There’s quite a bit to think about, organise and arrange. More than what I can get into one post. Under Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015), roles have been assigned with various responsibilities.
- Client – Domestic or commercial
- Principle designer – The designer (Architect) appointed by the client
- Designer – Anybody who has designed part of the project
- Principle contractor – The contractor appointed by the client to manage the construction phase where there is more than one contractor.
- Contractor – A company or individual that carries out construction work.
- Worker – Individuals that work under the supervision of a contractor.
This post will look at the responsibilities of the contractors. If you want to find out more about roles and responsibilities it’s well worth looking on the HSE website.
A single contractor appointed by a domestic client will take on the role of the principal contractor, contractor and normally take on the responsibilities of the domestic client too. So make yourself familiar with those roles.
Below is an essential list of things to do:
1. Notify HSE
A project where the construction phase is planned to last longer than 30 working days and involves more than 20 workers at any one time or work exceeds 500 individual worker days is notifiable, and you must:
- Notify HSE in writing with details of the project.
- Display notification
2. Construction Phase Plan
The document is designed to help plan, manage and monitor the construction work. This only needs to be a simple document if it’s a small job, demonstrating that you have considered health and safety on the project. It needs to contain:
- Key dates
- Location of welfare facilities
- Isolation points of services
- Site security and restricting access
- Location of any asbestos present
- Other dangerous events, tasks and what is going to be done about them (Scaffolding and dust are common)
- Contact details for other contractors
- How you are going to communicate changes on site to others (Daily briefing)
A larger job or more complex job may require a more detailed construction phase plan. You may even need to go back and revise it or add to it throughout the project.
If your project is domestic, the clients’ duties will normally transfer to the principal contractor. Which means you are essentially providing a workplace for people, so you will need to provide:
- A well-lit toilet (maintained)
- Washbasin with warm/hot and cold running water, soap and towels.
- Somewhere dry to change and dry clothes.
- Drinking water and cups.
- A warm, well-ventilated space with seating
- Means to make hot food and drink
4. First aid facilities
Accidents happen, and you are required to provide adequate first aid. HSE has provided some help assessing your requirements on their website. As a bare minimum you require:
- Appropriate first aid supplies, available at your builders’ merchants or Amazon.
- An appointed person who looks after the first aid equipment and calls the emergency services when required
- Signage with where the first aid supplies are and who the appointed person is.
HSE suggests that construction sites with more than 5 people should have at least one person trained in EFAW (Emergency First Aid at Work) or FAW (First Aid at Work).
5. Fire safety
Fire action notices, a means to raise an alarm, and fire fighting equipment.
Legislation requires a fire risk assessment to be carried out and kept up to date throughout the project. The assessment should help you identify possible fuel for fires and ignition sources, and anybody who may need any assistance in the event of a fire.
- Means to detect and raise alarm in the event of a fire
- Have the correct fire fighting equipment
- Have clearly marked fire exit and the route kept clear
- Make sure workers know the procedure
6. Site security
You need to keep anybody who is not supposed to be there off the site. It’s not to difficult during working hours, but at weekends and evenings, it’s a problem. Anyone who gets injured or worse on your site is your responsibility, and that includes when the site is closed. If a child gets on to your site and falls down an open hole, you’ll definitely get a hefty fine. Do more than your best to keep people out and make sure the site is safe at all times.
6. Other considerations
If you employ anybody you will need to display the health and safety poster.
Your obligations to health and safety does not stop here. It is an ongoing task and with some preparation and practice, you’ll find it a little easier. Think about building it into your usual routines.
If you’ve got anything you think I should include on the list let me know, I’ll gladly add it.