Tag - CDM Regulations

Occupational Health and CDM15

Occupational Health in the Construction Industry

The construction industry can be viewed as a high-risk industry. Although only 7% of employed people work in this sector, last year it was estimated that there were 82,000 work-related ill-health cases in the construction industry, 62% was musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’S) and 25% were stress, anxiety or depression related (HSE 2017/2018 statistics).

Those who work in construction are also more likely to face long term health issues and each year, around 3,000 workers in construction suffer from breathing and lung problems they believe

were caused or made worse by their work in construction.

 

Smaller Construction Sites

In April 2015 the CDM regulations were updated with a key objective to improve worker protection and improve health and safety standards on smaller construction sites and domestic projects were statistically most injuries, illness and fatalities occur.

For health and safety practitioners in construction, it is important to make sure that information about hazards, risks and risk mitigation measures is clearly conveyed taking into account the audience and making sure that key information is not obscured.  For example, highlighting hazards on layout plans.

When advising clients, designers and contractors, the approach must be proportionate otherwise advice is likely to be missed or ignored.

The focus should be on identifying, designing out and managing issues (especially relating to health) that are not likely to be obvious, are unusual or difficult to manage effectively.  This is especially true on smaller projects where there is likely to be less awareness of health issues in general.

 

Ill Health

Occupational health is a very important issue for those who work in construction and the sector as a whole. Last year there were 51,000 work-related musculoskeletal injuries and 3,000 who suffer from breathing and lung issue.

Health and safety consultants have an important role to play in raising awareness of less obvious health issues to consider.  Long-term ill health issues are often overlooked with the focus on more immediate safety issues. Greater focus is required from the outset of projects to consider health issues in the design and planning stages of projects.

The HSE has rolled out numerous initiatives to combat illness in the workplace including their #Workright and #Dustbuster campaigns. These initiatives help to raise awareness of the issues and highlight the importance of considering and avoiding work-related ill-health including lung disease, MSDs and stress.

 

Disease in the Construction Industry

One of the biggest causes of disease in the industry is exposure to dust. ‘Dust’ includes wood dust, crystalline silica and other components. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) cover activities which may expose workers to construction dust.

There are three key things you need to do:

  • Assess (the risks)
  • Control (the risks)
  • Review (the controls).

The products, activities and risks associated with dust must be tackled at all levels of a project.

Designers should specify products and processes to minimise the requirement for on-site cutting, scabbling and other activities that will generate dust on site.  Can services be surface mounted rather than cutting channels? Can regular-shaped paving be used to reduce the need for cutting on-site?

Those who manufacture and supply tools and materials have a key role in making changes to the industry too. For example building in dust extract and damping into equipment likely to generate dust.

There is industry-wide recognition of the risks of asbestos with specific legislation being put in place to ban and manage asbestos.  Similar risks are posed by silica dust e.g. from cutting block paving but are less widely known.

 

Mental Health in the Construction Industry

It is not just physical health issues that are affecting people who work in construction but mental health plays a massive part in health and safety. Last year there was an estimated 14,000 work-related cases of stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) which equates to one-sixth of all ill health in the construction industry.

Suicide is still the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 and as the construction industry is predominantly male then there is a high-risk factor of stress and depression. The industry is well known for being highly stressful with risk to injury, long hours, often working away from home and of course, job security being some of the main pressure points.

It is known that certain job types come attached to stigma and unfortunately, this has led to construction workers, again predominately men not being able to talk about how they are feeling and bottling it up due them not wanting to appear weak.

There is a lot of work still to do in the industry to try and cut through this stigma and encourage workers to talk. When putting together an occupational health strategy, wellbeing should also be taken into account, especially when it comes to mental health. As an employer good communication with the workforce on health, safety and wellbeing is key and there are things that can be done to help alleviate stress in the workplace such as regular breaks and support from colleagues and management. Encouraging workers to talk about potential problems before they become a wider issue should be widely encouraged too, for example, if there is a staff shortage causing a worker to work longer hours, which in turn is causing tiredness and stress then this should be discussed and the worker should feel comfortable addressing this with the employers support.

