Tag - CDM Services Liverpool

St Helens, Pride of St Helens, Awards, Health and Safety, CDM

Safer Sphere named finalist in the Pride of St Helens Business Awards

Safer Sphere is delighted to reveal that we have made the final of the Pride of St Helens Business Awards in the tough category of Small Business of the Year. This comes fresh off the back of the company’s win at the National Association for Project Safety (APS) awards where the business was crowned CDM Consultant of the year.

The Pride of St Helens Business Awards are a celebration of local businesses and what theses business bring to the town.

Mike Forsyth, Managing Director, Safer Sphere said “We are delighted to have made the final of the Pride of St Helens Business Awards and as a St Helens based growing company, we feel it really highlights the positive impact all the businesses in the final are making to the local economy. All our team are either from St Helens or the local area and this recognition of the business is down to them and hard work they put in.”

The awards take place on Thursday 15th November at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Safer Sphere, APS Awards, CDM, Manchester

Safer Sphere named CDM Consultant of the Year at National Awards

Construction (Design and Management) specialist, Safer Sphere has won ’CDM Consultant of the Year’ at the National Association of Project Safety (APS) Awards, which recognises excellence in construction health and safety risk management.

The North West based CDM consultancy beat off strong competition from some of the biggest names in the CDM industry to take home the crown at the 2018 APS Awards held in Manchester.

Safer Sphere won the prestigious award based on the CDM services provided to the multi-site Design and Build PRS scheme by Dandara, which sees the development of residential units across Salford, Leeds, and Birmingham. The project delivery is made up of big names such as Sir Robert McAlpine, Galliford Try, and Interserve; Safer Sphere was appointed as Client CDM Advisor and Principal Designer Advisors on the project.

On receiving the award, Mike Forsyth, Managing Director at Safer Sphere said:

We are delighted to have won CDM Consultant of Year at the national APS awards as this is one of the highest accolades we can receive for our business. To make it into the final of these leading industry awards is an achievement but to win just highlights the amazing success for Safer Sphere and its accomplishments. This award is solely down to the efforts and expertise of the team as well as the great support of our clients. The Dandara PRS scheme has been a fantastic scheme to work on and we will continue to work on the scheme having been appointed on the Sweet Street and Chapel Wharf fit-outs, which means we will be seeing the project through from concept to completion. Safer Sphere has one the best CDM delivery teams in the industry and this award is testament to this, I couldn’t be more proud.

Principal Designer Advisor Liverpool, Edward Pavillion

Safer Sphere appointed on Grade 1 listed Edward Pavilion

We are pleased to be working on the fit-out of the Grade 1 listed Edward Pavilion in Liverpool with Ardmac on behalf of CastleForge Partners. We will be acting as Principal Designer Advisor to Ardmac on the project which will see work carried out across 4 Floors of the building.

Safer Sphere appointed of Schools project just in time for half term

We are pleased to have been appointed on a remedial works project for various schools across Liverpool and Knowsley. We will be acting as Principal Designer Advisor to Engie on the project as well as providing a CDM Training support to the Engie team.

CDM Contractor Duties Advice

Further Duties For The Contractor To Comply With CDM15 Regulations

In previous articles we have considered the duty of the Contractor under CDM15 and the role of the Contractor; the duty to manage the work safely, how a Contractor may check the competency of workers on the project team, safety with tools, equipment and materials and any information and instruction that is passed to the contractor from the Pre-Construction Phase or during the Construction Phase of the project.

It must be remembered that the flow of information will be two way and the Contractor must keep the Construction Phase Plan up to date and expect that the Principal Contractor manage the Plan similarly.

Here we are going to delve deeper into the requirements for consultation and co-operation with other duty holders.

How Contractors can consult with Employees

There must be collaboration between Contractors as employer and the workers that are on task to get individuals to work safely. Involving workers in the decision making process with regards health and safety tends to lead to practical solutions, practical solutions that increase the potential commitment and buy in from workers to any Health and Safety topics.

