The aim of the CDM Regulations is to improve the overall management and co-ordination of health, safety and welfare throughout all stages of a construction project and therefore to reduce the large number of serious and fatal accidents and cases of ill health which happen every year in the construction industry.
The Pre-Construction Information is a document, or to be more accurate a collection of documents, to provide designers and contractors who may be bidding for the work (or whom clients intend to engage), with project-specific information needed to assist them to manage health and safety hazards and risk.
The CDM Co-ordinator manages the flow of information from the designers and produces the Pre-Construction Information Pack. This contains relevant information which is passed on to tendering Principal Contractors. The principal is that the right information should be provided to the right people, at the right time.
- A description of project and the planned programme for both design and construction
- The clients arrangements, developed with us as the CDM Co-ordinator, for managing health and safety during both the design and construction phases of the project
- Where work is carried out on the clients premises, health and safety requirements relating to the of the client’s undertaking
- Restrictions related to the environment in which the site is located and on-site risks including those identified as part of the design process.
- Health hazards, including those associated with existing structures, ground conditions and those arising from client’s activities.
The Pre-Construction Information develops as a document until such time as the Principal Contractor produces a suitable Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan. At this time the Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan replaces the Pre-Construction Information document as the health and safety management plan for the project.
Responsibility for the plan also transfers from the CDM Co-ordinator to the Principal Contractor at this time, although they retain responsibility for co-coordinating health and safety issues associated with ongoing design.
The Pre-construction Information must be produced as a printed and bound document and where necessary it will refer to other separate documents (e.g. asbestos report, structural report, soil report, drawings etc.).
Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan
Under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations, it is a requirement of the Principal Contractor to develop a Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan, to an acceptable level, prior to being permitted to commence work on site. The Plan provides a focus for managing and co-ordinating health and safety on the site. The amount of detail in the safety plan should depend on the nature and extent of the project and on the contract arrangements for the construction work.
The Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan needs to explain how key health and safety hazards will be managed, what the emergencies procedures for the site are, and the methods of communication to be adopted.
The Plan must be relevant to the particular project and should build on the information provided by the CDM Coordinator and the Pre-Construction Information pack.
As it is the foundation on which health and safety management of construction work is based, it should include:
- Arrangements for ensuring the health and safety of ALL who may be affected by the work;
- Arrangements for the management of health and safety and monitoring of compliance with health and safety legislation;
- Information regarding the welfare arrangements.
The Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan is not just a document to be left in a ring binder for the duration of the project, rather, it is a fully functional working and ‘live’ document which should be:
- Reviewed and updated as the project develops;
- Amended when further design work is completed;
- Updated when information from subcontractors starting work becomes available;
- Reviewed in light of unforeseen circumstances or variations to planned circumstances;
- Updated when any other changes affecting health and safety arise;
Health and Safety File
The Health and Safety File is a record of information for the Client or the end user which focuses on health and safety and is required for notifiable projects. The information it contains will alert those who are responsible for the structure of the key health and safety risks that will need to be dealt with during subsequent maintenance, repair and construction work.
The amount of detail included in the Health and Safety File and the time and effort required to prepare it should be in proportion to the scale and complexity of the structure. Structures with minimal health and safety risks will call for a simple, straightforward file. Large structures or those involving significant risks will need more detail.
All duty holders have a legal obligation to provide information for the health and safety file:
- The CDM Co-ordinator prepares, reviews, amends or adds to the file as the project progresses, and hands the completed file to the Client (or end user) at the end of the project;
- The Client, Designers, Principal Contractor and other Contractors must supply the information necessary for compiling or updating the file throughout the duration of the project;
- The Client or end user must keep the file to assist with future construction work;
- Everyone providing information should make sure that it is accurate, and provided promptly.
The contents of the Health and Safety File should include the information relevant to the health and safety of any future construction work. The level of detail should allow the likely risks to be identified and addressed by those carrying out future work.
The Health and Safety File does not need to contain information on the normal operation of the structure or that which is irrelevant to the future planning of works.
Contact us to find out how we can help your project remain safe and compliant, or to arrange a free consultation with one of our expert consultants.