For support and guidance on putting together an occupational health policy for your business then get in touch with us today.

Have a question?

If you would like to speak to us about any of our CDM services, then our team would be happy to help.

Tower Works, PRS Scheme Leeds, CDM Advisor, Principal Designer, CDM

Safer Sphere appointed on Tower Works Scheme

Safer Sphere is delighted to reveal that we have been appointed on the new Tower Works PRS scheme in Leeds. This new build project will see the construction of 245 apartments set within the distinctive waterside development. One major aim of the project is to combine the iconic buildings of the area with the new neighbourhood to offer ‘landmark living’. Safer Sphere is acting as CDM Client Advisors to Ask Real Estate on the development which starts on site next month.

Allan Briscoe, APS Awards, CDM, Principal Designer Advisor, Member of the year

Allan Briscoe shorlisted for APS award

Safer Sphere is delighted to announce that our very own Allan Briscoe has been shortlisted for the Association for Project Safety ‘Member of the Year’ award at this year’s National APS awards. We couldn’t be prouder of Allan for getting to the final, and we will be a keeping our fingers crossed for the awards next month. Well done Allan!

CDM Advisor, Principal Designer Advisor, Health and Safet, ITV Lowry Outlet

Safer Sphere appointed on ITV leisure scheme

Safer Sphere is delighted to reveal that we are working on the new ITV leisure attraction at the Lowry Outlet. The attraction will be the first of its kind and is due to be completed next year.

The strategic partnership with ITV is part of a wider masterplan and £26m regeneration of the Lowry into a leading leisure and retail destination that will also see the opening of a new waterside dining concept in 2020.

Safer Sphere is supporting the project in the roles of CDM Client Advisor to Peel Land and Property throughout the project and Principal Designer Advisors to Artez Ltd through RIBA stages 1 – 4.

 

Capitol House, Dandara, London CDM, CDM 2015

Safer Sphere appointed on Capitol House development

Safer Sphere is pleased to reveal that we have been appointed on the Capitol House project in London. The development will see the current site transformed into a six-storey building with 84 new residential apartments. Safer Sphere is supporting Dandara on the project in the roles of CDM Client Advisor through RIBA stages 5 – 6. The redevelopment will also deliver basement car parking spaces and cycle spaces alongside private and communal amenity space. Additionally, the development will include associated works to the existing highway and new site access roads, ramps and paths and infrastructure works.

 

Blackburn Hospital, CDM, Principal Designer, Health and Safety

Safer Sphere appointed on Blackburn Hospital refurb

Safer Sphere is pleased to confirm our appointment on a new refurbishment project at Blackburn Hospital. The works will include road resurfacing on the car park, the refurbishment of ward B20, the refurbishment of the A&E resus and 4 new lift replacements. We are appointed in the role of Principal Designer Advisor to ENGIE.

City Residence, Liverpool Apartments, CDM, Principal Designer, safety Liverpool

Safer Sphere appointed on City Residence Phase 2

Safer Sphere delighted to have been appointed on the new City Residence Phase 2 project which will see the development of 80 residential apartments on Heriot Street in Liverpool. The development follows the award-winning first phase which won ‘Best Small New Home Development’ last year. Safer Sphere will be supporting Evolve Project Consultancy  and Newregen Ltd in the roles of Principal Designer and CDM Client Advisor.

Free CDM Training, London CDM, Free Training

Safer Sphere hosts free CDM Seminar in London

Safer Sphere is pleased to announce that we are hosting a free CDM Overview training seminar to delegates who would benefit from gaining a better understanding of regulations and their duties. You will receive a 2-hour Continual Professional Development training session along with an attendance certificate and supporting guidance packs.

Whether you are a Designer, Architect, Contractor, Principal Designer or the project client, let us help make discharging your duties easier to understand.

The event will take place on the 2nd September at the Grange Wellington Hotel in Westminster.

To reserve your space on the event, please click here.

 

CDM Manchester, Principal Designer Advisor, MMU Student Hub

Safer Sphere appointed on MMU Student Hub

Safer Sphere is pleased to see the works start on a series of Manchester Metropolitan University Student Hubs which will transform the student support services. We are delighted to be supporting 5Plus Architects on this project in the role of Principal Designer Advisor.

