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CDM – Understanding the necessity to plan and manage long term construction projects properly.

The Construction, Design and Management (CDM) Regulation implemented by the HSE in 2007 was bought into force to ensure good management and continuity of safety guidelines on a worksite, over a period of time. 

The CDM 2007 regulations apply to most common building, civil engineering and engineering construction work. It is the responsibility of the contractor to notify The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of the site if the construction work is expected to either: 

  • last longer than 30 days
  • involve more than 500 person days of construction work 

The HSE should be notified in writing before construction work starts by completing and submitting the appropriate paperwork to the nearest HSE office to the proposed site.

The regulation is in place to assist with, 

  • improving Health and Safety within the construction industry
  • ensuring the right people are in the right job at the right time, to manage the risks on site
  • focusing on effective planning and managing risk (as a practical measure, not to manage paperwork)

Anyone with responsibility for controls on the site has H&S responsibilities. Working conditions must be satisfactory before work begins and they must ensure that the proposed work is not going to put others at risk. This requires planning and organisation regardless of size of site.      

It is not always necessary to have a permanent member of staff as a designated CDM Co-ordinator. It can be covered by a sub contractor accredited to carry out the work on a site. However, it is important that responsibility, whether using internal staff or sub contracted bodies, is in place at planning stage on projects where HSE must be notified of a CDM regulated site.  

Main areas of duty include, 

  • advise and assist the client with their duties
  • notify details of the project to HSE[1]
  • co-ordinate health and safety aspects of design work and co-operate with others involved with the project
  • facilitate good communication between the client, designers and contractors
  • liaise with the principal contractor regarding ongoing design work
  • identify, collect and pass on pre-construction information
  • prepare and update the health and safety file 

It is all too easy to assume CDM is covered within the natural course of a building project  as many of the above points are part and parcel when planning and managing a project. However, should any duty be over looked, site staff could be placed at risk and consequently any accident will encounter liability and is likely to slow down completion of the project.      

Britannia Safety and Training is accredited to assist businesses working on construction projects with CDM advice and implementation in the role of CDM Co-ordinator. At present Britannia are involved with construction projects in excess of £25 million in value as the CDM Co-ordinator for companies across the UK.  For further information contact Emily or Tanya on 0808 115 6300.