0208 300 9602

Health & Safety

Advise clients regarding the Health & Safety of a project...

Feel secure about meeting your Health and Safety (CDM) obligations

New Regulations came into effect on the 6 April 2015. The guidance notes from the HSE were not published until 12 April 2015. It will likely be several months before a full understanding of the instigated changes to the regulations can be completed.

In 1996 the European Union required each Member State to introduce Legislation to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities within the building industry which has one of the highest accident records. The British Government previously introduced Construction Design & Management Regulations on two occasions and this has recently been reviewed and significantly revised.

The new Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 require the appointment of a Principal Designer who is suitably qualified as a Health & Safety Expert (formerly a CDM-C) to advise the client regarding the Health & Safety of a project which now includes domestic building works.

In most circumstances, if the client does not appoint a Principal Designer, the responsibility and liability falls onto the architect by default. However, the architect may elect to appoint suitably qualified and experienced Health & Safety Experts to undertake this role.

Nicholas Lewis qualified as a CDM-C taking an examination set by the Association of Project Safety the organisation of Health & Safety professional within the building industry and is fully qualified to undertake this appointment on behalf of both client and architect.

Client

CDM 2015 defines a client as anyone for whom a construction project is carried out. A domestic client is usually someone who lives or will live in the premises where the work is being undertaken and the project is not done in connection with a business. If the domestic client does not appoint a Principal Designer (PD) and a Principal Contractor (PC), this will, by default make the Architect of the project responsible for Health and Safety on-site as the Principal Designer and the Contractor of the building works as the Principal Contractor.

The client has 4 main duties

  1. Assess the capability of those involved
  2. Provide information to all parties involved
  3. Appoint a Principal Designer and a Principal Contractor
  4. Arrangements – Establish management arrangements and maintain and monitor those arrangements throughout the contract.

CDM 2015 makes the client accountable for the impact their decisions and approach have on health, safety and welfare on the project.

Principal Contractor

The new CDM Regulations 2015 require the Client to appoint a Principal Contractor to take responsibility for the Health & safety of the whole contract regardless of whether the contract includes a number of smaller sub-contracts. The Principal Contractor has the responsibility of producing a Construction Phase Plan. The plan will include all aspects of Health & Safety and Welfare including training, induction, method statements, COSHH details etc. The Principal Contractor has the responsibility to ensure that all sub-contractors are aware of the Health & Safety Plan and incorporate the plan within their own work programme.

The Principal Contractor has 3 main duties

  1. Project management– plan, manage and monitor the construction phase so that it is carried out safely and without risks to health.
  2. Contractor engagement– provide information and directions whilst facilitating co-operation and co-ordination between sub-contractors.
  3. Workforce engagement– make sure the workforce is being inducted, informed, trained and consulted on health and safety.

Principal Designer

The Principal Designer (PD) is a professional engaged by the client at an early stage of the process to ensure that Health & Safety is considered at every part of the design and procurement process.

The Principal Designer will identify and collect the Pre Construction Information (PCI). He will also take steps to ensure that the designers comply with their CDM duties.

If a separate expert is not elected as the Principal Designer by the client, the Architect who created the designs and drawings becomes the Principal Designer by default.

Sub-contractors

Within the CDM Regulations all sub-contractors are defined as contractors. The Regulations define two types of contractor; the Principal Contractor and Contractors, however most construction professional define these as the Contractor and sub-contractors.

Being a sub-contractor on a Notifiable project does not reduce the responsibility for Health & Safety. The Principal Contractor has the responsibility for the whole site but every sub-contractor also has the responsibility to ensure that the work that he carries out and its relationship to the remainder of the project is undertaken in accordance with the regulations.

The HSE F10 information form

If required, the Principal Designer can assist in providing the information for the F10 that has to be submitted to the HSE before the commencement of the project on site. It is worth noting that an F10 is only needed for notifiable projects. A project is only notifiable to the HSE if the construction phase will take more than 500 person days of construction work.

Pre Contract Information Package

A key requirement of the Regulations is that sufficient information is provided to the Principal Contractor for him to be able to plan the project safely. This would normally include the provision of a Pre-Contract Information (PCI) pack prepared by the Principal Designer to ensure that all contractors have the same information about the Health & Safety requirements of the client.

Construction Phase Plan

The Principal Contractor has to interpret the Pre Contract Information (PCI) from the Principal Designer and produce a Construction Phase Plan (CPP). This describes the management arrangements of the Principal Contractor to ensure that the project is constructed safely.

Health & Safety File

When the Principal Designer is appointed, he must instigate a Health & Safety File (HSF). This file will be passed to the Principal Contractor (PC) who will keep the File open for the duration of the project and be presented to the client at its completion. This file includes information on the project that will be useful to future users of the building and others who may have a maintenance role.

Notifiable or not

A project is now only Notifiable to the HSE if the construction phase will be longer than 500 person days of construction work. Any day on which construction work takes place is counted. Whether a project is notifiable or not does not change the requirement for compliance with the new regulations.

F10 – Notification

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) require notification of the project on their form F10. This can be printed off from their website www.hse.gov.uk. The form can also be completed online at the HSE website.

