New CDM Regulations 2014 – what to expect
I recently wrote a blog post about the proposed changes to the CDM Regulations scheduled for 2014. The idea of making these changes is to help address the worrying fact that the construction industry still accounts for a disproportionate number of accidents and injuries in the workplace, with small businesses tending to be statistically more responsible for these accidents than larger companies. To help keep the construction industry on its toes the HSE has announced a national clampdown on building sites across the UK throughout this month. If you’re in the construction industry, or affiliated to it (as we often are in the role of CDM Coordinators) then expect a visit from a team of HSE inspectors!
What Will HSE Inspectors Be Doing?
One thing that they won’t be doing is letting you have advanced warning of their arrival! The spot inspections throughout this month will all be unannounced, and will involve one or more inspectors visiting construction sites across the UK to carry out a range of inspections. These inspections will primarily be targeting high risk activities, such as working at height, and working with dust or in dusty environments (such as asbestos removal). They will also be looking at a wide range of welfare issues too, such as the availability and standard of toilets and hand washing facilities (if needed within the location of course).
What Is The Aim Of These Site Inspections?
There are several key aims with this month long initiative, including:
- raising the awareness of the importance of risk management and safety responsibility
- increasing awareness of the need for greater focus on safety in smaller businesses and construction sites
- highlighting key issues or areas which are statistically responsible for a greater number of accidents
- provide an opportunity for construction companies of all sizes to engage with the HSE in tackling the high number of injuries in the industry each year
- take immediate and robust action in any situation where unnecessary risk is being permitted
This last point is important. These inspections can and will take place at multiple locations across the whole of Britain, and will all be unannounced. If any inspection uncovers workers being put irresponsibly at unnecessary risk then the HSE has promised to bring the full force of the law into place.
What Can Companies Do To Prepare For A Possible Inspection?
Now is most definitely the right time to check and double check that your risk management is as good as it can be and that all relevant safety inspections, procedures and training has been implemented. Whether construction companies sit up and take notice of this new initiative, or simply realise that right now 70,000 construction workers are suffering ill health as a result of working within the industry, and that workers within the construction industry are four times more likely to be killed at work than anyone else hardly matters. Whatever the motivation for doing it, taking action now is certainly essential.
We understand that many people will be concerned and will want to take action immediately to ensure that all appropriate health and safety regulations have been followed. For this reason we are making sure that we have as many health and safety advisors available at the moment to help provide advice, answer questions, offer clarification or arrange for site visits. Please call 0800 1488 677 and one of our professional CDM Consultants will be happy to help.
Further information about the scheme is available on the HSE’s website here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/campaigns/safersites/index.htm.