Often times, the need to make money, or the need to finish construction projects by the construction deadline, or even the lack of adequate financial compensation among other reasons, has caused many construction projects to be conducted without following health and safety guidelines as set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the Approved Code of Practise (ACoP) under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007).
The construction industry remains one in which workers are at constant risk in terms of their health and their safety. It cannot be overlooked that in order for any construction project, large or small, to be successful, the safety and health of workers on site is crucial. For a long time now, the construction industry has had to deal with fatal, near fatal, and life changing injuries, trends that necessitated the formation of the CDM regulations.
Need for Further Improvement
The HSE had previously reviewed a broad range of evidence from direct engagement with the construction industry, to the views of a cross-industry working group, including the findings from an independent research in its implementation of the CDM 2007. It should be remembered that the weaknesses of CDM94 led to the revision and formation of the CDM 2007. Clearly the CDM 2007 regulations will soon be replaced with more tightly knit regulations currently referred to as CDM 201X by construction experts.
There are key elements that have been taken into consideration in the formation of the new document including an external research project consisting of a substantial questionnaire, structured interviews, focus groups and open meetings and workshops. Also, the HSE consultation is currently underway and industry stakeholders are requested to give their views and feedback regarding the suggested reforms.
It would seem that there is at last some hope at the end of the tunnel as the HSE seeks, in light of the issues raised and other challenges in the construction industry, to replace the currently existing CDM 2007. The overhaul has a focus on six key areas: One is to improve the health and safety standards for workers on small construction sites. Secondly, to maintain or improve, worker protection; creating a suitable work environment for them where there is none and giving them more support legally. Third is to implement the Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD) in a proportionate way; ensuring that all temporary or mobile construction sites operate under the standards set and are regulated in an equal and fair manner.
The HSE also seeks to simplify the regulatory package; making it not only accessible, but comprehensible for all members of the industry. It also seeks to discourage bureaucracy that has been a thorn in the flesh for many years. There is also hope that the outcome will be an overall meeting of better regulatory principles within the industry.
In order to be effective then in meeting these goals, it is important that each of the propositions in these categories be reviewed. It is also important to note that though industry standards have improved over the years, there are instances where industry standards have not been followed, particularly on small construction sites. This is among the key reasons that the current CDM 2007 is being reviewed and ultimately replaced; to create a straight-forward regulatory document that facilitates ease in the process of implementing construction projects.
The changes proposed to the CDM Regulations 2007 will ultimately affect the worker on the ground. The HSE has consequently granted an open consultation, which is an opportunity for the public to have their say in the process. This opportunity however closes on 6th June. It is imperative for everyone involved in building and construction to read the proposed CDM 201X regulations and voice their opinions. Who knows, your much needed opinion might make the document water tight and favourable to employers, workers, and everyone else involved in the construction industry.
If you have a comment or question regarding the ongoing CDM 201X consultation, please get in touch by calling us or leaving a comment below. We also do health and safety audits, so contact us today for professional help.