Practical solutions are more easily fostered by the workforce, practical solutions generally come from speaking to workers about their experience and knowledge about a task or job. When experienced workers are consulted on matters of health and safety, it will be easier to spot workplace hazards and to implement realistic controls that will not be seen as a burden or barrier to completing a task to programme.

Consultation is a proven means of managing Health and Safety on construction projects. Consultation is not only about employers giving information to workers that is part of the Construction Phase Plan, but also requires the Contractor as an employer to listen to workers and consider their experience in the field and previous issues that they have come up against in similar situations.

Consultation with the work force should cover the hazards associated from their own work and the work of others working on the project as well as those environmental risks that modern construction techniques may harbour, the way these risks are managed and how information and training to protect workers from relevant risks should be discussed at length.

Preparing the Construction Phase Plan

Preparing the Construction Phase Plan is the responsibility of the Principal Contractor where more than one Contractor is present on site. In situations where there is only one Contractor, the Construction Phase Plan cannot be left up to another contractor as there is essentially no one to pass this duty to.

A Construction Phase Plan describes how health and safety will be managed during construction and will contain information that is relevant to all Contractors working on the project. The Construction Phase Plan should be available to anyone who wants to see it and therefore the information contained in it should be clear and easily understood with all superfluous information removed. Issues such as logistics, working at height, hazardous substances, demolition and groundworks should all be considered and included in the Construction Phase Plan if the works include it.

Before any site is set up or work begins in the Construction Phase, the Plan should be developed. While it is the duty of the [Principal] Contractor to develop the Construction Phase Plan, it is the responsibility of the Client to ensure that the Construction Phase Plan is in place before the work begins.

 

Providing Welfare Facilities

Welfare includes the provision of toilets, both lit and ventilated and suitable for both sexes. With more and more female staff working on Construction sites, male and female toilets are thankfully becoming more common, but are open to abuse if not managed correctly. Washing facilities with hot and cold water, soap or skin detergent with a means of drying hands should be close to the toilet facility. Separately, but just as important are rest facilities, a room with tables and chairs with drinking water and cups is a bare minimum.

Where workers will need to change clothes or dry their workwear, a separate changing/drying room with lockers should be provided. It should be noted that while the lockers should be provided by the [Principal] Contractor, it is commonly the responsibility of the Contractor to supply their own key and lock.

The supply of Welfare Facilities is part of CDM15. Where one Contractor is charged with a Construction Project, the Welfare Facilities should be suitable and sufficient for the size of the project and should be available from when construction starts until the end of the project. Were more than one contractor is working on a project, it is the Principal Contractor who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that welfare facilities are provided.

It is the Clients responsibility to ensure that suitable arrangements are provided for workers welfare by the Principal Contractor.

Providing a Site Induction

Suitable site inductions should be provided by the [Principal] Contractor, this may be in groups or given to individuals as they start work. Where there is only one Contractor on site, Site Inductions are still a necessary part of the Construction Phase and should cover all the health and safety risks associated with the site. While each Site Induction will differ from project to project, typical topics that should be covered may be:

  1. The Commitment to Health and Safety by the Contractor
  2. Basic details of the project and the anticipated outcome
  3. What is the management structure on the site – who are the relevant contacts within the organisation
  4. What are site specific health and safety risks (overhead electricity, trees on site, watercourses nearly, railways etc)
  5. How will health and safety on site be controlled via site rule, how will pedestrians and vehicles be segregated, what is the minimum PPE standard, how will deliveries to site be managed, how will temporary electricity be provided, how will hazardous substances be stored)
  6. What are the procedures for accidents and who is responsible for first aid
  7. How are accidents on site recorded and how will RIDDOR events be reported to HSE
  8. When and what will be the subjects of training, toolbox task and task briefings.
  9. How will the workforce be consulted with
  10. What is each individual’s responsibility for health and safety while on site.

