Tag - Health and Safety

CDM Health & Safety File

The CDM Health and Safety File

When a project comes under CDM15, a Health and Safety file must be produced (see HSE Guidance L153 “Managing Health and Safety in Construction”). The duty to prepare a health and safety file during the pre-construction phase is that of the Principal Designer, who will only be appointed for those construction projects with more than one contractor. So, in practice, the health and safety file will only be formally required for those projects which have more than one contractor. Safer Sphere would advise that the Health and Safety file is prepared, reviewed or updated as appropriate for all projects, irrespective of the number of contractors working on a project.

The contents of this file should be agreed at the start of the project, between the Principal Designer and the Client and should reflect the appropriate characteristics of the project. Safer Sphere have experience in assisting Principal Designers and in advising Clients on the contents of a Health and Safety File.

The Health and Safety file contains details of record information and residual risks that future construction work may be exposed to. The information contained within the Health and Safety File is therefore considerably important when managing health and safety in any future construction. Information that can be found in a health and safety file will aid any future cleaning and maintenance of the building or structure, alterations and refurbishment and any demolition work. The exact contents of the file depends on the requirements of the Client and the scope of the construction work.

CDM Health and Safety File Contents List.

Each Health and Safety file will be as unique as each build and will contain all the health and safety information relevant to the initial project and any subsequent work. When considering what should be included in the Health and Safety File, while not an exhaustive list, the following items should be considered:

  • A brief description of the work carried out
  • Any hazards that have not been eliminated through the design and construction processes, and how they have been addressed (e.g. surveys or other information concerning asbestos or contaminated land);
  • Key structural principles (e.g. bracing, sources of substantial stored energy – including pre- or post-tensioned members) and safe working loads for floors and roofs;
  • Hazardous materials used (e.g. lead paints and special coatings);
  • Information regarding the removal or dismantling of installed plant and equipment (e.g. any special arrangements for lifting such equipment);
  • Health and safety information about equipment provided for cleaning or maintaining the structure;
  • The nature, location and markings of significant services, including underground cables; gas supply equipment; fire-fighting services etc;
  • Information and as-built drawings of the building, its plant and equipment (e.g. the means of safe access to and from service voids and fire doors).

There should be enough detail to allow the likely risks to be identified and addressed by those carrying out the work, however, the level of detail should be proportionate to the risks. The file should not include things that will be of no help when planning future construction work such as pre-construction information, the construction phase plan, contractual documents, safety method statements etc. Information must be in a convenient form, clear, concise and easily understandable.

It is the responsibility of the Client to ensure that the Principal Designer prepares the health and safety file for a project, also ensuring regular updates and formal reviews are carried out as the project develops to take account of progress and any changes to the construction site with time. It may come to pass that the Principal Designer’s appointment is completed before the end of the project, in which case, the Principal Designer must pass responsibility for the upkeep of the Health and Safety file to the Principal Contractor.

What Happens To The Health and Safety File Upon Completion?

Once the project is finished, the Principal Designer (or the Principal Contractor) should issue the health and safety file to the Client. The Client must then keep the file and ensure it is available to anyone who may need it for as long the contents are relevant. Any subsequent construction, maintenance or deconstruction can then comply with the established health and safety requirements. A Client may in the future pass on his interest in the building or part of the building to another individual or organisation. If this occurs, they must provide the file to the new client who takes on the duties and ensure that the new client is aware of the nature and purpose of the file. This applies to either sale or lease of the building or part of it.

Information that is redundant when planning construction work does not need to be included in a Health and Safety file. Any pre-construction information can be omitted. There is no need to include the names and addresses of the original designers or contractors involved in the project, over time, some companies and practices may disappear. While some clients insist on Risk Assessments, method statements and CoSHH assessments for work that has been previously carried out are included, this is not really necessary, as future work should only be carried out following a project specific assessment of the risks, this will differ from the original construction somewhat.

When a project being undertaken already has an existing Health and Safety file, the Principal Designer must include this information in the Pre-Construction Plan so that contractors and designers can take this information into account.

