27 Nov 2014

Be aware of changes to the CDM regulations

10 November, 2014 | By Kevin Fear

For those of you like me who have been around the construction industry for a while, you are probably experiencing a sense of déjà vu as once again we await the publication of draft Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.

The Health and Safety Executive plans to publish the regulations in early January 2015 and for them to go live on 6 April following its consultation in the summer.

But what was wrong with CDM 2007 that we have had to go to all this trouble, time and cost to produce new regulations?

HSE’s research into the 2007 regulations drew some clear conclusions:

  • The industry views the regulations as still being too bureaucratic, having a heavy burdensome approach to the competence issue, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and;
  • The pre-construction phase, in particular the “client adviser” role of the CDM co-ordinators, is not working as well as many had hoped.

Although there are good CDM co-ordinators operating in industry, the majority view of the industry is that they are not adding value. Some readers, particularly CDM co-ordinators, may take exception to this comment, but this view is difficult to overlook. In addition to the evaluation research, the Coalition Government’s “Red Tape Challenge” also put CDM in the spotlight – and not in a positive way.

Changes proposed to CDM 2015

  • To simplify the structure of the regulations
  • Replace the Approved Code of Practice with targeted guidance
  • Introduce the new role of “principal designer” in place of the CDM-C
  • Introduce the need to demonstrate specific skills and training rather than “competence”, the industry’s understanding of which is varied to say the least.

At the HSE board meeting in August it was decided that there will be a short, targeted approved code of practice that will reference both the industry guidance and HSE-produced “legal” series guidance.

CITB has been asked to take a central role with the production of the industry guidance, which will be written from an industry perspective to help the many SME companies who would, perhaps, be working under the requirements of the CDM regulations for the first time.

CITB, being viewed as an honest broker by both the HSE and industry, has been asked to co-ordinate and lead a steering group of industry health and safety experts to write guidance for the five new duty holders and an additional piece of guidance specifically for workers, who are not duty holders under CDM but are an important group in their own right.

A working group chair has been appointed for each duty holder group, client, principal designer, principal contractor, designer and contractor. Each can call on a network of experts from their sector to assist them in the drafting of guidance.

As the guidance is intended for the SMEs within the industry, CITB’s commitment is to make this guidance freely available via our own website as a pdf download. Care is also being taken to ensure that the guides are viewable on smartphones and tablets.

During the consultation period there was much discussion about dropping the word “competence”. As discussed in HSE Research document RR877, A Commentary on Routes to Competence in the Construction Sector, there are a number of problems in the way the industry has understood competence.

There is a strong suggestion that it would be helpful to move back to the building blocks of what makes a competent person. What this would mean in practice would be a focus on the skills that have been honed through experience and how they are supported by knowledge of the subject.

All of this has to be underpinned by solid training and support, and this is where CITB comes into its own.

CITB will, of course, keep the industry updated about the new CDM regulations and how they will affect thousands of people in SMEs across England, Scotland and Wales.

Kevin Fear is head of environment and health and safety strategy at CITB.

27 Nov 2014

Extract from the latest edition of Construction Infonet

Construction Infonet is a free eBulletin from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to provide a regular update on health and safety issues for all in the construction industry


Welcome to everyone who signed up to the Construction Infonet E-Bulletin at the National Painting and Decorating Show last week.

Please check out the following links;


Old lead paint – what you need to know as a busy builder

Construction health topic – Solvents


Asbestos in textured coatings (e.g. artex)

Download the free web app to help you work more safely with asbestos

Work at height

Using ladders safely

Fragile roofs – what you need to know as a busy builder

This is an abstract from HSE latest edition of info net. To view the rest of the E-Bulletin register for infonet at  www.hse.gov.uk

Or request from alan@cage-greaternottingham.org.uk

10 Nov 2014

The HSE recently closed a 12-week public consultation on whether and how the Reporting of Injuries, Disease, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) should be updated to provide a better picture of the sorts of accidents that are happening around the UK. And while a better system might be put in place in the near future, it’s important to know what you’re required to do under RIDDOR. Do you know what to record and report?

What Needs to Be Reported?

HSE lists the following incidents that must be reported:

  • The death of any person
  • Specified injuries to workers (see below)
  • Over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker
  • Over-three-day incapacitation of a worker*
  • Non-fatal accidents to non-workers (i.e., members of the public)
  • Occupational diseases
  • Dangerous occurrences
  • Gas incidents

*If a worker is incapacitated for more than three days, but less than seven, the incident must be recorded, but does not need to be reported.

