If you’re a small construction business, what does CDM2015 mean to you? There’s a very good chance that you don’t know what it is, or you don’t think it applies to you.
After all, you’re just an Electrician, Plasterer, Chippie, Plumber, Window Installer, or Kitchen Fitter (to name but a few), all working for Domestic Clients; so why should you care about Big Boy’s Regulations?
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, unlike the 2007 version, do not exempt work conducted for Domestic Clients. So if you’re doing some wiring in a domestic premises, or perhaps installing some replacement windows, you have to comply with CDM2015.
Now that’s not particularly a challenge, if you’ve already been working safely, but one thing you must now do is have a Construction Phase Plan. Clearly, this will be quite a large document if you’re building something considerable, but it’s still needed if you’re putting in some new wiring or windows.
The following list of topics should be considered when drawing up the plan:
(a) a description of the project such as key dates and details of key members of the project team;
(b) the management of the work including:
(i) the health and safety aims for the project;
(ii) the site rules;
(iii) arrangements to ensure cooperation between project team members and coordination of their work, eg regular site meetings;
(iv) arrangements for involving workers;
(v) site induction;
(vi) welfare facilities; and
(vii) fire and emergency procedures
(c) the control of any specific hazards included in Schedule 3 of CDM2015, which includes working at height, high voltages, risk of drowning, earthworks, explosives and others.
CDM2015 includes role descriptions, such as Client, Designer, Principal Designer, Contractor, and Principal Contractor. If you’re working for a domestic client, you could be one or more of these roles (excluding client of course!).
The Construction Phase Plan for a house extension is going to be larger than one for fitting a kitchen or installing replacement windows, but evolves from the same information.
We don’t want to make this blog too complicated.
If you need to know more, visit the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l153.htm
Or contact Belvoir Safety Services for practical advice on what to do.
Bernard Carey is a Chartered Occupational Safety & Health Practitioner, specialising in providing practical and proportionate support to small businesses.