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CDM - be aware of your responsibilities

CDM1.jpgAll sports turf construction work should comply with legislation and regulations relating to health and safety at work and, in particular, to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM). Whether you are installing pipe drainage into a golf green or constructing a new football pitch from scratch, these regulations apply to you in some form or other.

CDM 2007 came into force on 6th April 2007 and replaced the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 and the Construction (Health and Welfare Regulations) 1996. The regulations apply to all construction work, but additional duties apply to notifiable projects where work lasts more than 30 days or involves more than 500 person working days.

The aim of the regulations is to ensure that all construction projects are safe to build, safe to use and safe to maintain, as well as providing good value. Good planning and the employment of a competent team that can work efficiently together will also serve to limit unexpected costs and problems, providing that adequate time and resources are made available. It is not about creating unnecessary red tape!

As a 'client' the key responsibilities under the act are:

All construction projects

1. Check the competence and resources of all appointees, including you!
Make sure that those people you employ on a project are fully competent and have sufficient resources available. Also ensure that they are appointed early enough to allow for adequate planning and that the work can be completed safely

2. Ensure adequate management arrangements are prepared and in place
The work is likely to be done safely and finished on time if those doing the work have suitable management arrangements in place throughout the whole project. This should include making sure that satisfactory welfare facilities are provided for construction workers before works start. You are not expected to take an active role in managing the work yourself

3. Allow sufficient time and resources
If work is rushed and completed with inadequate resources it is more likely to be unsafe and of poor quality. Allow enough time for planning and designing as well as for the construction work. Also, ensure that enough resources are available

4. Provide pre-construction information to your team
You need to provide information to your team - for example, information about the site and any potential hazards, what you want from the project and how the end product will be used. This will help your team to plan, budget and work around problems.CDM2.jpg

5. Cooperate and coordinate work
As the client, you need to ensure that your team cooperate and coordinate to maintain the health and safety of everyone who may be affected by the work. This should involve early discussions about the finished construction feature, its build, manageability and useability. Ignoring these issues could lead to unexpected costs or injuries to either construction workers or end users

6. Report any obvious risks
Communicate any obvious risks to the team as soon as practicable to enable the issue to be discussed and a solution to be formulated

7. Observe and apply the principles of prevention when completing duties
Always take account of the general principles of prevention when carrying out duties under the regulations

Notifiable projects

A construction project is deemed notifiable where work lasts more than 30 days or involves more than 500 person working days. The term 'notifiable' means that The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must be notified by the appointed CDM Coordinator using form F10. Notification now needs to be completed at the point when duties arise, including the making of appointments by the client.

8. Appoint a CDM Coordinator
This role was formerly known as the Planning Supervisor under CDM 1994. The CDM Coordinator is there to assist you with your duties as client on notifiable projects. The CDM should be appointed as soon as possible, but no later than the initial design stage.

Their role should include:

• To help select competent designers and contractors
• To identify the information required by the project team
• To notify HSE of the project
• To coordinate health and safety arrangements during the planning stage
• To appraise the initial construction phase plan and ensure its suitability
• To prepare a health and safety file for you including useful health and safety information that will help you manage health and safety risks during any subsequent maintenance, construction, repair or demolition

9. Appoint a Principal Contractor
The Principal Contractor is required to plan, manage and coordinate the construction phase of a notifiable project. They are usually the main contractor for the work and should be appointed at the earliest opportunity to ensure they are involved in discussions about the build, manageability and useability. An early appointment also ensures that they have plenty of time to plan the works sufficiently

10. Ensure an adequate Health and Safety Plan is in place.
It is the Principal Contractor's responsibility to produce the construction phase health and safety plan. This document should include all key arrangements to ensure that the work is completed safely. It is your responsibility to ensure that work does not start on site until such a plan is in place.

11. Keep the Health and Safety File
The CDM Coordinator will produce the health and safety file for the project, and it is your responsibility to keep the file safe but made available to anyone who needs to alter or maintain the new structure. This document should be updated/changed as circumstances change

To conclude, it is vital that you ensure that CDM 2007 is followed to minimise the risk of a dangerous or fatal accident occurring while construction work is being carried out. Additionally, it should ensure that the finished project is safe to use and maintain and should minimise any unexpected costs, therefore providing good value.

Failure to appoint a CDM Coordinator or Principal Contractor on a notifiable project means that you are legally liable if their roles are not carried out satisfactorily.

Serious breaches of Health and Safety law on your project could result in construction work being stopped and, in the most serious circumstances, you could be prosecuted.

For more information go to the Health and Safety Executive website at www.hse.gov.uk.

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This article was written

by in Consultancy on 6 Apr 2010

This article appeared in Pitchcare Magazine Issue 29 - Feb / Mar 2010

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