The importance of a Health and Safety file cannot be overstated, but the file is only as useful as the information contained within it. The information should be relevant, accurate and kept up to date. If properly maintained, the Health and Safety file can help prevent accidents and incidents of ill health. Files that are filled with unhelpful, irrelevant or unnecessary information which will be of little use and without proper advice and document maintenance, may actually be an obstacle to the management of health and safety on a construction project.

Safer Sphere can assist with project compliance in relation to Health & Safety files in our offerings of Client CDM Advisors and or Principal Designer Advisors.

What is a Principal Designer?

What Is The Role Of Principal Designer?

There are three main roles within the CDM Regulations that have responsibility for health and safety. The Client, The Principal Contractor and the Principal Designer. While the Client has overall responsibility, the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor have responsibilities depending on the phase of the project. CDM15 introduced us to the new role of Principal Designer while saying goodbye to the CDM Coordinator role.

Every project must have a Principal Designer appointed where required in order to meet the requirements of CDM15.
Any client who requires construction or demolition to be carried out, where more than one contractor is involved, has to appoint a Principal Designer before any design or construction work begins. A Principal Designer must be appointed by the Client in writing, but the role and that of others on site and in design do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive.

Principal Designers have an important role in influencing how risks to health and safety are managed throughout a project. Design decisions made during the pre-construction phase have a significant influence in ensuring the project is delivered in a way that secures the health and safety of everyone affected by the work. Ultimately, the responsibility to appoint a Principal Designer falls on the Client. If a Principal Designer is not appointed, then the role is passed to the Client, which would be a difficult role for many to fulfil.

Non-compliance regarding the appointment of a Principal Designer could result in criminal proceedings, so appointing a competent Principal Designer is important. People who had been CDM Coordinators under CDM07 might not be able to fulfil the role of Principal Designer, although the definition of designer under CDM15 is open to interpretation. If you are not sure about this then contact Safer Sphere for more information on our Client Advisor & Principal Designer Advisor services.

The Principal Designer must have overall control of the pre-construction period (design and planning stage) of a relevant project and be involved in the preparation of project designs and in instructing other specialists and designers. The Principal Designer will have a technical knowledge of the Construction Industry and will know how to apply health and safety to the design process, relevant to the project.

Principal Designer Roles:

  • Advise the client of their duties and assist them with the formulation of the Client CDM Brief.
  • Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase. In doing so they must take account of relevant information (such as an existing health and safety file or surveys) that might affect design work carried out both before and after the construction phase has started.
  • Ensure other designers comply with their duties
  • Take account of the general Principals of prevention.
  • Help and advise the client in bringing together pre-construction information, and provide the information that designers and contractors need to carry out their duties.
  • Work with any other designers on the project to eliminate foreseeable health and safety risks to anyone affected by the work and, where that is not possible, take steps to reduce or control those risks.
  • Ensure that everyone involved in the pre-construction phase communicates and cooperates, coordinating their work wherever required.
  • Liaise with the Principal Contractor, keeping them informed of any risks that need to be controlled during the construction phase.
  • Identify, eliminate or control foreseeable risks to health and safety during the pre-construction phase
  • Collate and prepare the health and safety file for completion of the project

A Principal Designer will influence the way Health and Safety risks are controlled and how these controls are incorporated into the project overall. During pre-construction, the Principal Designer must plan and manage matters relating to Health and Safety as well as overall monitoring of the project and co-ordinating to ensure that principles of prevention are followed and the project is carried out without risk to health or safety.

Safer Sphere offer a full range of CDM services delivered across the North West and nationally. We can advise and assist on projects of any size.

construction phase plan

What is in a construction phase plan?

A Construction Phase Plan is required for every construction project. When appointed by a client, this plan is provided by the contractor, or, where there is more than one contractor, the Principal Contractor, before the construction phase begins. It should be displayed clearly and should be made available to site workers or any visitors. It is created from the information provided by the client during the pre-construction stage and includes any information provided by the Principal Designer.