Safer Sphere appreciates that the CDM Regulations 2015 and Health and Safety Legislation can be a burden to small and medium-sized contractors. Such organisations rarely have the resource to employ internal Health and Safety professionals, meaning the burden is applied to those managing the organisation or supervising construction activities.

Our aim in this department is to reduce that burden by providing compliant Contractor CDM Support, which enables contractors to make Health and Safety a simple process and gives them the ability to concentrate their efforts in providing quality and cost-effective solutions in their chosen field. Whether you are a “contractor” or acting as “Principal Contractor”, Safer Sphere are here to help you!

CDM Liverpool

Safer Sphere launch new Princes Dock Office

Safer Sphere was pleased to host a joint office launch with Walker Sime and Planit-ie for our new Princes Dock office in Liverpool. The launch received an amazing turnout and amazing feedback and it was great to see so many new and familiar faces.  The champagne reception saw some of the UK’s leading construction industry specialists in attendance alongside all the main Directors from all 3 companies.

The event which was held on the 14th June included speeches from Derek Walker (Walker Sime), Rob Burns (Planit-ie) and Mark Kitts (Liverpool Council).

Safer Spheres decision to take space in the 3,519 sq ft first floor office alongside Walker Sime and Planit-ie, came off the back of the multiple projects and clients that are based in the area and shows the businesses on-going commitment to the city.

Safer Sphere now join other prestigious businesses on the Liverpool Waterfront including KPMG, Malmaison, Saville’s and Bibby to name just a few. The Liverpool office will act as an additional office and presence in the heart of Liverpool, and Safer Sphere’s head office will remain in St Helens.

Principal Contractor And Employees

What do you need to know about your employees as a Principal Contractor?

A Principal Contractor will need to appoint contractors and workers from different trades and at various stages of the construction process. It is their responsibility to ensure that all contractors and workers on the site have the necessary skills, knowledge, training and experience for the work they are carrying out.

Some contractors/workers will be very experienced in the job they do while others will be new to the profession. Additional information, instruction, training and supervision will be needed to support those who are still developing their experience to become self-sufficient in safe and healthy construction practices.

When a Principal Contractor employs or controls people doing work for them, under the CDM15 Regulations, they must make sure that:

  • they have the necessary skills, knowledge, training and experience to do the job safely and without putting their own or others’ health and safety at risk;
  • they are supervised and given clear instructions;
  • they have the right tools, equipment, plant, materials and protective clothing;
  • they and their representatives are made aware of health and safety issues;
  • arrangements for employees’ health surveillance are made where required.

Who is classed as an employee?

If a person working under the control and direction of a Principal Contractor is treated as self-employed for tax and national insurance purposes, they are still classed as an employee for health and safety purposes. Whether they are employed or self-employed, action needs to be taken to protect all people under their control.

It is common practice for Principal Contractors to appoint contractors, subcontractors and different trades to work on a construction project. When this is done it is essential that they:

  • check their health and safety capabilities;
  • give them the health and safety information they need for the work;
  • talk about the work with them before they start;
  • ensure that everything is provided and agreed before they start (for example safe scaffolds, plant and access to welfare facilities);
  • monitor their performance and remedy any shortcomings.

How is a contractor’s competence determined?

It is important that Principal Contractors make specific enquires about the basic health and safety capabilities of anyone that they are going to employ on a job.

Smaller Projects

On a smaller project, it would be appropriate to ask for evidence from any potential contractor that they are capable of carrying out the work. This could be done by simply asking if they have done this type of work before, requiring references from previous construction work, checking qualifications or training records or by asking them how they plan to carry out the work safely without risk to the health and safety of themselves or others.

Larger Projects

On more complicated or higher risk projects, it is necessary to make more in-depth enquiries. These enquiries can be achieved by using a Construction Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ), more commonly referred to as PAS 91. It comprises of a set of health and safety questions that can be asked as part of the pre-qualification process for construction projects to assess the construction supply chain.

