• Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data

    CDM REGULATIONS 2015: DESIGNING IN THE DARK?

    HSE criticised over lack of designer guidance on risk avoidance

    The Safety and Health Practitioner journal (SHP) has published an article by John Carpenter (Consultant) which argues there is a lack of clarity regarding the legal requirement placed on design organisations under CDM 2015. He states:

    “without the control and sign-posting necessary for goal-setting legislation to work effectively the regulation is unworkable. The formal guidance fails to tackle this and recent advice from HSE adds further confusion.

    There is no clarity, even after 20 years of CDM, for the construction designer. This has been significantly influenced by HSE’s historical stance of denying that a problem exists, but declining to discuss it in any meaningful manner.”

    Carpenter believes that:

    “The new HSE Legal Guidance (L153) does little to help the designer understand the process of eliminating risk or, where not reasonably practicable, to try to reduce it.

    Indeed, two examples quoted, that of moving plant off the roof to ground level (para 86a) and reducing the size of paving flags (para 87a), point designers in a direction and then abandon them, providing no explanation as to how, within the context of real project pressures, the legal requirement is achieved with confidence. “

    Suggested way forward

    The article proposes that the way forward is to: (a) identify sectors e.g. domestic basements, new housing, refurbishment, known to be of legitimate concern to HSE and others; and (b) consult users (clients and others), principal designers and constructors order to determine any key concerns.

    Guidance can then be written to illustrate the necessary actions that are to be taken by those involved in design. Two examples have been written and published on the ICE website. John Carpenter concludes that:

    “It is a legitimate comment, after some 20 years, to argue that with authority comes responsibility: a responsibility to provide clarity for the ‘rule of law’. Industry has offered to assist and has started the process by producing the two guidance sheets cited above. These do not solve the underlying problem but are a pragmatic and directly applicable step forward. Industry needs to speak. HSE needs to act.”

    Comment

    Concerns over ‘uncertainty’ created by goal setting legal duties started with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the qualification “so far as is reasonably practicable”. See our posts and comments on CDM Designer Duties.

    The old adage…. “Be careful what you wish for” is relevant here.

    The benefit of uncertainty is flexibility for the duty holder which allows design decisions to be based on the facts in each situation. By contrast, greater certainty and specification comes with less flexibility and removes the ability of designers to tailor decisions in each case. You pays your money….

    In addition, uncertainty makes it more difficult for the regulator to prove that an offence has been committed. The regulator might question the substance of what is done to comply, however, the best ‘defence’ for design organisations is to establish a risk avoidance process which is practical, followed by staff and monitored.

    CDM 2015 Information and Templates

    See CDM 2015 Survey Results for the findings of our CDM 2015 Five Minute Online Survey.

    We have published a great deal of further information and templates designed to support Clients, Designers, Principal Designers/Contractors and Contractors in meeting their duties under CDM Regulations 2015

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    BULK BAG COLLAPSE CAUSED BY UNSAFE STACKING

    Bulk bag collapsed onto workman when struck by fork lift

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th December 2019

    INTERLOCKED GUARD NOT WORKING TO ISOLATE POWER

    Two workmen seriously injured when plant started unexpectedly

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th December 2019

    STREET FURNITURE RISK TO PUBLIC FINED £1.4M

    Council prosecuted following injury to child playing on hinged bollard

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th December 2019

    WORKMEN SUFFER SERIOUS BURNS FROM CABLE STRIKE

    Assessment and system of work failed to appreciate electrical risk

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th November 2019

    LADDERS WERE INAPPROPRIATE FOR WORK ON ROOF

    Workman paralysed after falling whilst installing roof ladder

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 28th November 2019

    FIRM FAILED TO MANAGE EXHAUST VENTILATION

    HSE enforcement notices on wood dust and welding fume ignored

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th November 2019

    RECALCITRANT DIRECTOR BARRED FROM OFFICE

    Dangerous telehandler used despite earlier fatality and enforcement

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th November 2019

    DIRECTOR HID UNSAFE WORKING PRACTICES FROM HSE

    Workers exposed to sprayed paints containing asthma causing isocyantes

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th November 2019

    JAIL TERM FOR CONTRACTOR CAUSING GAS RISK

    Roofer sentenced after work caused carbon monoxide release

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 22nd November 2019

    UNSTABLE STAIRCASE COLLAPSE DURING REFURB WORK

    Workman not informed of staircase hazard suffered serious injury

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 22nd November 2019

    UNUSED SEAT BELT WAS “COMMON PRACTICE” ON SITE

    Overturning dumper truck caused death of operators at spoil heap

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 22nd November 2019

    SELECTED NEWS POSTED RECENTLY ON TWITTER

    PP Construction Safety logo and link to home page [1]Links to other construction health and safety related news reports

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th November 2019

    HSE LOOK TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES FOR CDM SUPPORT

    Council Inspectors focus on CDM client duties – asbestos, fragility and RCS

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th November 2019

    VERBAL WARNING OF DANGER IS NO DEFENCE

    Hand of female worker entangled in modified metal drilling rig

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th November 2019

    UNDERGROUND CABLE STRIKE CAUSES 50% BURNS

    Workman seriously injured using hand-held breaker to excavate post holes

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th November 2019

    HSE WELDING FUME REVISED GUIDANCE PUBLISHED

    New research evidence on cancer link prompts revision on welding fume

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th November 2019

    VIBRATION MANAGEMENT FAILINGS FINED £600,000

    Vital health surveillance, tool replacement and management found wanting

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th November 2019

    HSE ENFORCEMENT DATABASE LATEST UPDATE

    hselogo1View current online register of HSE prosecutions and enforcement notices

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 31st October 2019

    DEVELOPER AND DIRECTOR PUT PUBLIC AT RISK

    Demolition undertaken without surveys and effective safety precautions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 28th October 2019

    BY-PASSING MACHINE INTERLOCK FINED £1.275 MILLION

    Trapped key safety system failed to prevent access to conveyor danger

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th October 2019

    HSE LOSES PATIENCE WITH ERRANT CONTRACTOR

    Roofing firm fined £30,000 over failure to manage work at height risks

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th October 2019

    TRUSS ERECTION LACKED INTERNAL FALL PROTECTION

    Carpenter fell and injured whilst falling with roof truss

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th October 2019

    WORKMAN FELL HEAD FIRST THROUGH ROOFLIGHT

    Fragile roof dangers not assessed and properly controlled

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th October 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 18th October 2019

    HSE RISK REDUCTION THROUGH DESIGN AWARD

    Regulator seeks to promote hazard avoidance and risk minimisation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th October 2019
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data