. It’s imperative that the people at the sharp end are kept in the loop. Not only will this reduce potential accidents and illness, but it will prevent fear and stress often caused by lack of information and guidance.
Main changes for 2015
Of course the Construction Design and Management Regulations were introduced long before 2015, in fact they were first introduced in 1994, with the first major update in 2007, followed by the latest round of updates in 2015.
While not perfect, the introduction of the regulations in 1994 were a major step forward in improving health, safety and welfare on construction sites and smaller construction based projects. And like most situations that change over time, the CDM regulations have evolved to make health and safety more effective and place responsibility into the hands of those who have the most influence at the start of a project.
The main changes for 2015 can be summarised as follows:
The CDM Coordinator role is handed over to the Principal Designer who will have the responsibility to plan, manage and monitor the pre-construction phase, as well as coordinate all matters relating the health and safety during the pre-construction phase. The idea being that from the outset health, safety and welfare is an integral part of the project, and as far as reasonably practicable is manged so as not to cause risk or harm.
The Client is recognised as the head of the supply chain, and as such has considerable influence and importance when setting standards. One of the client’s main duties is to appoint appropriate duty holders, including the Principal Designer where more than one trade contractor is working on the site at any one time, plus submitting notification to the HSE via the F10 Form.
Principal Designer and Principal Contractor. Both to be appointed by the Client. These roles will apply on all projects where there is more than one contractor working on site, including domestic projects.
Construction Phase Plan. (Formerly in the original 1994 regulations, it was known as the Health and Safety Plan). Construction Phase Plans are required for all works – and for projects with more than one contractor, this duty falls to the Principal Contractor. Where the project only involves one contractor then the duty to produce the CPP falls to that contractor. Additionally, for projects that involve more than one contractor, the Principal Designer must produce a Health and Safety File on completion, and the Client has a duty to ensure this is produced.
Domestic Clients (or domestic projects) still fall under the same regulations but proportionally. Typically, the client duties are transferred to the contractor where only a single contractor exists on site, or to the Principal Designer where more than one contractor will be present. It is possible however that the Client can assume his duties, providing there is a written agreement between all parties.
F10 Notifications. If you are involved in construction, you will have seen or heard of the F10 Form. The F10 form is the official way of notifying the HSE of your project, plus the relevant details and responsible parties involved. The main changes to the F10 for 2015 are now that it will only be required for submission if the project lasts 30 days or more, and there are 20 people or more on site at any one time. Or if the projects exceeds 500 person days.
Competent People are now expected to be appointed for all roles. This will apply to all working on site, and they will be expected to be trained (or be in training), and have good provable standards of skill and knowledge in the trade they are applying. Of course there will always be people at different levels of skill and training depending on where they are in their journey. However, those who are new, young or have little experience must be supervised by a person of competence.
Information, Instruction and Training. Following on from competence, those who appoint organisations and individuals to work on their behalf (i.e sub-contractors) have a responsibility to make reasonable inquiries as to their competence and capability in the trade they perform.
For a full understanding of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, the HSE have freely available in depth information on their website, which can be accessed HERE
Training and CPD
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Take a look today and consider upskilling yourself or your workforce.