Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Is the Proposed CDM 201X a Stitch in Time?
Posted by David Cant on May 13, 2014
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Is the Proposed CDM 201X a Stitch in TimeIn order for any industry to be efficient and effective in its operations, it needs to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate its regulations, methods, processes and in the case of the construction industry, compliance. This is imperative not just in improving performance and remaining relevant, but in the case of the construction industry, this is especially important because of the health and safety risks involved.

The construction industry remains one of the high-risk industries to work in. Time has come, yet again, for a restructuring in its regulations in order to create suitable working environments for workers, create regulations that are updated to the various industry changes in the way construction is done, as well as improve the industry’s capacity to comply with the operational standards and regulations. If the mission of the HSE, to replace the existing CDM 2007, is to be effective, then perhaps the industry could ‘save nine’, which in this case means lives.

Brief Comparative History

Originally, construction regulations fell under the Factories Act that dated back to the 1960s. With the streamlining of industry, a lot of these regulations however fell out of use. This is why the CDM 1994 (‘CDM 1994’) Regulations were such a significant and welcome change. They outlined safety and health management measures for construction projects, giving appropriate responsibilities to those in charge of procurement and design as well as those managing the sites. This restructuring created some semblance of order, however, this was short-lived as the CDM 1994 seemed to fuel and drive bureaucracy in the industry.

Furthermore, the physical safeguards for health and safety were still under the raft of the outdated Factories Act. As a result, within the span of about a year or so, in the early 2000s, 105 fatal injuries were recorded. The Government called on the HSE to account at that point and the industry made commitments to improve health and safety, setting out very challenging industry targets in order to ensure that they fulfilled their commitments.

Following the summit, the HSE also published a document raising different issues on ensuring the standards of health and safety are adhered to in the construction industry. This gave rise to the review of the CDM 1994. The issues of concern that emerged as pertinent besides the problem of bureaucracy was that the regulations were indeed complex and focused mainly on the construction industry itself, rather than including the clients that it served. Another curious thing was that the role of Planning Supervisor that was created as a part of the management structures in the CDM 1994 seemed defunct.

A review process of the CDM was imperative at this point and this created a new opportunity, not only to revise the then operational regulations, but also to begin to consider developing one set of regulations that would include the physical safeguard requirements, which had been dusted out of the Factories Act and evaluated to form the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996.

Another Chapter

After extensive review and re-evaluation of the CDM 1994 Regulations, the CDM 2007 Regulations emerged. This revision was met with even greater hope, especially by those who held specific roles in the management of construction sites. The structure of the Regulations seemed fit for the purpose, it could not have been a better match… or so it was thought.

The CDM 2007 Regulations had still not been able to bear down on bureaucracy as previously hoped. Further, the regulations made operations difficult for SMEs, due to the heavy-handed industry approach to competence. Again, curiously, there was another managerial function that seemed to have challenges, that of co-ordination in the pre-construction phase. Perhaps this could be the key to the lack of compliance on many follow-up health and safety concerns on small construction sites. It is such concerns that have led to the formation draft currently referred to as the CDM 201X.

The CDM 201X carries with it a lot of hope for the industry stakeholders as it seeks to streamline the requirements and do away with bureaucracy. The CDM 201X consultation is currently underway and is set to end on the 6th of June.

Participate

Though there have been great strides improving the standards of the construction industry, much work still needs to be done in order to protect, not just the workers in the industry, but the clients it serves. In expressing your views on how improvements could be made you will be part of the change that is so much needed.

Over the years, Veritas Consulting has helped both individuals and businesses to comply with CDM regulations. If you’d like help understanding and complying with the proposed regulations, contact us today and our team of highly experienced and qualified staff will be there to help.

About 

David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: CDM Regulations, CDM Services, CDM Support, Construction Health and Safety

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