The specified injuries to workers that must be reported include the following:

  • fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
  • amputations
  • any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight
  • any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
  • serious burns (including scalding) which:
    • causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
    • covers more than 10% of the body
  • any scalping requiring hospital treatment
  • any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
  • any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which:
    • leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
    • requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours

This covers a lot of area, so it’s best to keep the HSE’s Types of Reportable Incidents webpage bookmarked. And it’s a good idea to keep an accident log as well, even if it’s not something that’s required by law for your company.

How Are Reports Made?

RIDDOR reports can easily be made using the online reporting system on the HSE website, which includes specific forms for injuries, dangerous occurrences, offshore injuries, offshore dangerous occurrences, diseases, flammable gas incidents, and dangerous gas fittings. To submit a report, just click on the appropriate link on the reporting system page and fill out the form. It will be submitted to the RIDDOR database, and you’ll also receive a copy for your records.

Reports can also be made over the telephone, but only in the case of deaths and specified injuries. Because the online system is strongly preferred, there’s no standard way to report via post, although there is an address listed on the HSE reporting page in case a paper report is the only feasible way to communicate with HSE.

When you make a report, you’ll need to provide contact information; details on the incident, including who was injured and where; and any other information that could be useful in an investigation or to prevent further injury to members of your work crew or the public.

Who Needs to File a Report?

According to the HSE, “responsible persons” need to make reports of specified incidents. This can include a wide range of people, from employers, people in control of job site premises, and employment agencies, to gas suppliers, operators of facilities, and members of the public. If you’re not sure who should be making a report, it’s a good idea to check the HSE guidance on who should be making RIDDOR reports.

Because incident reporting is a vital activity—both for the safety of work crews and the public, as well as for potential legal reasons—it’s important that reports are made as quickly and accurately as possible, which means that someone near the incident should probably be the one to file the report. However, it’s also a good idea to have clear and effective methods for communication throughout your company for getting the necessary information to the parties involved in reporting, in case a number of people need to be consulted.

What Records Need to Be Kept?

A record must be kept of any reportable incident, over-three-day injury, disease, or dangerous occurrence. When reports are made using the HSE’s online RIDDOR report-filing system, a copy of the report is automatically sent to the filer of the report, making recording easy.

However, some incidents that don’t require a report should be recorded as well, so having an accident book (as is required of many companies) or a central location for recording multiple types of relevant information should be identified within each company. When reporting is not required, recording all of the details that would have been reported is an effective way to ensure that any future report can be made accurately.

Know the Regulations

Even though RIDDOR in its current form might not be around much longer, it’s still a legal requirement to meet the regulations, so making sure that you and your employees fully understand them is of paramount importance. Fortunately, the HSE website provides a great deal of useful information when it comes to reporting and recording incidents, and also provides a number of other resources, including an accident book for recording non-reported incidents.

03 Nov 2014

HSE Monthly update item 30.10.2014


If you’re involved with the construction industry and haven’t yet heard of the Construction Discussion Forumplease have a look at this self-help forum. It lets you say what you’re doing to improve health and safety in the industry, share best practice and enlist the help of other forum members in finding solutions for your problems. Everybody can contribute from their own practical experience to help and advise others.

Have a look at recent discussion threads including:

  • Bosun’s chair
  • Construction definition under CDM
  • Construction site qualifications
  • Fire risk assessment
  • Fragile roofs
  • HSE notices;

or else do your own search on past discussions.

One forum member recently posted: ‘I have been in the construction industry for 30+ years and only just aware of this forum to discuss safety topics in a positive way and learn of new ideas and products whilst also considering the views of others. My initial thoughts are this is not used to full potential. If you can, do promote in your own work environment or through social media to generate more feedback. A useful tool if not left in the box!’


03 Nov 2014

Register for £2bn YORbuild2 framework places

Contractors of all sizes are being invited to prequalify for the next YORbuild framework covering Yorkshire, Humber, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire projects.

The existing agreement expires in November 2015 and YORbuild councils like Leeds, Rotherham and Scarborough are now pressing for firms to express an interest.

YORbuild is split into four regions with each region subdivided into specific lots based on project size and type, including new-build housing projects.

Regions and max forecast spend

  • East: £680m spend on 7 lots
  • West: £880m spend on 7 lots
  • South: £350m spend on 6 lots
  • North: £108m spend on on 16 lots

The Framework Agreement will initially be for a period of 4 years, but has an option to extend for a further 2 years.

YORbuild2 will be enhanced to bring in improvements including a different lotting structure as well as use of other forms of contract.

BIM capability is also likely to feature in the new framework and changes to recent EU procurement regulations will be incorporated where necessary.

The existing YORbuild framework has seen £700m of turnover to date on 355 projects and has achieved efficiency savings in excess of £55m for its public sector client users.

Interested firms have until 12 December to submit prequal documentation. Those shortlisted will be invited to tender in March next year.

Firms need to register at the YORtender website.