CDM Roles Explained
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Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 1994
The CDM regulations were introduced to ensure accountability from individuals. The rules apply generally but there are a number of common elements are to be found in the way the Directive has been put into place:
– the legislation applies to building and civil engineering works
– responsibilities are divided between the client, the project supervisor, and the co-ordinators at project preparation and execution stages
– the client or project supervisor appoints one or more co-ordinators for health and safety
- co-ordinators have specific duties during project preparation and execution stages
– the preparation stage co-ordinator prepares a health and safety plan for the project which must include specific measures for categories of "high risk" work
– where the site is expected to remain open for longer than 30 working days or involves a volume of workers in excess of 500 person days, prior notice must be given to the competent authorities.
The CDM Regulations place specific duties upon clients, designers and contractors to rethink their approach to health and safety so that it is taken into account and then co-ordinated and managed effectively throughout all stages of a construction project from conception, design and planning through to the execution of works on site and subsequent maintenance and repair, even to final demolition and removal.
The CDM Regulations are part of a continuing realignment of health and safety legislation and bring together a number of concepts. The key features are outlined below under:
– risk assessment
– competence and adequate resources
– co-operation and co-ordination
CDM Roles Summarised
CLIENTThe CDM Regulations define "client" as:
any person for whom a project is carried out, whether it is carried out by another person or is carried out in house.
Clients' responsibilities which are outlined below.
1. Appoint a competent planning supervisor with sufficient resources.
2. Provide the planning supervisor with relevant health and safety information.
3. Appoint competent designers with sufficient resources for their tasks.
4. Appoint a competent principal contractor with sufficient resources.
5. Ensure that a suitably developed construction phase health and safety plan is prepared before construction starts.
6. Ensure that a health and safety file is kept available, for the use of maintenance staff or those who will carry out repairs, refurbishment, and eventually demolition or, replacement.
Documenting the Client's Role
Client documentation should include the following items.
1. A health and safety policy statement, which sets out the general policy and procedures of the client organisation towards contracting and health and safety.
2. Existing information held by the client that relates to health and safety issues and may be needed by others within a proposed project.
3. Records of the proper appointments, and due assessments of competence and resources, of:
– designers (if directly contracted by the client)
– the planning supervisor
– the principal contractor
– contractors (if directly contracted by the client).
Records of appointment and evaluation of competence and resources will be needed if the appointments are internal to the client organisation.
4. Dated evidence confirming the existence of a suitably developed health and safety plan, which complies with the regulations.
5. Upon completion of the project, the full and final health and safety file produced as a result of the construction work.
If the client makes any internal appointments of designers, planning supervisors, principal contractors or contractors, then additional documentation will be necessary to demonstrate that the roles have been properly discharged.
DESIGNERDesigners are those who prepare designs or who control those who prepare designs. The CDM Regulations define "design" as including:
drawing, design details, specification and bill of quantities (including specification of articles or substances) in relation to the structure.
Designers may therefore include:
(a) civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers and technicians
(b) architects and architectural technicians
(c) building services engineers
(d) building surveyors
(e) quantity surveyors
(f) project managers
(g) those who specify materials or equipment (including clients).
The Designers' Responsibilities
The responsibilities apply to all designers, irrespective of the size, value or complexity of the work or the nature of the client.
1. Advise clients of their duties under CDM
2. Consider health and safety in designs
Designers are required to consider health and safety during the construction, future maintenance and final demolition of the structure. Consideration of future access requirements, eg to plant and equipment on a roof, is therefore essential. Designers are required to:
(a) identify the hazards which will occur during construction and maintenance
(b) eliminate risks where possible, eg avoid digging foundations in contaminated land
(c) reduce the risks, eg by specification of a non-hazardous water-based paint rather than a two pack epoxy containing isocyanates
(d) provide adequate information on the risks which cannot be eliminated.