Accurately accessing the competence of any potential contractor is essential. However, it is preferable to only make enquiries for information that will address the anticipated risks and capability of the supplier. If the pre-qualification questions are excessive or duplicated, it can take the attention away from the practical management of risks.

 

Management and Supervision

Once the competency of the contractor has been established, appropriate management and supervision throughout the project must be decided and agreed.

Those managing and supervising the work must have the right mix of skills, knowledge, training and experience. There must be an adequate number of supervisors to reflect the size of the project and workforce. The appointed supervisor working on the site will not only need to be familiar with the type of work planned but will also have to provide the level of supervision required to reflect the level of risk associated with the work. The degree of supervision required will be determined by the level of supervision provided by the contractors themselves. Other additional factors to be aware of is the skill level, knowledge, training and experience of the contractor.

 

Why is it important to engage with Contractors and Workers?

Consultation with all levels of the workforce is crucial to successfully manage health and safety on site. Key information on health and safety risks, including relevant parts of the construction phase plan, need to be shared with contractors. These vital pieces of information should be communicated to workers through induction and worker engagement. The process should be two-way, giving both parties, (or their safety representatives) an opportunity to contribute to decision making.

Engaging Contractors

On a busy construction site, there may be multiple contractors working in close proximity to each other. The Principal Contractor has a responsibility to ensure safe working, co-ordination and co-operation between contractors; this communication is essential to ensure that all contractors and workers on the project are aware of:

  • what has to be done and what is expected of them,
  • when it will be done,
  • how it will be done safely and without risk to anyone’s

Effective coordination will help reduce any possible risks that could occur by contractors working in close proximity on site. It enables different trades to access shared facilities, e.g. scaffolding, without compromising the safety on site.

This coordination of work can be addressed at site meetings when representatives of all contractors are present, and co-operation should be discussed when a new activity or construction phase begins.

Engaging workers

Health and Safety can be managed in a practical way when collaboration with workers is undertaken; this partnership is important because it:

  • helps with the identification of workplace risks;
  • makes sure health and safety controls are practical;
  • increases the level of commitment to working in safe and healthy environment.

Workplaces, where the workers are all involved in helping to make decisions about health and safety, tend to have less incidents. Workers must be consulted, in good time, on health and safety matters and it doesn’t matter whether the workplace is unionised or not. In workplaces where a trade union is recognised, this will be carried out through trade union health and safety representatives. In non-unionised workplaces, consultation can either be direct or through other elected representatives. Consultation involves employers not only providing the relevant information to workers but also listening to them and taking into account what they say before making decisions that affect their health and safety.

Issues that workers should be consulted on include:

  • risks arising from their work;
  • risks from others or the environment they are working in;
  • proposals to manage and/or control these risks;
  • the best ways of providing information and training.

Effective communication and consultation at all levels will help to improve the overall health and safety of everyone working in construction.

 

 

BIM and CDM15

The Future Of CDM And BIM

What Is BIM?

BIM or Building Information Modelling is the name given to a process of creating a detailed digital model of a build asset. From design through to construction and even hand over, a detailed collaborative model of a building can be created and accessed by anyone involved with the design, construction and maintenance of the project.

Think of a building information model in terms of a 3D digital model that not only gives a detailed visual of the building but also contains dimensions, materials used, service and maintenance instructions, material life spans, load bearings, safe working information and more.

Why Do We Need BIM?

Over 2 million people work in the UK construction industry, a figure that represents around 7% of the national workforce. Despite this, the construction industry accounts for around 25% of fatalities in the workplace and a statistically higher number of occupational diseases than any other industry. It’s thought that effective BIM implementation can help reduce these figures.

In addition, if BIM is implemented effectively during the design stages then it will enable CDM duty holders to identify risks in advance and therefore reduce costs considerably. After all, accidents and last minute changes are expensive.

