Health and safety, Safer Sphere

HSE to target construction firms in new health inspections

The HSE has announced this month that Construction firms across Great Britain will be targeted on their health standards by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

These inspections will be the first time the regulator has targeted the industry with a specific focus on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease, looking at the measures businesses have in place to protect their workers’ lungs from the likes of asbestos, silica and wood dust.

Inspectors will be visiting construction businesses and sites across the country throughout October and will specifically be looking for evidence of construction workers knowing the risks, planning their work and using the right controls, and if necessary will use enforcement to ensure people are protected.

HSE’s Peter Baker, chief inspector of construction, said: “Around 100 times as many workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work than are killed in construction accidents. Annually, work-related cancers, mainly linked to asbestos and silica, are estimated to kill 3,500 people from the industry. Thousands of others suffer life-changing illnesses from their work. Not all lung diseases take years to develop. Some, like acute silicosis or occupational asthma, can occur more quickly.

“As a result, we’ve launched this inspection initiative to find out what exactly businesses in the construction industry are doing today to protect their workers’ health, particularly when it comes to exposure to dust and damage to lungs.

“We want construction workers to be aware of the risks associated with the activities they carry out on a daily basis; be conscious of the fact their work may create hazardous dust; and consider how this could affect their health, in some cases irreversibly. We want businesses and their workers to think of the job from start to finish and avoid creating dust or disturbing asbestos by working in different ways. We want to see construction firms encouraging their workers to firstly keep the dust down and wear the right mask and clothing.

“Ultimately, we want construction workers’ lungs to be protected from ill health, so they can go home healthy to their families and enjoy long careers in this important industry.”

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.

Housing, Principal Designer Advisor, CDM Client Advisor

Safer Sphere appointed on new homes development

Safer Sphere has been appointed on the development of 30 new homes set in Ribble Valley known as ’The Warren’ in Hurst Green, Clitheroe. We will be acting as CDM Client Advisor on the Hillcrest Homes development.

The development will provide luxury new homes that complement the highly desirable village setting. The new homes will include 2 bedroom bungalows, 3 bedroom semi-detached homes, 2 and 3 bedroom terraced homes and 4 and 5 bedroom family homes.

 

Angel Meadows, Manchester, CDM

Angel Meadows Archaeological Excavation – Part 5

The Angel Meadows excavation has been underway now for several weeks and the Oxford Archeology team are discovering new and exciting parts of Manchester’s history every day.

The recording of Plot 3 (Mincing St) is now almost complete and only needs the drone survey to finalise works. The Oxford Archeology team have done an exceptional job with the cleaning of the archaeological finds and we have uncovered a few extra bits and pieces of structure among the modern disturbance, so the survival is better than was originally thought.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Ludgate Hill (Plot 5). Progress slowed up there due to logistical constraints associated with removing traces of a 20th Century commercial building that sat in the northwest corner of the site. Progress has now moved forward on the site and the team have discovered that some of the cellaring does remain beneath the direct footprint of this building, but, unfortunately, it appears the continuation of the ‘Back of Old Mount St.’ cobbles were lost to this later development and the remainder of the eastern side of the plot is also largely devoid of archaeology.

The mechanical excavation is due to be completed any day and then the team can assess and record the remains that did survive.

The Angel Meadows excavation project is coming to a close and there has been some exciting find including signage, a pram and several brickwork building remains which tells us a lot about the structures and living conditions in this time.

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 Client Advisor, Principal Designer Advisor Leeds

Safer Sphere appointed on Royds High School works

Safer Sphere has been appointed on upgrades and maintenance projects at Royds High School, a Leeds City Council school. Safer Sphere will be acting as CDM Client Advisor and Principal Designer Advisor supporting Interserve on the project.

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 Client Advisors Worcestor Hospital

Safer Sphere continue work on Worcester Hospital

Safer Sphere is pleased to confirm that we have been appointed on additional works at Worcester Hospital. The latest project involves the removal of 2 steam generators, hotwell and blowdown vessel. A new hotwell, blowdown and 2 new steam boilers will be installed to replace the old ones. Safer Sphere will be acting as CDM Client Advisor on the project supporting Engie.

Best CDM Consultants

Safer Sphere shortlisted for APS Award – CDM Consultant of the year.

Safer Sphere has been shortlisted for the Association of Project Safety (APS) Awards in the ’CDM Consultant of the year’ award category, which is one of the industry’s highest recognition.

This shortlisting comes off the back of the company’s continued growth and project success. The supporting project submission that has helped secure the shortlisting is a huge multi-site Design and Build PRS scheme by Dandara which includes residential units across Salford, Leeds and Birmingham. The project delivery team is made up of big names such as Sir Robert McAlpine, Galliford Try and Interserve and Safer Sphere was appointed as Client CDM Advisor and Principal Designer Advisors on the project.

Mike Forsyth, Managing Director, Safer Sphere said “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award as it highlights the success of our business and our achievements. We are a small team of consultants, but all our consultants are experts in their field as well as construction health and safety. It is down to the efforts and expertise of the team that we continue to support great clients on multiple construction projects up and down the UK. The Dandara PRS scheme has been a fantastic scheme to work on and we have also recently been appointed on the Sweet Street and Chapel Wharf fit-outs which means we will be seeing the project through from concept to completion.”