When implemented, it should go through several revisions throughout the life of a construction project. As time progresses during the construction phase, this health and safety plan will change. A Construction Phase Plan is a legal requirement as part of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015), even if you work for a domestic client and even if there is only one contractor on site, the plan must remain up to date and valid. The project may even need to be notified to the HSE, if it is will last 500 person days or 30 working days with more than 20 operatives. Safer Sphere can advise you on preparing and managing this aspect through the construction phase.

The significant hazards on a construction site can be many and varied, it is a legal requirement that all workers on site are told about these hazards and how the hazards are being controlled, the Construction Phase Plan is how the information is initially communicated to sub-contractors, workers and visitors alike. All information should be relevant to the project and easy to understand, the information in the Construction Phase Plan will depend on the complexity of the project and the risks that are relevant to the site.

Schedule 3 of CDM15 describes work that is defined as being of particular risk, specific arrangements and procedures are required in such cases to assure a safe working environment during the construction phase. On larger, notifiable projects in is difficult to avoid such high risk activities. It is the responsibility of the Principal Contractor to ensure that all employers, contractors and anyone self-employed follow the Construction Phase Plan.

Identified in the Code of Practice for CDM15 is the information to consider when drawing up Construction Phase Plan. The Code identifies that details of key members of the project team along with anticipated start and completion dates should be made available on site along with the details of how the work will be managed.

Where several contractors interface with each other, cooperation and coordination between all team members is required, arrangements need to be in place for involving workers in the construction phase. Details of the site inductions should be fit for purpose and reflect the stage the project is at the time the induction is carried out, the level of welfare facilities and provision for fire prevention should also be managed in line with the size of project. A project should have specific aims, these aims should be achievable if site rules drawn up in the Plan are followed.

When Do CDM Regulations Apply?

The Construction Design and Management Regulation or CDM has been around now for over 22 years in some shape or form and in that time has been subject to changes along the way.  The most recent revision of the Regulations came into force in April 2015 (CDM15).

The removal of the role of the CDM Co-ordinator to make way for that of the Principal Designer was one of the biggest change to this latest revision.  CDM15 is the legislation that applies to all construction projects, from feasibility study to final handover and beyond.  The CDM Regulations are in place to reduce the risk of harm to those who not only build and maintain structures, but to those that have to use the structure, right up to when the building is demolished.

CDM15 applies to both domestic and commercial building sites, large and small, put simply, unless it is a DIY job, then this law will probably apply as a result. The health and safety responsibilities should be treated as normal a part of the construction process as mixing cement.  No matter what the size of your project, consideration for health and safety should be part of the planning process, not something that is reluctantly snapped on just before the building starts.

It doesn’t have to be about creating mountains of paperwork and unnecessary processes; Safer Sphere can assist with ensuring CDM compliance. We will work together with clients and designers to promote health and safety throughout the project, manage your compliance efficiently, and ensure adequately trained individuals are appointed to propel the project forward. Complying with CDM 2015 does not have to cause you concern, instead, it will help ensure that no-one is harmed during construction and that the structure is safe to use and easy to maintain. Effective planning will also help ensure that your work is well managed with fewer unexpected costs and problems.

Companies that have kept abreast of the changes to the regulations are improving standards within the construction industry all the time. Nearly three years have passed since the requirements of CDM were revised in 2015, and there are companies who have not had the resources available within their own organisation to enjoy the benefits of having competent, professional and holistic Construction Health & Safety Solutions available to them. In addition, many homeowners will still be unaware of the regulations at all, never mind their own responsibilities.

Domestic clients were omitted from the Regulations before the 2015 revisions, since then if a domestic project has more than one contractor working simultaneously, a “Principal Contractor” and “Principal Designer” must be appointed just like on a commercial site.  Size is not important before any project starts, the Principal Designer will be responsible for ensuring the client understands their responsibilities under CDM15 and for preparing and sharing the pre-construction information with the appointed designers and contractors.

The Principal Contractor must prepare a construction phase plan before any physical work begins. The Principal Contractor is also responsible for undertaking worker site inductions, ensuring that adequate welfare and sanitation facilities are provided and securing the site against the public.