PLANNING SUPERVISORThe planning supervisor for a project can be:
– an individual
– an organisation
– a joint venture.
Many different types of organisation offer the services of planning supervisor, including:
– building surveyors
– quantity surveyors
– project managers
– civil engineering or building contractors.
These could be in-house or externally commissioned.
The Planning Supervisor's Responsibilities
The planning supervisor is appointed directly by the client. The responsibilities of the planning supervisor are as follows.
1. Notification of the project to the HSE
Notification may be a two stage process:
(a) stage one at the start of the design stage
(b) stage two once a principal contractor has been appointed.
The HSE have produced a standard notification form F10(rev).
2. If required, be able to advise the client on the competence and resources of designers.
Clients who do not regularly engage designers will probably rely heavily on the planning supervisor for advice and reassurance regarding suitable designers for a particular project. However, clients who regularly use the same design team and therefore already trust their competence and resources may not require assistance.
3. So far as is reasonably practicable, ensure that designers fulfil their duties, particularly the avoidance and minimising of risk by careful design which takes health and safety into account.
Designers are required to assess the risks contained within the proposed design. This includes risks both during construction and subsequent maintenance and demolition. It is not the planning supervisor's role to carry out these risk assessments for designers, but to ensure that the designers carry out adequate risk assessments. The planning supervisor must ensure that the results of these risk assessments are then incorporated into the design and the pre-tender health and safety plan.
Planning supervisors will therefore need to be satisfied that designers have:
(a) recognised significant risks
(b) eliminated foreseeable risks where reasonably practicable
(c) reduced risks where elimination is not practicable
(d) clearly identified significant remaining risks so that the planning supervisor can ensure that these are included in the pre-tender health and safety plan.
4. Ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that designers co-operate with each other and with the planning supervisor.
The planning supervisor will probably attend design team meetings and may hold separate meetings with each design group in order to discuss progress and be assured that the designers are fulfilling their duties.
5. Ensure that a pre-tender health and safety plan is prepared.
6. If required, advise the client on the competence and resources of contractors.
7. If required, advise the client on the suitability of the development of the construction phase health and safety plan prepared by the principal contractor.
8. Ensure that a health and safety file is prepared and delivered to the client on completion of the works.
The principal contractor is responsible for control and coordination of health and safety on site. The planning supervisor still has an involvement, however, including the co-ordination and preparation of the health and safety file. The planning supervisor is dependent on others for information for the file, eg for "as-built" drawings, "as-used" materials and "as-installed" equipment details. It will therefore be necessary for the planning supervisor to maintain a dialogue with the principal contractor and with designers who are:
(a) adjusting their specification, by making alterations to take account of unforeseen site circumstances, eg the relocation of a live service, or
(b) adding design detail, for example where the pre-contract information is in the form of a performance specification for mechanical services, eg lifts to be able to carry certain numbers of people, and where the actual design will be carried out by the lift engineering designers.
Documenting the Planning Supervisor's Role
In order to obtain planning supervisor commissions, organisations must first prove their competence.
In addition, planning supervisors must be able to prove that their duties have been properly discharged. This will require documentation of each stage of the planning supervisor process. There will clearly be advantages in the use of standard in-house documentation. The following list outlines the areas which will need to be covered.
1. A copy of the notification of the project to the HSE.
2. Assessments of other duty holders' competence (if this service has been requested by the client).
3. Evidence that efforts have been made to co-ordinate the design and flow of information between designers. This may include the minutes of design review meetings and correspondence records.
4. Records showing that designers' role assessments have been checked as adequate.
5. A pre-tender health and safety plan, ie health and safety tender information sent to contractors to allow them to make adequate provision for health and safety in their submissions.
6. A copy of the construction phase health and safety plan, signed off by the planning supervisor as suitably developed for construction to begin (if this service is requested by the client).
7. The health and safety file(s) for the structure once it is complete.
PRINCIPAL CONTRACTORThe principal contractor must be a contractor. A "contractor" as anyone who conducts, manages or employs people to conduct construction work.
This means that the principal contractor could be any of the following:
– a building or civil engineering contractor
– an in-house building/maintenance department
– a management contractor
– in-house or consultant project managers
– in-house or consultant facilities managers.
The most important factor in the appointment of the principal contractor is their competence and resources as appropriate for the proposed project.
How Can Principal Contractors Demonstrate Competence?
What matters is experience and a proven track-record in the type of construction required, together with a sound management organisation.
The main duties in the CDM Regulations for the principal contractor are outlined below.
1. Plan and price for safety at the tender stage
2. Take over and develop the health and safety plan
3. Ensure sub-contractors are competent and are properly co-ordinated
4. Provide information from the health and safety plan to contractors
5. Obtain proposals for minimising risk from contractors
6. Ensure all workers are properly trained
7. Enforce site rules and site access arrangements
8. Ensure that notifications are displayed on site
9. Monitor health and safety on site
10. Provide information for the health and safety file
Documenting the Principal Contractor's Role
In order to become principal contractors, existing contractors will have to be able to prove their competence.
With regard to the management of a project itself, principal contractors will have to be able to demonstrate that they have, for example:
(a) prepared a construction phase health and safety plan, as a development of the pre-tender health and safety plan, and received approval for it from the client before construction begins
(b) checked the competence of contractors
(c) co-ordinated contractors, supplying them with copies of the identity of the principal contractor, planning supervisor and relevant aspects of the health and safety plan, especially site rules and emergency procedures
(d) monitored health and safety during construction
(e) provided information to the planning supervisor for inclusion in the health and safety file.
CONTRACTORTypes of Contractor
The CDM Regulations apply to all of the following types of contractor:
(a) domestic contractors (chosen by the principal contractor), eg earth moving contractors or roofing contractors)
(b) nominated contractors (specified by the client), eg steel fabricators
(c) specialist works contractors, eg for the installation of security equipment.
However, there can only be one principal contractor on the project at any given time.
Contractors, including self-employed people, must be able to carry out the following duties.
1. Demonstrate their competence
2. Co-operate with other contractors
All contractors must co-operate with each other on health and safety matters, under the supervision of the principal contractor.
3. Perform risk assessments on their own work
Contractors must identify significant hazards and eliminate or control significant risks.
4. Contribute to the health and safety plan as it is developed on site
5. Train, instruct and inform their own employees
6. Manage health and safety on their own work
7. Comply with the health and safety plan and follow the directions of the principal contractor
8. Report accidents to the principal contractor
9. Provide information for the health and safety file
Documenting the Contractor's Role
Contractors will need documentation to demonstrate their competence, in order to gain commissions for projects.
For the project on which they are working, contractors will need to document the following:
(a) risk assessments carried out for their own work
(b) information on these risk assessments that is passed on to the principal contractor for inclusion in the health and safety plan
(c) evidence that they have received proper notification from the principal contractor of the identity of the client, designer, planning supervisor, principal contractor and relevant details of the health and safety plan, before commencing work
(d) in the event of the contractor producing design detail, evidence that this has been passed to the principal contractor, so that it may be included in the health and safety file by the planning supervisor
(e) in the event of a reportable accident or incident (as required by RIDDOR), evidence that this information has been passed to the principal contractor.
THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE)
THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE)The HSE has the responsibility for enforcing the CDM Regulations. HSE visits to construction sites are well established. The familiar pattern of HSE visits to ensure that health and safety regulations are being complied with will continue, but CDM compliance on sites will also be checked.
PLANNING AUTHORITIESPlanning regulations, which are administered by the local authority, are concerned with controlling the location and type of buildings which are permitted to be erected. They are not concerned with the method of erecting the buildings, nor do they require contractors' method statements. They are therefore separate to the CDM Regulations and are not affected by them.