Tag - CDM Designer Safety

Competence CDM15

Competency (SKET) are you competent to discharge your duties?

The UK construction sector has a health and safety record that makes it one of the country’s most dangerous industries for workers, with injury and fatality rates that are above average as well as higher than normal rates of illness from work-related causes. Therefore, it is an area of increasing concern for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Competence has been a major part of the strategy used to improve the construction sector’s health and safety record. The term is directly referenced in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM), whose success is largely dependant on ensuring that everyone involved at every stage of a construction project is competent.

However, the HSE’s proposals for a CDM revision has removed the mandatory requirement for individual competence in CDM 2015 and the CDM 2007 requirement for corporate competence. The CD261 consultation on replacement of the CDM regs from 2007 to 2015 has indicated that one of the main reasons for the proposed changes is to lower the difficulty of meeting the CDM 2007 competence requirements. For example, it cites the growth of commercial-based competency programmes and the excessive use of paperwork and other questionnaires.

A history of competence and legal definition

The definition of competence is a complicated matter and the law has been trying to accurately define it for some time. The present meaning included a combination of attributes, qualities, and characteristics.

Indicators of the legal meaning of competence can be found in some early health and safety cases. In one 1912 case, coal miners were poisoned when carbon monoxide escaped into the mine. The contemporary mining legislation required the manager and fireman to remove the workers until the incident had been investigated.

Although both men were well qualified, the House of Lords held that they did not have the necessary experience to navigate the situation and the owners of the mine were found liable.

It appears that being competent goes beyond possession of certain qualifications. It also addresses experience.

In another case, this one taking place in 1957, one employee who was well-known for playing jokes at work injured another employee. The employer was found liable on the premise that this person was not a competent employee, which under common law must be someone who behaves responsibly at work and has a positive attitude toward workplace health and safety.

Other cases make additional specifications, so it appears that there is no single universal definition of competence. It appears to depend on the processes, the circumstances, the amount of risk, and what parties are involved. It is also a standard that has to apply to companies as well as to people. Given all these variables, it is not surprising that the term ‘competence’ has created so much confusion in the construction industry.

CDM and Competence

  • Under CDM 2007, “competent” individuals must be appointed to fulfil the various required roles. This also applies to companies. CDM requires all appointees to be competent, including:
  • Contractors
  • Primary contractors
  • Designers
  • CDM co-ordinators

 

CDM 2007 is accompanied by the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP), which provides assistance and advice on the assessment of competence.

Under the ACOP, an individual or organisation is competent only when they have:

  • Sufficient knowledge of the work to be done and the risks that the work entails
  • Sufficient ability and experience with the duties involved with the project; can recognise their limitations, and take the right measures to prevent injury to construction workers and/or those impacted by the construction work
  • Knowledge about the work they will be expected to carry out and the risks that this work may involve. Such knowledge may be acquired by formal or on-site training
  • The right experience: workers are more apt to use safe practices if they understand why the practices are necessary and past experience is a good indicator of ability.

 

Under CDM 2015, the corporate competence requirement was removed and the direct requirement for individual competence included in CDM 2007 has been replaced with a new regulation 8, which states that anyone responsible for engaging a contractor for a construction project must take reasonable steps to ensure that the contractor has:

Received the required training, instruction, and information AND the appropriate supervision to meet applicable legal provisions and maintain the welfare, health, and safety of those impacted by the work. This requirement is comparatively simple and appears to be a far cry from the CDM 2007 requirements for competence. The new regulation 5 requires all projects to have management arrangements in place, and the HSE expects that the present explicit requirements for competence will be effectively replaced.

PAS 91 standardised pre-qualification questionnaires can be used to make proving competency easier for both suppliers and clients by reducing the need for suppliers to complete a variety of pre-qualification questionnaires for different clients. The result is a huge saving in time and money for both parties.

The standardised PQQ format PAS 91 helps to:

  • Let suppliers know what information is required at pre-qualification
  • Make it easier for buyers to identify contractors with suitable qualifications
  • Improve the consistency between many pre-qualification databases and questionnaires

What are the implications?

The CDM 2015 approach to competency in construction is a much simpler approach. Its definition of competency as described in regulation 8  is based on the skills, knowledge and experience of contractors and the organisational ability of an organisation.

Regardless of these changes, everyone in the construction industry will have to demonstrate that everyone on site is competent. Not only is this a common law requirement, but it is also implied in legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work, Act, so the new principal designer will have to be proven to be competent.

Clients and other parties will have to ensure that they demonstrate competency to do the role they are engaged to do, that will pass the scrutiny of the courts. SKET cannot be randomly delivered: it must be assessed and will involve some cost and bureaucracy. For example, a training needs analysis may have to be performed. The HSE stance on competency training is that it may be accomplished using standards that are nationally agreed upon and criteria created by professional bodies.

CDM 2015 does not have an ACOP, but instead HSE produced the regulations accompanied by targeted guidance in the form of document L153, so it remains to be seen what this means for regulation 8.

SKET principles, PAS 91 pre qualified questionnaires and the guidance in document L153 are all now being used to help construction project participants achieve and demonstrate competence in construction in line with the CDM 2015 regulations.

Safer Sphere are able to advise on any aspect of CDM 2015.

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.

Principal Designer Advisor,Safer Sphere, Tolworth, Lidl

Safer Sphere appointed on new Lidl headquarters

Safer Sphere is proud to be supporting UMC Architects and Winvic who have secured the contract to build a new UK headquarters in Tolworth for LIDL.

