CDM 2015 regulations
Construction work primarily refers to the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work and includes: The construction, alteration, conversion, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance de-commissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure. Although other areas such as the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer or similar services which are normally fixed within or to a structure will also fall under the CDM Regulations
A “Client” is the individual or organisation for whom a construction project is carried out and they must make suitable arrangements to ensure Health and Safety is managed throughout the entire project. A Principal Designer has knowledge of construction and design and assists the client at the pre-construction stage to ensure health and safety is managed. A Principal Contractor is responsible for managing Health and Safety on the construction site during the construction work.
The Health and Safety Hub has a full suite of documents and information to ensure you understand the role you are performing and to help you comply with the regulations. We also offer CDM training sessions to accompany the documentation for all the major roles to make sure you understand what is required.
The principle behind the CDM 2015 Regulations is to promote good communication between all parties involved on a project and ensure all information that could have an influence on health and safety is passed to those that need it. This “pre-planning” is used correctly will help to manage not only health and Safety but the entire project as it will be planned in greater detail from an earlier start point and foreseeable issues will be identified at an early stage meaning less accidents and a greater likelihood of the project finishing on time and on budget.
The HSE have taken a strong stance of breaches in the CDM regulations as with other Health and Safety infringements and due to a change in the sentencing guidelines introduced in November 2018 an organisation can be fined up to 10% of its gross annual turnover and in extreme cases where a person dies and a case of gross negligence or corporate manslaughter is brought, a person (including directors) could now face a maximum prison sentence of 18 years depending on their level of culpability.
Health and Safety Audits and Site Safety Audits
A Health and Safety Audit or Site Safety Audit is a documented investigation in how an organisation is managing health and safety and can be in-depth looking at the entire health and safety management system or on a smaller scale such as looking at a work site or individual building/area and again ensuring health and safety is being correctly managed in that area/location.
You must regularly examine the quality and effectiveness of your health and safety management systems. It is notable that when the HSE conduct their investigations into major accidents, it usually highlights health and safety management failures as being the root of the cause. Site safety audits also evidence a legal requirement to supervise employees.
Health and Safety Policy Documents
A documented health and safety policy is a legal requirement if you employ five or more people. If you have fewer than five employees you do not have to write anything down, though it is considered useful to do so if, for example, something changes and your numbers expand.
if you employ contractors or sub-contractors in the course of your business you should have a policy to manage them, it is also advisable to have policies on such things as fire and emergency, first aid and accident reporting and investigation to name just a few.
Near Miss and Incident Reporting
Employers should encourage the reporting of near misses and gain an opportunity to look at why they happened and put preventative measures in place to prevent future near misses or actual incidents from happening. Collecting near-miss reports helps create a culture that seeks to identify and control hazards, which will reduce risks and the potential for harm.
There is a legal requirement to record accidents and records must be kept of all of ‘over-three-day injuries’, which are those where a person who is injured at work is incapacitated for more than three consecutive days. Information on accidents, incidents and ill health can be used as an aid to risk assessment, helping to develop solutions to potential risks. Records also help to prevent injuries and ill health, and control costs from accidental loss. As well as this the RIDDOR regulations require the reporting of some illnesses, injuries and occurrences directly to the HSE which will need to be backed up by the incident report and records.
Permits To Work
The permit-to-work is a document that authorises certain people to carry out specific work within a specified time frame. It sets out the precautions required to complete the work safely, based on a risk assessment. It describes what work will be done and how it will be done (although a RAMS will normally be used to detail how the works will be undertaken). The permit-to-work requires declarations from the people authorising the work and carrying out the work. Where necessary it requires a declaration from those involved in shift handover procedures or extensions to the work. Finally, before equipment or machinery is put back into service, it will require a declaration from the permit originator that it is ready for normal use.
Instructions or procedures such as RAMS or SSOW are adequate for most work activities, but some require extra care. A ‘permit to work’ is a more formal system stating exactly what work is to be done and when, and which parts are safe. A responsible person should assess the work and check safety at each stage. The people doing the job sign the permit to show that they understand the risks and precautions necessary.