The form requires the following information: –

  • Type of notification – Initial or update
  • Address of the construction site
  • Country, Geographical area and Local Authority
  • A description of the project
  • The time allowed for planning
  • The start date and duration
  • The number of people and the number of contractors on site
  • The details of the Client, Principal Contractor and the Principal Designer

Skill, Knowledge and Experience

Clients must ensure that those appointed or engaged on the project have the Skill, Knowledge and Experience to comply with health safety requirements. In practical terms, this means the client must implement procedures that check the CDM Capability of others.

Inspections

Generally the HSE is understaffed to cope with the number of building sited that are working at any one time. It is therefore unlikely that a site will be visited unless it is reported to the HSE or there is a serious breach of Health, Safety or Welfare.

The HSE can enforce Health & Safety and they can serve enforcement notices and prohibition notices dependent upon the severity of the breach of Health & safety they discover on their site visit.

Planning

The F10 submission to the HSE requires a statement detailing the amount of time that has been set aside for planning the project prior to commencement on site. The HSE recognise the importance of planning before work commences.

Asbestos survey

Before commencement of any work to an existing building or on an existing site there should be proof that an asbestos survey has been undertaken to ensure that the work that is planned can be undertaken safely. The client should be in possession of the asbestos report prior to the commencement of any building work.

Services survey

Before commencement of any work to an existing building or on an existing site there should be proof that a services survey has been undertaken to ensure that the work that is planned can be undertaken without disturbing any existing gas, electrical, water, drainage or other services. The existing site should be scanned and a drawing produced to indicate the location of all services. The client should be in possession of the plan to indicate that a full survey has been undertaken prior to the commencement of any building work.

Demolition plan

Before commencement of any demolition the Principal Contractor must ensure that a demolition plan has been produced. The plan indicates the order in which the work is to be undertaken and should ensure that the area in and around the demolition is clear of other workers.

Method statements

Dependent upon the type of work being undertaken and the structures involved that exist and are proposed individual method statement may be requested for aspects of the work.
+ CDM Roles

Client

CDM 2015 defines a client as anyone for whom a construction project is carried out. A domestic client is usually someone who lives or will live in the premises where the work is being undertaken and the project is not done in connection with a business. If the domestic client does not appoint a Principal Designer (PD) and a Principal Contractor (PC), this will, by default make the Architect of the project responsible for Health and Safety on-site as the Principal Designer and the Contractor of the building works as the Principal Contractor.

The client has 4 main duties

  1. Assess the capability of those involved
  2. Provide information to all parties involved
  3. Appoint a Principal Designer and a Principal Contractor
  4. Arrangements – Establish management arrangements and maintain and monitor those arrangements throughout the contract.

CDM 2015 makes the client accountable for the impact their decisions and approach have on health, safety and welfare on the project.

Principal Contractor

The new CDM Regulations 2015 require the Client to appoint a Principal Contractor to take responsibility for the Health & safety of the whole contract regardless of whether the contract includes a number of smaller sub-contracts. The Principal Contractor has the responsibility of producing a Construction Phase Plan. The plan will include all aspects of Health & Safety and Welfare including training, induction, method statements, COSHH details etc. The Principal Contractor has the responsibility to ensure that all sub-contractors are aware of the Health & Safety Plan and incorporate the plan within their own work programme.

The Principal Contractor has 3 main duties

  1. Project management– plan, manage and monitor the construction phase so that it is carried out safely and without risks to health.
  2. Contractor engagement– provide information and directions whilst facilitating co-operation and co-ordination between sub-contractors.
  3. Workforce engagement– make sure the workforce is being inducted, informed, trained and consulted on health and safety.

Principal Designer

The Principal Designer (PD) is a professional engaged by the client at an early stage of the process to ensure that Health & Safety is considered at every part of the design and procurement process.

The Principal Designer will identify and collect the Pre Construction Information (PCI). He will also take steps to ensure that the designers comply with their CDM duties.

If a separate expert is not elected as the Principal Designer by the client, the Architect who created the designs and drawings becomes the Principal Designer by default.

Sub-contractors

Within the CDM Regulations all sub-contractors are defined as contractors. The Regulations define two types of contractor; the Principal Contractor and Contractors, however most construction professional define these as the Contractor and sub-contractors.

Being a sub-contractor on a Notifiable project does not reduce the responsibility for Health & Safety. The Principal Contractor has the responsibility for the whole site but every sub-contractor also has the responsibility to ensure that the work that he carries out and its relationship to the remainder of the project is undertaken in accordance with the regulations.

+ The Process

The HSE F10 information form

If required, the Principal Designer can assist in providing the information for the F10 that has to be submitted to the HSE before the commencement of the project on site. It is worth noting that an F10 is only needed for notifiable projects. A project is only notifiable to the HSE if the construction phase will take more than 500 person days of construction work.

Pre Contract Information Package

A key requirement of the Regulations is that sufficient information is provided to the Principal Contractor for him to be able to plan the project safely. This would normally include the provision of a Pre-Contract Information (PCI) pack prepared by the Principal Designer to ensure that all contractors have the same information about the Health & Safety requirements of the client.

Construction Phase Plan

The Principal Contractor has to interpret the Pre Contract Information (PCI) from the Principal Designer and produce a Construction Phase Plan (CPP). This describes the management arrangements of the Principal Contractor to ensure that the project is constructed safely.

Health & Safety File

When the Principal Designer is appointed, he must instigate a Health & Safety File (HSF). This file will be passed to the Principal Contractor (PC) who will keep the File open for the duration of the project and be presented to the client at its completion. This file includes information on the project that will be useful to future users of the building and others who may have a maintenance role.
+ HSE and Notification

Notifiable or not

A project is now only Notifiable to the HSE if the construction phase will be longer than 500 person days of construction work. Any day on which construction work takes place is counted. Whether a project is notifiable or not does not change the requirement for compliance with the new regulations.

F10 – Notification

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) require notification of the project on their form F10. This can be printed off from their website www.hse.gov.uk. The form can also be completed online at the HSE website.

The form requires the following information: –

  • Type of notification – Initial or update
  • Address of the construction site
  • Country, Geographical area and Local Authority
  • A description of the project
  • The time allowed for planning
  • The start date and duration
  • The number of people and the number of contractors on site
  • The details of the Client, Principal Contractor and the Principal Designer

Skill, Knowledge and Experience

Clients must ensure that those appointed or engaged on the project have the Skill, Knowledge and Experience to comply with health safety requirements. In practical terms, this means the client must implement procedures that check the CDM Capability of others.

Inspections

Generally the HSE is understaffed to cope with the number of building sited that are working at any one time. It is therefore unlikely that a site will be visited unless it is reported to the HSE or there is a serious breach of Health, Safety or Welfare.

The HSE can enforce Health & Safety and they can serve enforcement notices and prohibition notices dependent upon the severity of the breach of Health & safety they discover on their site visit.

+ Requirements

Planning

The F10 submission to the HSE requires a statement detailing the amount of time that has been set aside for planning the project prior to commencement on site. The HSE recognise the importance of planning before work commences.

Asbestos survey

Before commencement of any work to an existing building or on an existing site there should be proof that an asbestos survey has been undertaken to ensure that the work that is planned can be undertaken safely. The client should be in possession of the asbestos report prior to the commencement of any building work.

Services survey

Before commencement of any work to an existing building or on an existing site there should be proof that a services survey has been undertaken to ensure that the work that is planned can be undertaken without disturbing any existing gas, electrical, water, drainage or other services. The existing site should be scanned and a drawing produced to indicate the location of all services. The client should be in possession of the plan to indicate that a full survey has been undertaken prior to the commencement of any building work.

Demolition plan

Before commencement of any demolition the Principal Contractor must ensure that a demolition plan has been produced. The plan indicates the order in which the work is to be undertaken and should ensure that the area in and around the demolition is clear of other workers.

Method statements

Dependent upon the type of work being undertaken and the structures involved that exist and are proposed individual method statement may be requested for aspects of the work.

Click here if you are an architect

The new CDM Regulations come into force in April 2015, however there is a 6 month transitional arrangement. Although CDM Regulations have been in force since 1996, they have now been widened to include work undertaken for domestic clients.

The 2015 Regulations have introduced a number of new titles including Principal Designer as the person who has the responsibility for producing the Pre Contract Information and starting the Health & Safety File.

The Regulations require the domestic client to appoint a Principal Designer and a Principal Contractor.

If the domestic client does not appoint a PD, the designer who has completed the drawings becomes the PD by default. If the designer does not have the skill, knowledge and experience to act as the PD he should not accept the appointment.

If the domestic client does not appoint a PC, the contractor will become the PC and have the responsibility of producing the Construction Phase Plan.

How can N J Lewis & Associates Ltd help?

We have the skill, knowledge and experience to fulfil the role of Principal Designer and take the liability away from you. The managing director Nicholas Lewis is a member of the Association of Project Safety having qualified as a Planning Supervisor under CDM 1996 and as a CDM-C under CDM 2007.

On all construction projects, the client has a duty to appoint a Principal Designer for Health & Safety.

On payment of a fixed fee N J Lewis will confirm our appointment as the Principal Designer (Health & Safety) fulfilling the obligation of the domestic client under CDM 2015 and ensuring that there is no appointment by default.

On receipt of the Building Regulations drawings and a completed questionnaire by the client and the designer, N J Lewis will prepare the Pre contract Information and start the Health & Safety File as required by the Regulations and provide three copies of the Pre Contract Information: –

1. To the Designer

To confirm that the duties of the Principal Designer were completed and therefore there was no liability for the role to default.

2. To the Client

To confirm that the duties of the Principal Designer were completed in compliance with his obligations.

3. To the Contractor

To use as the basis for the Construction Phase Plan.

The Health & Safety File will be commenced by N J Lewis & Associates Ltd and will include the drawings and the Pre Contract Information together with the questionnaire completed by the client and the designer. A second copy of this will be handed to the contractor to complete at the end of the construction phase as required by the CDM Regulations.