The 250,000 sq. ft. building will be just five miles from LIDL’s current HQ in Wimbledon and is expected to take two years to complete. We have been appointed as Principal Designer Advisor on the project and we look forward to working with the team and seeing the build progress.

Pride of St Helens Business Awards, Small Business of the Year, CDM, Consultants, St Helens, Health and Safety, Awards

Safer Sphere scoops Small Business of the Year award

Construction Health and Safety specialists Safer Sphere has taken home the award for ‘Small Business of the Year’ at this year’s Pride of St Helens Business Awards. 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 were pleased to have made the final but to take home the award, in what I feel was a very strong category is an amazing achievement. The awards night had so many fantastic businesses from the local area and really highlights the positive impact that these businesses bring to the town and the local economy. All our team are either from St Helens or the surrounding area and this recognition of our business is down to them and the hard work they put in. It was a proud moment to accept this award and we will continue to earn this title by providing the best expert service by the best team.”

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.

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.

Angel Meadows, Manchester, CDM, Health and Safety, Principal Designer Advisor

Angel Meadows Archaeological Excavation – Part 2

The Angel Meadows excavation has entered its second week and the team are hard at work finishing the cleaning of the archaeology on Plot 2 (Mincing Street), and the process of recording has started with the completion of a GPS survey and extensive photography. This will be completed later this week with the use of a drone to accurately survey the remains. Cleaning of the structural remains is now being undertaken on Plot 5 (Ludgate Hill), to properly define the features our excavations have revealed there.

Preliminary comparisons between the Plot 2 site and historic mapping are allowing the team to begin the work of understanding how the layout of the dwellings in the area changed over time. The documents available to us show buildings were remodelled and removed, courtyards and alleys were extended, and points of access were changed over a period of 100 years. Evidence can be seen of this on the ground existing in the form of blocked doorways, truncated walls, and areas of more recent building superimposed over older foundations. The reasons for these changes isn’t always immediately clear, but some may relate to the efforts of the social reformers who during the later part of the nineteenth century, were (rightfully) concerned that the dark, squalid, and utterly unsanitary, cramped conditions of the area were contributing to the spread of disease and crime and high mortality rates.

Perhaps the most significant indication of these changes is the addition of later sanitation works. These took the form of proper drainage and toilet blocks, much-needed facilities in ‘The Meadow’ and a response to legislation introduced in the mid-1800’s, making such facilities a legal requirement for existing housing, as well as new buildings. In several examples on site, later structures can be seen and have been built onto and over the old to incorporate these amenities.

It’s a strange thing to portray lavatories as a ‘highlight’ of an archaeological site, but the implementation of basic plumbing is representative of the wider initiative to improve conditions for the working classes in Angel Meadow during the Industrial period. It will be interesting to see what other evidence of the conditions will be found and what the excavation further reveals.

CDM, Angel Meadows, Manchester, Health and Safety

Angel Meadows, Manchester, CDM, Health and Safety, Principal Designer Advisor

Angel Meadows Archaeological Excavation – Part 1

Safer Sphere has been working with Far East Consortium on the Angel Meadows development since the beginning of the project as Principal Designer Advisor and CDM Client Advisor and before work commences, it was decided that an archaeological excavation should take place to ensure that this historic site is clear before any building works commences.

Orion Heritage and Oxford Archaeology have teamed up and the dig is now underway. Safer Sphere will be posting a series of blogs and updates as they see what lies beneath.

Update 1 – 02/08/18

If you’ve been in the vicinity of St Michael’s Flags and Angel Meadow in the last couple of weeks you will have noticed work has begun in earnest on plots 2 and 5 of the Meadowside development. The tarmac and concrete of the car parks have been lifted and the Oxford Archaeology North team have been busy overseeing the excavation of the site to reveal the hidden remains of the worker’s housing.

Plot 2, alongside Dantzic Street, is turning up some of the infamous cellars alongside nicely preserved courtyard areas and potentially an outhouse or two. While on the other side of the park, on Plot 5 we have even more cellar rooms and the cobbled remains of a minor street indicated on the OS maps of 1850 as Back of Old Mount Street.

Over the next couple of weeks, the OAN team will be beavering away cleaning off the walls and floors in these areas so they can be photographed and surveyed, recording the detail of life in Manchester’s industrial past.

If you’d like to take a closer look at some of these discoveries and talk to members of the team, open days will be planned in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes peeled on our website and Social Media for the next planned tour.

Angel Meadows, Manchester, Health and Safety

 

Principal Designer Advisor, leisure centre refurbishment

Safer Sphere assist with Heights Leisure Centre Refurbishment

We are pleased to confirm that we will be assisting on the refurbishment and extension of the Heights Leisure Centre in the Isle of White. The work includes a 139m2 extension to the existing Tone Zone facility, internal refurbishment of the existing squash court into a spin studio and the removal of the existing canteen and kitchen facility to allow for the development of 2 brand new meeting room facilities. We are looking forward to working on the project in the role of Principal Designer Advisor.

Safer Sphere welcomes new Associate Director

Safer Sphere is pleased to welcome this month Simon Jones who has joined the business in the role of Associate Director and CDM Construction Safety Consultant. Simon has worked in the construction industry for over 45 years and has a wealth of experience across multiple sectors. Simon has worked on various high profile projects in his career including  Liverpool  John Lennon Airport, City of Salford Community Stadium,  the Trafford Centre, Media City and Manchester Royal Infirmary.