The Future Of CDM And BIM

Identifying risk is the key element of CDM15. If the design stage can utilise digital modelling then many more risks can be identified. From clash detections on electrical cable and pipe runs to the movement of raw materials across the site during the different construction phases.

As BIM software becomes more developed, it’s entirely possible that the entire construction process can be run in virtual reality to detect any conflict with access platforms, cranes, and other construction equipment and processes. A timeline can then be decided to deliver maximum value, minimum construction time and fewer H&S risks.

BIM systems can aid Architects by automatically checking against current health and safety legislation on such things as where safety glass is needed, what the minimum headroom on a stairwell is and so on.

Building Information Modelling isn’t new. In fact as early as 2011, the UK Government published it’s Construction Strategy, the prime aim of which was to reduce the cost of public sector assets by 20%, one of the means of achieving this was to enable all the supply chain to collaborate in a 3D BIM on all government-funded projects by 2016.

The construction division of the HSE is committed to researching how BIM can improve health and safety across projects of all sizes. In addition, the BSI has published a specification (PAS 1192-6:2018)for collaborative sharing and use of structured Health & Safety information using BIM.

How Important is BIM?

You may, depending on your age, remember people asking the same question about word processors, computers, and the internet. BIM is in its early stages in the UK but is being used extensively around the world. Standards are still being designed and the coming months and years will see industry standard single BIM systems that are capable of delivering slick digital records to the client at the end of a project.

CAD drawings, PDFs and multiple digital files will be as outdated as floppy disks in a just a few years.

Building Information Modelling is here to stay, but unlike other technologies, if implemented correctly it will reward the construction industry with fewer health and safety incidents, higher profits and lower costs.

CDM Advisors Liverpool

Safer Sphere expands to Liverpool Docks

We are pleased to announce that Safer Sphere is expanding and has signed up to a brand new office at Princes Dock in Liverpool. The move comes off the back of the multiple projects and clients that are based in the area and shows the businesses on-going commitment to the city.

The new office will be open from May, and Safer Sphere will share the 3,519 sq ft first floor at 8 Princes Dock with Walker Sime and Planit-ie. The Princess Dock office is a modern five-storey Grade ‘A’ office building complete with a newly remodelled and refurbished double height entrance and reception area, located on the Liverpool Waterfront.

Mike Forsyth, Managing Director, Safer Sphere said “Liverpool has proved itself a real success story as a city, and there is a hive of development in the city. It is important for us to be able to deliver our services to a high standard and as such having a local presence in the area will play a key part in that. The new office along with our ongoing investment in our services and team will allow us to continue with our growth plans. We hope to continue working closely with our Liverpool clients as well and building new relationships with local businesses.”

Safer Sphere will join other prestigious businesses on the Liverpool Waterfront including KPMG, Malmaison, Saville’s and Bibby to name just a few. The Liverpool office will act as an additional office and presence in the heart of Liverpool, and Safer Sphere’s head office will remain in St Helens.

CDM Legal Actions

The legal implications of ignoring the CDM15 Regulations

Has anyone been prosecuted in Construction since CDM15 was introduced?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have analysed information relating to potential breaches in Health and Safety Regulations on construction projects. The HSE act as the police service for all of the industry and provide enforcement notice data (prohibition and improvement notices) on their website. This information is available for all stakeholders to view and remains accessible.

Contractors must be aware that HSE Inspectors can attend site whether invited or uninvited. There may be a planned blitz on specific issues, for example, the HSE in Liverpool have recently carried out planned spot checks on several refurbishment projects in educational facility sector. Inspectors can also carry out unannounced inspections following concerns raised by site workers or members of the public.

Who has responsibilities under Health and Safety Regulations?