 Whether you are having building work carried out on your behalf (client), as a domestic client, Principal Contractor, Designer, Sub-Contractor, appointed as another duty holder, or a site worker, then you will have to consider your health and safety responsibilities under CDM15 before a spade is put in the ground.

In order to comply with this law, projects should be carried out with health and safety in mind.

To discuss any project with Safer Sphere please don’t hesitate to contact us

Is Your Project CDM Compliant?

Is Your Project CDM Compliant?

We pride ourselves on delivering above and beyond the call of the CDM Regulations, our integration with the client project delivery teams and support provided to enable best practice solutions.

Our delivery model ensures a superior service, competent advice and ultimately a project that meets with the very best practices of Construction Health & Safety.

CDM 2015 PROJECT CDM CONSULTANT SERVICES INCLUDE:-

Acting as adviser to the Client in discharging their dutiees including:-

  • Notify the HSE of the project via an online applications.
  • Advise on and or collate the project Pre Construction H&S Information Pack on behalf of the client for issue to the project team.
  • Assist with preparation of and advise the client as to the adequacy of the Construction Phase H&S Plan and welfare facilities developed by the Principal Contractor.
  • Monitoring of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor compliance.
  • Advise on and or collate the project H&S File.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES WHICH A CLIENT MAY ALSO WISH TO CONSIDER:-

  • Stage 1 & Stage 2 Competence Assessments of duty holders against the requirements of PAS 91.
  • PQQ / ITT H&S question setting for framework and or project tender enquiries.
  • Independent Site Inspection and or Safety Audits of operations on site to ensure compliance.
  • Liaison support with the Health & Safety Executive on behalf of the client.
  • Client CDM training to assist client representative in understanding their duties under the CDM Regulations.
  • Preparation of model contract / appointment clauses to hold designers and contractors to their duties and compliance.

HAKI Staircases Safety Checklist

Are you sure you know what is real?

Recent inspections have highlighted possible risks relating to the use of non-genuine components in Haki, or other British Standard stair cases.

 

Stair cases should be designed, manufactured and tested in accordance with BS EN 12810 and contain components from the same manufacturer i.e. Haki, Trad etc. and MUST not be mixed.

 

Haki Staircase Safety Checklist

 

1. Is the scaffold/supporting structure completed ready for the Stair Tower?

 

2. Is the ground condition adequate to take the load imposed?

 

3. Is the correct equipment on site?

 

4. Is the correct equipment in good working order?

 

5. Is the correct Personal Protection Equipment available and in good working order?

 

6. Are all the components in their correct position and all locking catches engaged?

 

7. Is the Stair Tower adequately braced and anchored?

 

8. Have any items been removed?

 

 

Take a look at the following presentation with examples of what you should be looking out for while installing a Haki Staircase. Download Now.

More information can be found on the Haki website here.

Prohibition notices – Do not ignore

A developer has been jailed for 30 months after repeatedly breaching prohibition notices while redeveloping a former office block in Parkeston, Essex.

 

A developer has been jailed for 30 months after repeatedly breaching prohibition notices while redeveloping a former office block in Parkeston, Essex.

 

The Health and Safety Executive visited the site in February last year following complaints from local residents.

They complained about debris falling from upper storeys and of the danger to workers being left without any protection from falling while working at height.

 

Eze Kinsley, the developer in control of workers at the site, verbally abused the HSE Inspector who had to return with Essex police officers later to serve prohibition notices requiring an immediate stop to unsafe work at the site.

Kinsley reacted strongly to this, physically assaulting the inspector.

 

Read the Full Article at Source: Construction Enquirer : bit.ly/1tfvjnG

Correct Scaffolding Measures

Doesn’t matter how big or small the project is, health and safety on site must be a priority.

 

Here’s an example of some scaffolding done wrong and then corrected by the HSE.

 

Corrected Scaffolding

 

Wouldn’t you want to ensure the job was done correctly the first time round and not incurred any penalties? If so, we could help you correct any site safety issues before the HSE get involved.

 

Call 0845 544 2070 and talk to a Safer Sphere expert on how to ensure your site is safe to work on.