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HSE LETTER STARTLES CDM COORDINATORS

Drill rig safety letter prompts CDM-Cs and designers to draw breath

 

Correspondance from an HSE Construction Inspector is circulating amongst CDM Coodinators concerning the hazards associated with small drilling and mini-piling rigs.

The letter outlines the safety issues and goes on to consider the roles of the designer and CDM-C in securing safety during drilling or piling with such equipment.

Some concern has been expressed that the letter implies the CDM-C may have a directing role for site safety when it states, inter alia, “guards should only be removed…. on the advice of the CDM-C following an assessment of the risks”.

The letter also considers the role of designers including the statement that designers may be “forcing contractors to ignore machinery safety legislation”.

Comment: Interested parties may read the letter and form their own opinion as to whether the advice given is consistent with the requirements of the CDM Regulations 2007.

The choice of language used is not to our taste although the letter merely appears to be stating: (a) there is a hazard (b) control by means of guarding is preferred by HSE (c) designers should consider the hazard and (d) the CDM-C should do likewise when taking their usual steps to ensure designers comply with their duties. Nothing new here then?

Finally, the letter states that where accidents or incidents occur with unguarded rigs HSE will track back to check that all parties gave the issue appropriate consideration.

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