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CDM REGULATIONS DELIVER SUCCESS ON LONDON 2012 PROJECT

How the Olympics project secured health and safety revealed in research report

HSE has published the findings of a research project which examined the extent to which CDM Regulations 2007 helped or hindered the construction of London 2012 by reviewing how CDM duties were put into practice.

The researchers found that CDM 2007 had been extended and implemented successfully. In particular:

  • client (ODA/CLM) had a significant impact on health and safety;
  • early and ongoing planning, coordination and contractor involvement were crucial;
  • principal contractors shared ideas and lessons learned.
  • worker engagement helped to motivate the workforce and get key messages across.
  • when compared with the wider construction industry, London 2012 scored significantly higher in 27 of the 39 Influence Network factors.

The research was based on interviews with ODA Sponsors, Designers, CDM Coordinators, Tier 1 Contractors and CLM Project Managers on nine projects. In addition, a structured workshop was held with a range of dutyholders from a range of projects.

Key conclusions

The report was commissioned by the Olympic Delivery Authority and funded by HSE and the Institution of Civil Engineers and concluded that:

“millions of hours of work can be undertaken and a project delivered in a tight timescale without compromising health and safety. This was demonstrated across the board, but was most evident in the Athletes’ Village; the large quantity of construction work undertaken within the Athletes’ Village in the timescale demonstrates to the construction industry what the possibilities are.

At the Organisational (site) level, the results from both London 2012 and the wider construction industry indicated that the same five factors had the most influence, namely: Management, Supervision, Training, Planning/Risk Assessment and Communication of Information / Advice”

The primary factors that characterised how health and safety was addressed on London 2012 were:

  • Impact of ODA on health and safety – setting the tone for health and safety, and then reinforcing this on a daily basis; ODA’s actions tied in with their words giving credibility to the health and safety message;
  • Value of integrated teams – contractors provided valuable input to the design stage; neither Contractors nor Designers could have come up with the final solutions on their own. Building integrated teams can help in applying CDM 2007 – engineers within teams were more familiar with the requirements of CDM 2007 than those involved in security and landscaping, and introduced the concepts to other team members;
  • Value of CDM Coordinators – they provided a challenge function and asked searching questions of designers; continuity of the same CDM Coordinator from Design through to Construction Phase was useful;
  • CDM Integrator on the Olympic Park – this provided consistency in the standard and ways of working of the CDM Coordinators;
  • CDM Coordinators reporting key information monthly – this provided CLM and ODA with consistent information on highlights, escalation, lessons learned, Health and Safety File progress reporting and a scorecard for key performance indicators;
  • Sharing ideas and lessons – tier1 contractors who are competitors outside of London 2012 share ideas on how to solve problems; near-miss information is shared, giving other Principal Contractors advanced warning of potential problems. Principal Contractors were bringing lessons into London 2012 from their wider businesses, sharing them with other Principal Contractors who then disseminated the lessons out to their wider businesses;
  • Carrot and stick approach – excellent health facilities were provided, there were numerous briefings, lessons were shared and the staff were engaged with; in addition, both workers and managerial staff were removed from the Park for inappropriate behaviour; the two together reinforced the importance of health and safety;
  • Interface management – the Logistics and Structures, bridges & highways Principal Contractors required access to sites ‘occupied’ by other PCs; the interfaces were managed via co-ordinated Land Areas and handovers;
  • Management systems compatible with CDM 2007 – this makes compliance with CDM 2007 more likely as CDM 2007 fits into these organisations natural way of operating;
  • Designer early cooperation – designers for some of the bridge structures consulted with steel fabricators at a very early stage to ascertain what the best solutions were; when it came to fabricate and construct these bridge designs, they had already incorporated buildability enhancements so saving time in fabrication and construction and reducing exposure to fabrication and construction risks;
  • Culture of ‘only build things once’ – the amount of re-work was fairly low; most clashes are picked up at the design stage or when the Principal Contractors obtain the designs; this minimises the time and cost of construction as well as minimising the time workers are spent exposed to risks;
  • Culture of challenge to all significant decisions – this meant that organisations were constantly asking questions such as ‘Is this the best way to do it?’ and ‘Can we do it a better way?’; this was found to be an effective form of risk management, and introduced an appropriate culture to organisations; the discussions were also relevant for achieving construction to time and budget;
  • Worker engagement – it was pointed out that engagement incurs little cost, but helps to motivate the workforce and get key messages across;
  • Behavioural health and safety initiatives – to make people responsible for their own safety and the safety of others;
  • Positive health and safety culture – people are motivated, there is a high level of team working, people discuss health and safety issues, workers receive task briefings every day, there was regular feedback to site workers, and managers and supervisors set a good example;
  • Procurement and contracting strategies – used to influence health and safety performance. Health and safety was considered explicitly in both the procurement process and the contracts between ODA and its suppliers;
  • High corporate standards – organisations had their own standards and management systems and roles were well defined; in addition organisational processes were supplemented by the requirements of CLM;
  • HSE involvement – HSE had dedicated teams for London 2012, and provided advice on both design and construction

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