Propertyserve and Hosking Associates warn the sector to be aware of their legal duties
Propertyserve UK, the facilities management helpdesk provider and managed procurement specialist has come together with health and safety provider, Hosking Associates, to warn FMs to pay close attention to the new Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) (1), which came into force on Monday 6th April.
CDM is a piece of legislation that aims to reduce accidents during construction projects via good design, planning and co-operation from concept to completion and – ultimately – decommissioning. The regulations affect all construction work including construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance. It also includes work on mechanical and electrical services. It also specifies legal requirements on safety standards for areas where operatives are conducting their work and for the provision of welfare facilities.
Previously the majority of CDM requirements were only relevant for larger projects which were notifiable to the HSE. The new regulations are now relevant for all defined construction work including small maintenance tasks and work on domestic property. Notification is still required for certain work but it is now entirely separate and the criteria has changed slightly. Notification is required if:
• The project lasts longer than 30 days AND there is likely to be 20 people on site simultaneously; or
• Exceeds 500 person days
Notification is online to the HSE and must be undertaken by the client.
Chris MacDonald, managing director at Propertyserve, said: “In terms of the significance of the new CDM regulations for the FM industry – they are enormous. Trying to keep track on small maintenance jobs is no mean feat, and will require a far larger labour force. Small maintenance contractors and builders not carrying out large project work are now going to be impacted.
“However, I believe there is a significant lack of awareness on the part of facilities and property management providers, client and supplier side. This is why we are keen to highlight the issue to the industry and to our clients.”
Louise Hosking, director at Hosking Associates, said: “A construction phase plan must be completed prior to any construction work being undertaken even for smaller jobs. This is designed to make contractors stop and think before they undertake work. Clients who instruct work must now provide pre-construction information, or hazard information, which will enable the contractor to complete this and work safely.”
If more than one contractor has been involved in the process the client must appoint a principal designer who has to return a ‘health & safety file’ to them at the end of the job. This contains information on the work completed and components installed.
Clients duties have been enhanced, because they are at the head of the supply chain and the previous role of the CDM coordinator no longer exists. Anyone completing a task on a property who does not comply with this is effectively working outside of the new regulations. Clients who fail to make the correct appointments when they should automatically take on these responsibilities and are at most risk of prosecution if something goes wrong.
“The way a building project is organised can reduce risks to workers significantly. It is imperative that everyone involved – architects, engineers, builders and the property manage all work together to meet the new standards, added Hosking.”
Propertyserve and Hosking Associates have developed a system for Propertyserve clients, which deals with the whole process automatically, ensuring contractors working on smaller tasks that fall within the regulations receive a ‘CDM compliance pack’ developed by Propertyserve, allowing everyone involved from client to supplier to remain compliant as well as retaining a complete audit trail.
Chris MacDonald said: “Specifically managing with fabric and reactive maintenance for our clients means that we are heavily impacted by the change in regulations and now face additional legislation and paperwork that previously didn’t really affect our work. We wanted to create a solution for our clients when it came to CDM compliance – to guide them through the process.”
Important points to note:
Ø The new legislation recognises that large construction sites are not where most people are being badly injured or killed.
Ø The construction industry has the largest number of occupational cancer cases with 3500 deaths and 5500 cancer registrations each year. Exposure to silica, diesel engine exhausts, solar radiation and work undertaken by painters and welders is expected to be the main causes of cancer in the industry into the future. Other common occupational illnesses are hearing loss, musculoskeletal issues from lifting and dermatitis.
Ø Clients will now have to provide information to contractors on hazards they are aware of. The issue of health and safety file information at the end will save clients money in the future if the information is retained and used.
Ø The new requirements definitely increase the amount of documentation required especially for smaller jobs. and it will be interesting to see how the industry reacts as a whole.
Construction phase H&S Plan: http://www.hosking-associates.com/blog/cdm-2015-construction-phase-plan/
The Health and Safety file: http://www.hosking-associates.com/blog/cdm15-hs-files-dont-be-caught-out/
Pre-construction information: http://www.hosking-associates.com/blog/cdm-2015-pre-construction-information/