Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic

    INCREASING CDM COORDINATOR INFLUENCE

    CDM Coordinator role is not to second guess design judgements

    In recent months Philip Poynter has argued for a return to basics when considering CDM 2007 duties. He has examined roles of Coordinator, Designer and Client.

    This month he looks at how the impact and influence of the Coordinator (CDM-C) function might be increased.

     

    The best friend of the construction client?

    When the CDM 2007 Regulations were first rolled out the Coordinator (CDM-C) was heralded as new ‘best friend’ to the construction client. A suggestion that was always likely to struggle in the face of traditional project relationships where, if the client has a best friend, it is usually the architect or other lead designer.

    So why was it thought the CDM-C role should and could fill such a key position in relation to the project client?

    Client comfort blanket and insurance policy?

    Under CDM 2007 the client faced the prospect of more onerous responsibilities for construction project safety and would need a CDM-C to navigate a path through the practical and legal minefield. The CDM-C was to be the ‘comfort blanket’ and ‘insurance policy’ for a worried client.

    The reality is that government played down changes to the client duty and continued to focus primarily on contractors and sites rather than clients and boardrooms. Why therefore should construction clients lose too much sleep over CDM duties when so few clients were engaged or ‘inspected’ by HSE let alone prosecuted?

    Rather than becoming the client’s best friend the CDM-C is seen by many as a marginalised role lacking influence and failing to add real value.

    Way forward for increasing CDM-C influence

    A review of CDM 2007 is currently in progress. Assuming the role remains what can be done to shift the CDM-C function into a more positive position within construction project risk management? 

    The answer – a modest goal – is to start by become a better friend to project designers rather than competing with designers for client affection! A competition the CDM-C will always lose.

    Designers are increasingly likely to face investigation and litigation when things go wrong on construction projects. Perhaps more so than the client.

    A proactive, involved and helpful CDM-C can provide greater protection for designers without usurping their role. By securing greater status in the eyes of the design community the CDM-C importance to the client will increase.

    Start with a clear understanding of how the CDM-C can assist designers

    The starting point is a clear understanding of the CDM-C role in relation to designers and thereafter engaging designers in a positive and cooperative way.

    The CDM-C has thee main responsibilities in respect of designers:

    Pre-construction information: the CDM-C should aim for excellence in assembling the PCI in a form and with content that designers find useful. The ACOP provides a good starting point to be infomed by talking with designers and finding out what they find useful;

    Coordination and cooperation: making and implementing sensible arrangements for coordination of H&S issues during planning and preparation will be welcomed if they enable designers to get with the job of design; and

    Designer compliance: the CDM-C must take all reasonable steps to ensure that designers comply with the duty to avoid risk during design preparation. Such involvement in relation to designer risk avoidance duties is more problematic.

    The CDM-C has tended to adopt two opposite positions, either second guessing design decisions or doing nothing. 

    Second guessing design judgements adds no value

    What is NOT required is second guessing of design decisions. The CDM-C role is about coordination not design.

    What IS required of the CDM-C is a systematic consideration of how designers on the project go about complying with their duties to avoid foreseeable risk etc.

    Designers must have a credible process for avoiding risk and passing on information on significant risks that remain. This CDM-C ‘check’ needs to be carried out in a spirit of cooperation and helpfulness.

    There is no one best way for designers to comply with their risk avoidance duties. The CDM-C should look for sound evidence of a compliant process and not a compliant design.

    When the CDM-C has ticked the ‘Designer Compliance’ box it provides protection for both designers and clients. If carried out in a spirit of openness and learning it should identify improvements to designer risk avoidance processes and outcomes.

    Remember, the CDM 2007 ACOP states that the CDM-C :” is not required to approve or check designs, although they have to be satisfied that the design process addresses the need to eliminate hazards and control risks

    Conclusion

    The CDM-C is a function not a person. At present this function is not highly regarded by other members of the project team.