The Permit should contain all relevant information, be correct, and presented in a suitable format e.g. not overly complex or ambiguous. The permit should communicate all relevant information (including hazards and controls) to all personnel involved and ensure that other people are aware of what maintenance staff are doing and vice versa. The health and Safety Hub has templates for hot works permit (with instructions on use) and permit to dig (breaking ground) which are probably the two most important but can put together any other permit you would like upon request.
Once a permit has been written and signed on to by all those involved a copy should be kept by those controlling the works and a copy should be displayed at the work face so that all in the area understand what is going on. Once the work has been finished the permit must be signed off by the person controlling the area (appointed person).
Risk Assessed Method Statements (RAMS)
Risk Assessed Method Statement (RAMS) or Safe Systems Of Work (SSOW) or are documents companies create after they conduct risk assessments. These documents contain details of a hazard as well as a step-by-step safe working guide that employees, contractors, and others can follow. As a result, RAMS have more detail than risk assessments
Is there a legal requirement to have a Risk Assessed Method Statement (RAMS) or Safe Systems Of Work (SSOW)?
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 both state that and the employer has a legal duty of care to their employees and requires them to provide suitable Instruction, Information, Training and Supervision in order to protect the Health, Safety and Welfare of their employees.
As with Risk assessments, Risk Assessed Method Statement (RAMS) or Safe Systems Of Work (SSOW) should be reviewed every 12 months OR if the procedure or tools for a task change OR after an incident or accident. The review will check the controls in place and the step by step method to undertake the task is still sufficient to minimise or eliminate the risk
What are the consequences of not having a Risk Assessed Method Statement (RAMS) or Safe Systems Of Work (SSOW)?
RAMS are a key component in helping ensure that the right people, with the right skills, work to the right method statement, in the right place, at the right time. This is how we prevent avoidable incidents and ensure that people get to go home safely at night. If you do not have some form of Safe System Of Work then your employees could be at risk of injury (or worse).
Can I be prosecuted for not having a Risk Assessed Method Statement (RAMS) or Safe Systems Of Work (SSOW)
Can I get help with writing a Risk Assessed Method Statement (RAMS) or Safe Systems Of Work (SSOW)?
Yes! There is a template and guidance to help write a Risk Assessed Method Statement (RAMS) or Safe Systems Of Work (SSOW) as well and hundreds of ready written examples that you can choose from and make minor alterations to so they represent your own personal RAMS.
Risk assessments are where you assess a task or process and think about what might cause harm to people in order to decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm. In short, a risk assessment is something that identifies ways of enabling people to do things in a safe manner and you are required by law to carry out.
Identify the hazards (a hazard is anything that may cause harm; these can be hazards to physical health such as chemicals, electricity, working from ladders, an open drawer or to mental health). Decide who might be harmed and how and then Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions to be taken or controls to be put in place.
If you have fewer than five employees you don’t have to write anything down but it may prove difficult to evidence you have undertaken a risk assessment if you do not. If you have more than 5 employees you are required by law to record and keep your risk assessments.
Failure to carry out a risk assessment will leave an employer liable for any injury to their employees or others that could be injured as a result of their work. Employees can pursue injury claims for accidents that occur in the workplace or during the course of their employment if their employers have been negligent or breached their statutory duties.
The Health and Safety Hub Toolbox Talks are different from most Toolbox Talks in that they are a hand out with pictures as well as an informative talk. This means your employees can refer back to the document at a later date to remind themselves of the subject matter and the precautions they need to take.
There is no set regime for giving toolbox talks but regular weekly / monthly interaction with all employees, involving them and making them aware of health and safety issues will improve the health and safety culture of your organisation. If there is an incident of accident you might find it good to focus on that for the next toolbox talk.
Training in Health and Safety
If you have Risk Assessments, Rams and Toolbox Talks for all the tasks your employees undertake you are well on your way to managing Health and Safety. Regular Audits will ensure the correct procedures are being followed and Training of Supervisors and Managers at all.
The Health and Safety Hub can offer a full comprehensive training package for managers and supervisors on all aspects of Health and Safety within an organisation from Risk Assessments to Accident Investigations. Separate individual training courses are available on subjects that range from on how to manage Hand Arm Vibration to giving Toolbox Talks with confidence. We also offer a comprehensive CDM package for both clients and Contractors that includes all the documentation you will need to assist you in complying with the regulations.