At a recent meeting I attended with the HSE it was suggested that many businesses fail to understand that CDM 2007 could impact on their business and therefore fail to comply with the regulations. This is a major concern to the HSE and they are trying to find ways to educate UK businesses of the fact.
CDM 2007 was updated because of the realisation that too many people continue to be seriously injured, killed, or develop long-term health problems from working in the construction sector. Although the regulations do place a lot of responsibility on the construction companies it is also aimed at clients (which many businesses will be at times), health & safety advisors, and designers.
It is only through each of the key parties properly fulfilling their roles that the construction industry will become a safer and healthier place to work – something, in our experience, that it is far from at the moment; although records do suggest an improvement.
Under CDM 2007 construction work means the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work and includes:
• Repair, upkeep
• Redecoration or Maintenance
• Fitting out
• Cleaning (toxic substances)
• Dismantling of a structure
What the regulations do is to place duties on clients, CDM co-ordinator, designers and contractors to plan, co-ordinate and manage health and safety throughout all stages of a construction project. What many fail to realise is that CDM 2007 applies to all construction projects, and in full to the larger notifiable projects.
Generally, a project is only notifiable where work duration is in excess of 30 days or involves 500 person days of construction work.
To ensure the success of any construction project it is essential (not to mention, a legal requirement) that all duty-holders are appointed in good time and that they demonstrate sufficient competence and have adequate resources to undertake the role.
The key to CDM compliance will not be in providing detailed files and documentation, but will be achieved through effective planning and management of the construction project.
The plan above shows the key aspects to be considered when managing a construction project. For more detailed information see http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm.htm