Welding Health & Safety

Welding Fumes, LEV and Suitable RPE

If you are looking for advice about welding fumes and the suitable PPE to wear it can be difficult to offer advice for every time someone welds something. The advice that you will find below will help you understand which steps you should take so the work environment is safe for your employees.

Ventilation Considerations

Do you need to ensure your workers are using a filtering face mask and that they have additional ventilation along with fume extraction? If you offer any or all of these options it’s vital that you ensure they are used correctly.

  • When local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is used correctly the quality of the welds are not affected. You may need to provide all of your welders with the correct type of respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
  • If your welders are undertaking short jobs FFP3 masks offer a good amount of protection and they tend to be quite cheap. Please note that you will have to purchase different sized dust masks as the same mask will not fit everyone.
  • Powered filtering welding visors can be used when your welders are working for more than 2 hours. Additionally, they can also be used when it’s not viable to use extraction.

Eye and Face Protection

Your team should wear a helmet that comes with a filter lens and a cover plate. Hand shields need to protect the neck and face, forehead and ears. Approved safety glasses that come with side shields or goggles should be worn under the helmet.

Safety shields or goggles should provide protection from slag chips, flying metal and other hazards.

Head and Ear Protection

A fire-resistant welder’s cap or another form of head covering needs to be worn by your workers. This will protect their head and hair from radiation, splatter, flying sparks and burns.

When working over head or out of position ear muffs or plugs should be provided. If there is loud noise then approved muffs or ear plugs should be provided.

Body Protection

Clothes that are oil-free and that allow freedom of movement should be worn. Long sleeved shirts and buttoned cuffs will help to protect the arms and neck from radiation.

Foot Protection

Steel toe, leather, high-topped boots that are in good condition need to be worn. If your welders are working in slag or heavy spark areas leather spats should be strapped around their legs and the tops of boots to prevent burns and injury.

Hand Protection

Welding gloves that are dry and free from holes should be provided. The gloves should be flame-resistant and provide general hand protection.

Minimising Fumes

One of the first steps you need to take is to determine if the job can be altered so that there is less welding, cutting and gouging involved. Excessive currents and long-duty cycles can produce a lot more fumes along with affecting the quality of the weld. Are your team using the optimum settings? You should also determine if you can use a welding technique that creates fewer fumes. Can you use TIG (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) instead as it produces a smaller amount of fumes?

Shielding Gas

Has your shielding gas been optimised? Doing so could result in the lowest emission of fumes. You should also bear in mind that the best gas for the work that your welders do may not be the cheapest. If you’re worried about the cost please note that the cost of the gases can be offset by the savings you have in terms of labour costs thanks to an increased speed in production.

Removing Surface Platings

Check to see if you’re able to remove surface platings, paint, dirt and oil. These substances typically increase the fumes and could on occasion may them toxic. Please note that hot work on chromate or lead paints and cadmium plating is very hazardous.

Changing The Environment

Can you change the environment so the welder does not have to breathe in the fume cloud?

Can you:

  • Give them more space to work?
  • Provide turntables and other pieces of equipment so the workpiece can be manipulated?
  • Plan the welding sequence differently?

If your welders can work with their head out of the rising fumes they will breathe less in. Fewer fumes equals a lot less risk.

Fume Control System

It’s crucial that you ensure the fume control systems are all working correctly. You need to:

  • Carry out maintenance on your non-disposable RPE and your fume-extraction equipment.
  • Check that you have no common faults such as faulty valves, blocked filters, or crushed or split ductwork.
  • Ensure that your fume extraction systems are examined thoroughly by a competent individual at least every 12 to 14 months. Please note this is a legal requirement.

You need to check that any non-disposable welding visors or filtering masks are in good condition. While there is no specific time period set for these checks you should set a schedule.

Take into account the recommendations set by the manufacturers, where the respirator is used and how much they are used. Checks every 4 weeks is normal practice. However, respirators used a lot less often need to be checked every 3 months.

Have a question?

If you would like to speak to us about any of our CDM services, then our team would be happy to help.