When you employ a contractor, the CDM regulations 2007 state that you must ensure that they are competent in Health and Safety. If there is an accident and you have not ensured that they are competent you could be open to prosecution by the HSE.
When does CDM apply?
The regulations apply to all non-domestic construction projects but there are extra responsibilities for those where construction work is likely to take more than 30 days, or there are more than 500 person days of construction work (30 days site). Construction work covers the clearing of the site through to the fitting out of the building.
1. The responsibility of the Client
1.1.Ensure that everyone appointed to work on the project is competent to carry out the tasks required of them.
1.2.Be satisfied that those appointed will allocate adequate resources to health and safety
1.3.Provide information about the site (e.g. power cables in the ground,restrictions to the site, asbestos or other dangers)
1.4.Allow for sufficient time and resources
1.5.Must not set unrealistic building programmes that jeopardise safety.
1.6.Ensure that a health and safety plan has been prepared before work starts on site and that the designers and contractors comply with it.
1.7.Ensure that adequate welfare facilities are available
1.8.Appoint a CDM Coordinator (if a 30 day site)
2. The responsibility of the Client as a Designer
Where a Client states the layout of the building, or where it is to be placed, or the type of construction or cladding to be used, he could be considered a Designer. The Designer’s responsibilities under the CDM regulations may give him the responsibility to:
2.1.Ensure that the design can be constructed safely.
2.2.Ensure that the building can be maintained safely for its design life.
2.3.Ensure that any risks introduced by the design are flagged up to the contractors.
3. The responsibility of the Client as a CDM Coordinator
Where the project is above the 30 day site limit and the Client does not specify another person as a CDM Coordinator it will be considered that he has taken on the role himself. As a Coordinator he will be required to:
3.1.Notify the Site to the Health and Safety Executive
3.2.Ensure the designer has ensured that the construction can be carried out, maintained and demolished safely.
3.3.Ensure a Health and Safety file is prepared
3.4.Ensure a Health and Safety plan is provided by the Principal Contractor.
4. The responsibility of the Client as a Principal Contractor
When a Client lets contracts to different contractors covering, ground works, building erection, fitting out, etc. He may be acting as the Principal Contractor and if so will be required to:
4.1.Prepare a Health and Safety plan
4.2.Take responsibility for the welfare, health and safety performance of his “sub-contractors”.
4.3Ensure the sub-contractors work in accordance with the Health and Safety plan
4.4.Ensure that the various sub-contractors co-operate with each other as regards health and safety.
4.5.Ensure that any sub-contractors, as employers, properly train their employees.
The Client who constructs his own building can find himself responsible for all of the above.
Where the Client uses his own labour or sub contract labour, he could probably be acting as the Client, the Designer, the Coordinator, the Principal Contractor and the Sub Contractor and so has full responsibility for health and safety for the design life of the building.
Code of Practice
Contracting Corporate Members Agree to:
Complete and submit an annual accidents return.
When working on a contract Members agree that they will:
4 provide the client with the necessary professional advice,
4 not quote for a project for which they are unsuited,
4 hold adequate employers and public liability insurance,
4 ensure that their written quotation will plainly state:
the price for the work,
what is included,
what form of agreement or contract will be used.
Proceed with the work according to the agreement between them and the client and keep the client informed of progress.
Work to an acceptable health and safety plan and in accordance with relevant industry standards.
Have an adequately supervised, trained and qualified work force/subcontractors.
Ensure that if there are unavoidable delays or problems the client will be informed as soon as possible.
Ensure that if there are changes to the work specified or extra costs are involved, that whenever possible, the client will be informed and agreement reached with them before the work begins.
Ensure that their employees treat the client and their property with respect.
Ensure that, unless otherwise agreed with the client, they will leave the site clean and tidy and ready for use.
Ensure that any relevant information is passed to the client or is available to the client.
Comply with the RIDBA complaints procedure.