February 17, 2023

Help with CDM, what you need to know about the CDM Regulations 2015

CDM: sensibly plan the work so the risks involved are managed from start to finish.
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What is CDM?

CDM aims to improve health and safety in the industry by helping you to: sensibly plan the work so the risks involved are managed from start to finish.

Construction can be very dangerous – every year people are killed or injured on building sites. The Number of fatal injuries to workers inGreat Britain in 2021/22 was 30. 1.8 million workers also suffered from work-related ill health (new or longstanding) in 2021/22.

The History Of The CDM Regulations

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015came into force in Great Britain on 6 April 2015, to ensure the safety and welfare of all people involved in construction projects.

The latest changes to the CDM in construction were in 2015, so the regulations we know and adhere to now are known as the CDM Regulations 2015.

Do CDM Regulations apply to all projects?

CDM 2015 applies to all construction work including domestic projects.

Do CDM Regulations apply to maintenance works?

Construction work is classed as construction, alterations, repair or demolition. Redecoration, repairs, upkeep, and other maintenance jobs are also classed as construction work. Clearing the site, excavating for services, all the things you might do to prepare a site ready to build are also included. Laying pipework, earthworks and scaffolding, enabling works or the assembly of any elements to form a structure of any kind is also classed as construction work.

Removal of a structure and also the removal of any waste from the demolition of a structure falls under the definition of construction work. The installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer or similar services which are normally fixed within or to a structure are also classed as construction works. This means that electricians and plumbers should be well aware of CDM when working a construction site and should expect to apply CDM to their work.

Why are the CDM Regulations Important?

Construction Management of your site (image Source - Gibson Blanc)

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries. Statistics show that every year, tens of thousands of construction workers suffer from work-related ill-health. The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is also three times higher than the all-industry rate.

By adhering to CDM Regulations, construction companies and contractors can ensure that risk is kept to a minimum, and workers and site-visitors are protected from harm.

Who is responsible under CDM?

The CDM Regulations place responsibility for managing the health and safety of a construction project on three main duty holders. The client has overall responsibility for the successful management of the project and is supported by the principal designer and principal contractor indifferent phases of the project.

Complying with these regulations is also a legal requirement. Every construction project must meet the CDM 2015 requirements.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations outline several steps that should be taken to ensure risk is effectively managed throughout construction projects. Health and safety responsibilities and project duties are divided between “duty holders”, which are the ones involved in projects like the clients, designers, contractors and workers.

Client Responsibilities

The client is the individual or organisation for whom the construction project is being carried out. Clients can be either domestic or commercial, depending on whether the construction project is being carried out in connection with a business.

Domestic clients that are having work done on their home or private property often pass their responsibilities on to their principal designer. However, commercial clients will have initiated a construction project for business purposes, and they will have several responsibilities and duties to complete:

Appoint Project Roles — If more than one contractor is working on the project, the client will need to appoint principal designers and principal contractors. This needs to be done in writing, otherwise, the client will remain legally responsible for the principal contractor and principal designer duties.

Prepare a Client Brief — Before the project begins, clients should prepare a brief that outlines the reason for the construction work, what the client is envisioning from the completed project, expectations of how the project will be carried out and expected health and safety standards. This is used to communicate the expected standards and project requirements to the project team.

Allow Sufficient Time and Resources — Clients are required to allow contractors sufficient time and resources to complete the project safely.

Provide Pre-Construction Information — Clients need to provide (or seek to obtain) all possible information about the construction site or building on which the project will be completed. Information about boundaries and access, existing structures, site security or health hazards are all examples of pre-construction information that contractors may need to complete the project.

Notify the HSE — The Health and Safety Executive needs to be notified of any construction projects that exceed 500 person-days, or last longer than thirty working days and have more than twenty people working at the same time at any point. Notifying the HSE is the responsibility of the client.

Principal Designer Responsibilities

The principal designer is anyone who has a responsibility in the pre-construction phase of a project and will have vast knowledge of construction. Often, this role can be fulfilled by an architect. The Principal Designer is responsible for health and safety of a project in the pre-construction phase, including the minimisation of risks for the building end users, they will need to retain a Design Risk Register and will be responsible for finalising the Health and Safety File at the end of the project.

Principal Contractor Responsibilities

The Principal Contractor is responsible for controlling health and safety risk during the construction phase, this is often established with a Construction Phase Plan and other documents that outline how they plan to manage health and safety until completion. Other key criteria a Principal Contractor is responsible for include maintaining site welfare, communicating with the client and Principal Designer, and managing their contractors. A Principal Contractor can also be a Principal Designer if required by the client.

The above are the two main groups responsible for fulfilling the requirements of the CDM regulations, but all contractors and other designers working on the project must also ensure they are contributing to project and design safety to allow the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor to successfully complete their legal duties.

What is construction phase plan (CPP) for CDM?

Construction management by Summit Environmental (Image source - GIBSON BLANC)

A construction phase plan is a health and safety document required under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. The plan must outline the health and safety arrangements, site rules and specific measures concerning any work involving the risks listed in Schedule 3 of the CDM 2015 Regulations.

All construction projects require a Construction Phase Plan(CPP) before work begins. This is a crucially important document for managing and planning the project safely. Planning the construction phase and drawing up a CPP construction phase plan is the responsibility of: The principal contractor. Although can be subcontracted out and should be a live document throughout the project. If designs, plans or project arrangements change, the plan should be added to as necessary.

How can Summit Environmental help?

  • Construction Phase Plans
  • Need third party site safety inspections.
  • Tool-box talks
  • Traffic Management Plans
  • Fire Risk assessments
  • Principal Contractor Risk Assessments
  • F10 notification and any extensions

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