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CONSTRUCTION HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS: 14 APR 2008

SUMMARY

The News Desk this week covers: CDM notifications, lifting operations, recent incidents, chemicals and HSE enforcement. For a printer friendly version of this information please CLICK HERE

CDM REGULATIONS 2007 

Guidance on CDM notification requirements

There has been a good deal discussion between clients and CDM-Coordinators concerning signing of the CDM project notification (Form10). HSE  has issued guidance recently confirming that it is acceptable for either the Client or the CDM-C to sign the notification.

Comment: It is perhaps more important that clients appoint a CDM-C at the right time! Some clients are still failing to appoint early in the design process. Architects and other designers must remember that they are prohibited from undertaking anything other than initial design work unless a CDM-C has been appointed. ‘Initial design’ work includes feasibility studies and work necessary to identify client requirements or constraints. By contrast HSE has provided the following examples to illustrate what is beyond initial design:

  • work within and beyond RIBA Stage C;
  • work within and beyond CIC Consultant Contract 2006 Stage;
  • work beyond OGC Gateway 1 and ;
  • work within and beyond ACE Agreement A(1) or B (1) Stage C3    

LIFTING OPERATIONS

Worker dies as load falls from crane 

A firm has been prosecuted and fined following the death after a man struck by a load that fell from a crane. There was no safety catch on crane hook, loads were being moved above those below and the crane operators had not been adequately trained.

Mobile crane overturns during work on steel framed structure

The mobile crane is on its side at what appears to be the site of a steel framed building under construction. Most mobile crane overturns are caused when the load imposed on an outrigger exceeds the ground bearing capacity. 

Comment: It can be difficult to determine the ground bearing capacity when using a mobile crane. However, a full and proper assessment is required using the information available, which may at times require ground investigation work. The outrigger base pad layout must be determined and constructed accordingly. CIRIA produce a useful guide and there is further information in the Cranes and Lifting Operations section of our web library. When a mobile crane on hire overturns HSE will look at the roles of both the crane hire company and the hirer and will seek evidence that a lifting plan was in place, implemented and monitored.

RECENT INCIDENTS

Builder dies in excavation incident on domestic property

This death involved a small builder who died when an excavation in which he was working collapsed. The man is believed to be in his twenties and was undertaking extension work on a domestic property.

Comment: This incident highlights the continuing difficulty of effectively communicating the need for basic safety precautions to smaller builders. These builders are working on domestic properties where the householder client has no duties under CDM and hence client pressure for good health and safety is minimal. The Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) is currently examining how HSE and others might inflence smaller builders more effectively. There have been some initiatives in this area including Builder Infonet, a quarterly information sheet for the smaller builder.   

Two workmen fall down well on former school site  

This incident took place on the site of a former school being redeveloped as flats. The two workers were trapped in the shaft for one and a half hours after falling into the 40ft deep well.

Comment: The provision of high quality CDM pre-construction information (PCI) is the first step in avoiding such incidents. Client for all projects are required to provide others with relevant information in their possession or information that can be obtained by sensible enquiries, including surveys and other investigations where necessary. This allows those tendering or preparing for the work to consider these hazards when making their bids or plans. On notifable projects the CDM-C apppointed by the client will work with the client to identify and collect the PCI.

‘CHEMICALS’ AND CONSTRUCTION

New law on ‘chemicals’ IS relevant to construction

The new regulations for managing manufacture, supply and use of chemicals are known as REACH – Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. The regulations apply to many construction products including metals, glues, paints, solvents, detergents, plastics and polishes. 

Comment: The implications for the contruction industry concern continuity of supply. If you rely upon a particular product you may wish to check that the supplier is planning to support the product throughout the REACH process and is not planning to discontinue production of what might be a key product in your processes.

HSE ENFORCEMENT IN CONSTRUCTION

Prosecutions added to the HSE database in the last week  

The above link finds prosecutions taken by HSE Construction Division that have been added to the database in the last week. The three records added this week all relate to an incident in which a trainee scaffolder died rsulting in fines of £75k for the two contractors involved.   

Enforcement notices added to the HSE database in the last week 

The above link finds 95 Prohibition and Improvement Notices issued by HSE Construction Division and added to the database in the last week. These notices were served during the first week of February 2008 when the HSE refubishment blitz was being carried out so the numbers issued are higher than normal and contain many notices relating to falls, slips, trips and good order. 

OTHER NEWS

CCA say it may be years before there is a Corporate Manslaughter prosecution  

Too many company shared vehicles unfit for use

Brothers to be sentenced by court for faulty gas work

AND FINALLY… 

Water workers face attack from new breed of ‘rats’?

  

END

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