    Understanding what the function involves vis-à-vis designers and delivering a quality service will increase CDM-C added value and influence in the eyes of designer and client alike.

    The next step is to repeat the process with contractors. The subject for a future article!

    ………….END………….

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    HSE ENFORCEMENT DATABASE UPDATE 20th MAR 2019

    hselogo1Latest online register of prosecutions and enforcement notices

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 20th March 2019

    BRICKLAYER FATALLY INJURED BY FALLING WALL

    Masonry collapsed during concrete back filling operation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th March 2019

    BASIC LADDER SAFETY FAILURES FINED £150,000

    Repair and maintenance firm had no excuse for errors causing injury

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th March 2019

    HSE ISSUES REMINDER ON SAFE SCAFFOLD DESIGN

    Recent incidents and high winds prompt warning from regulator

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th March 2019

    LORRY DRIVER DIED IN OVERHEAD POWER STRIKE

    Major company failed to communicate precautions to grab arm operator

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th March 2019

    ASSESSMENT SHOWED RISK – PRECAUTIONS NOT TAKEN

    Workman seriously injured when falling into open unguarded stairwell

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st March 2019

    MAJOR FIRM FAILED TO IMPLEMENT SAFE SYSTEM

    Procedures for safe plant refuelling failed to prevent death of workman

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 26th February 2019

    CLIENT PROSECUTED OVER CONTRACTOR FATAL FALL

    Company breached duty to protect contractors as well as employees

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 26th February 2019

    FOURTEEN YEAR FAILURE TO MANAGE ASBESTOS

    Firm failed to implement asbestos management plan following survey

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th February 2019

    CHILD INJURED BY WALL COLLAPSE INCIDENT

    Council failed to carry out “intelligence led” condition inspections

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2019

    BOTTLE JACK SUPPORT FAILED TO PREVENT DEATH

    Director sentenced alongside company over death of engineer

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2019

    TEMPORARY WORKS FAILURES CAUSED FATAL FALL

    Platform not designed and system for installation and inspection inadequate

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2019

    SOLVENT IGNITED DURING FLOOR CLEANING WORKS

    Flammable solvent fire fought with water spreading fire further

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 13th February 2019

    INEVITABLE COLLAPSE OF SCAFFOLD ON TO SCHOOL

    Scaffold not designed or installed to withstand foreseeable loads

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 13th February 2019

    OIL DRUM EXPLODED DURING HOT CUTTING WORK

    Firm fined £400k after drum lid ejected causing loss of leg

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th February 2019

    ROOFLIGHT FALL ON NUCLEAR POWER SITE

    Energy generating company and maintenance contractor fined

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th February 2019

    DIRECTOR PROSECUTED AFTER 6METRE ROOF FALL

    Untrained worker fell through rooflight in fragile asbestos roof

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th February 2019

    HSE ALERT: MILD STEEL WELDING CANCER RISK

    HSE announces enforcement action change based on new cancer evidence

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th February 2019

    LORRY MOUNTED LIFTING OPERATION PROVED FATAL

    Steel staircase toppled from vehicle after sling snagged

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th February 2019

    DIRECTOR AND BUSINESS IN COURT OVER DEATH

    Scaffold not priced for on domestic roof-line refurbishment work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th February 2019

    FRAGILE ROOFLIGHT HAZARD PROTECTION MISSING

    Two businesses prosecuted after a worker fell through a fragile rooflight

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th February 2019

    STRUCTURAL SAFETY BODY LATEST NEWSLETTER

    CROSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th February 2019

    FINGERS CRUSHED BY METAL FOLDING MACHINE

    Steel cladding firm fined £600k over failure guard access to danger

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th February 2019

    ASBESTOS ILLEGALLY REMOVED AFTER SURVEY

    Surveyor pricing asbestos work found contractor jumped the gun

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th February 2019

    SITE DUMPER PRECAUTIONS FAILED TO PREVENT DEATH

    Contractor fined £600k for poor management of vehicle/people interface

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th February 2019
    Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic