In the last 25 years over 2,800 people have been killed whilst working in the construction industry in Britain in addition to the many more who are injured. To try and counter this and reduce the number of deaths and injuries, successive legislation has come into force, culminating with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. |
This legislation puts legal Health and Safety responsibilities on all parties in the construction cycle, from the client, the designer and the contractors involved in the actual construction work.
In addition to large fines, the legislation allows for criminal proceedings to be brought against offenders, leading potentially to imprisonment for serious breaches of the law.
Whilst most construction projects will fall under the remit of the 2007 Act, it is the larger projects that will last more than 30 days or 500 person days of working, that the regulations start to increase the actions required of the project team. The client, that is the person instructing the work, has specific duties, one of which is to appoint a CDM Coordinator, to assist them with these specialist Health and Safety requirements.
The CDM Coordinator should advise the client, and as their title implies, coordinate the health and safety requirements that the other members of the team will have. The CDM Coordinator will also need to ensure that the Health and Safety Executive are notified of the project, compile a pre construction health and safety file and check the principal contractors construction phase plan.
If you are involved with instructing construction work (which includes repair, maintenance, alteration and demolition) then you should make sure you understand and comply with your obligations.
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