Health and Safety law places duties on employers and workers to consider their own safety and that of others. The principal law is the ‘Health and Safety at Work Act 1974’, with The Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM15) relating directly to the Act. Clients, Principal Designers, Principal Contractors, Designers and the Self Employed each have responsibilities as duty holders for Health and Safety, some overlap, while others are specific to a particular group. The regulations work with strong direction and guidance and come in various forms including:

  • Approved Codes of Practice;
  • HSE Website;
  • Various Trade Organisations and;
  • Competent Advice.

Any individual or organisation that wishes to remain compliant with the law and avoid punitive measures and sanctions should use these resources.

If an organisation does not comply with CDM, or an individual within that organisation is identified as wilfully breaching any regulation, such parties should expect to be investigated and if the case is strong enough, will be prosecuted.

New sentencing guidelines introduced on 1st February 2016 introduced higher fines and prison sentences for anyone breaches the CDM regulations. These penalties can range from fines of up to ten million pounds or even imprisonment for up to two years for more serious breaches.

While some might argue that regulation alone is not the answer to the problem of Construction Health, Safety and Welfare, Health and Safety law continues to reinforce all we do in construction. The law is the law, and duty holders will be judged upon whether they have interpreted their role and carried out their responsibilities correctly. Regulations can be complex, and construction companies and design practices can put heavy resources into interpreting the requirements of the law correctly, but without competent guidance, this could be wasted time and money no matter how well-intentioned.

Who will be prosecuted?

It is no secret that while the HSE carry out inspections for breaches of the CDM regulations across all project sizes and companies, it is the larger sites that most attention is being paid to and inspected. Larger construction sites mean more tiers of supply chain with a pyramid of potential breaches and perpetrators. In an age where funding to the HSE is at a relative low and ‘Fee for Intervention’ (FFI) costs make up the deficit, some cynics may say that to ensure the HSE’s survival in its present form they should follow the money. The truth of the matter is SME’s, and sole traders can also be targeted at any time.

It is a fact that the larger the project, the greater the numbers of people employed and consequently more people could be harmed if poor controls on site are in place. These larger employers are punishable by very large fines under the current sentencing guidelines. Large fines will make headlines in trade press and if the company is large enough, national media outlets. This public shaming could act as a deterrent to smaller companies, but that said, there is still an element of the construction industry that will say “that will never happen to us”. Filtering through the lists of Enforcement Notices shows that is not necessarily the case with SME’s and Sole Traders being named as the recipient of the notice. Even when fines are scaled down to reflect the turnover of a business, fines for serious breaches could easily liquidate an otherwise thriving business.

A recent search of the HSE’s List of Enforcement Notices found that there were 3306 notices served under CDM15. 2335 of these were improvement notices, the rest being prohibition notices. Lack of Principal Contractor, insufficient Welfare arrangements, and omission of a Construction Phase Plan are typical reasons for serving improvement notices. The majority of prohibition notices were for potential breaches of the Working at Height Regulations.

It might be the case that the operative on site is identified as carrying out an illegal action thereby putting themselves or others at risk. If an investigation is carried out, the inspectors will always work up the hierarchy of command to establish who is responsible for that operative.

So, even if the breach was a willful deviation by an individual, the company (or in the case of a larger supply chain companies) will all have their day in court if a serious breach resulting in death or serious injury occurs.

Yes, the individual may have taken on a risk knowing the dangers, but the organisation will be required to explain how competency is measured and whether the vetting was robust enough.

A self-employed contractor, a white van man for example, before to the changes seen in CDM15, had never previously been expected to produce a Construction Phase Plan. They are unlikely to have the HSE’s web page bookmarked to keep up with changes in legislation, so it is the responsibility of those higher up the supply chain to ensure that these smaller working groups are involved in the cultural change.

The whole project team should buy into Health and Safety as an essential part of their business model. CDM can be very difficult to understand to the average worker on site if it is not presented in a format that all workers, at all levels of responsibility and ability, can understand. Several methods can be employed to get workers to adopt CDM without having to understand every part of the CDM Regulations. Strong management, enthusiastic supervision and regular refresher training will all contribute to a safer and healthier construction environment.