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FAQs, explanation of CDM terms and abbreviations

Dr. Khalid Bhutto Articles

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What are the "CDM Regulations 2015"?

What is a "construction project"?

Why construction industry is hazardous?

Who is the Client of a construction project?

Can there be more than one Client on a construction project?

What are CDM Duties for a Client?

What is a "domestic project"?

What is a "non-domestic project"?

What the term "more than one contractor means"?

Who is a "Principal Designer"?

What is role and responsibilities of a "Principal Designer"?

What is a "CDM Notifiable" construction project?

What is a "Non Notifiable" construction project?

What is a "F10 notification"?

When a "F10 notification" is required?

What is a "Pre-construction Information (PCI)"?

Who are designers on a construction project?

What are Designer CDM Duties?

Is there any practical explanation of Designer CDM Duties?

Who is a "Lead Designer"?

What is a "Design Risk Assessment (DRA)"?

What is "Pre-construction Phase"?

What is "Construction Phase"?

What is "Post completion Phase"?

Who is a "Principal Contractor"?

What are "General Principles of Prevention"?

What is a "Construction Phase Plan (CPP)"?

What is a "Health and Safety File"?

What are "Residual Health and Safety Risks"?



























What is a "construction project"?

Construction project or construction work as defined in the CDM Regulations means the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work and includes:

    (a) the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration, or other maintenance (including cleaning which involves the use of water or an abrasive at high pressure, or the use of corrosive or toxic substances), decommissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure.

    (b) the preparation for an intended structure, including site clearance, exploration, investigation (but not site survey) and excavation (but not pre-construction archaeological investigations), and the clearance or preparation of the site or structure for use or occupation at its conclusion.

    (c) the assembly on site of prefabricated elements to form a structure or the disassembly on site of the prefabricated elements which, immediately before such disassembly, formed a structure.

    (d) the removal of a structure, or of any product or waste resulting from demolition or dismantling of a structure, or from disassembly of prefabricated elements which immediately before such disassembly formed such a structure.

    (e) the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair, or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer or similar services which are normally fixed within or to a structure.

Please note that construction work does not include the exploration for, or extraction of, mineral resources, or preparatory activities carried out at a place where such exploration or extraction is carried out.




Why construction industry is hazardous?

Importance of delivering a safe construction project is obvious, however, a number of people get killed or badly injured on construction sites due to the dangerous nature of construction activity resultantly destroying numerous families.

Construction activity is carried out in an uncontrolled, transient production area (often restricted, (partly) occupied and weather exposed) to a bespoke design and constantly changing environment (in a flux) for the duration of site works. In addition, it involves work at height, use of heavy machinery and plant, instable existing or partly built structures, moving, lifting and handling heavy awkward materials, previous use of dangerous materials on construction sites (i.e. asbestos, lead etc), excavations, risk of coming in contact with unknown existing live services, preparing (cutting) materials on site, manual handling of construction materials, excessive noise and dust generation, bringing and storing heavy construction materials, difficulty in maintaining a clean and tidy site, use of heavy power tools and other hazardous activities which increase the risk of accidents.

A multi-million-pound product procured in any other industry will have more rigorous safety regime applied to it compared to a construction project for example production of a passenger plane, a very big cruise liner or a container ship or a big luxury yacht. Is industry short-changing the clients, is not willing to improve, is under cost pressures or there is lack of construction health and safety risk management skills? We believe the later (lack of skills) may be one of the main contributing root causes. The lack of skills appeared to be hidden in the illusion of knowledge creating obstacle for discovery. Construction project health and safety risks are poorly understood. Traditional design disciplines are not trained and experienced in methodically identifying the construction project health and safety risks (covering design, construction and post completion phases) and designing/specifying practical engineering, technical or management solutions to mitigate the risks. Most of the risks are not identified. When identified, often risks are underestimated and ill-prioritised relevant to their harm potential. In addition, there appears to be a lack a structured and coherent body of knowledge informing the construction health and safety benchmark standard.




Who is the client of a construction project?

Client is an organisation or an individual for whom a construction project is being carried out.




Can there be more than one client on a construction project?

Yes, there can be more than one client on a construction project. However, for the purposes of the CDM Regulations, they may agree between themselves to nominate one or more in writing to act as the client(s) (i.e. for fulfilling the legal Client CDM Duties). It must be remembered that though majority of the CDM duties are then to be fulfilled by the nominated client(s), still there will be some general duties applicable to all clients e.g. for co-operation and provision of information.




What is a "domestic project"?

A domestic project for the purposes of the CDM Regulations is one where the clients are those people who have construction work carried out on their own home, or the home of a family member that is not done as part of a business, whether for profit or not.

This is a very narrow definition, and it means work carried out on a property which is purely for individual's personal use and by use of their immediate family members (i.e. father, mother, son and daughter etc). Any payment made for the works via a company, or an organisation will make the project non-domestic .

Any residential development work carried by an individual developer, housing association, councils etc are non-domestic and are to be treated commercial (non-domestic work) for the application of CDM Regulations.




What is a "non-domestic project"?

A non-domestic or commercial project for the purposes of the CDM Regulations is one that which does not fall into the category of a domestic project.




What the term "more than one contractor means"?

Under the CDM Regulations the term "more than one contractor" means any construction work which involves appointment of two or more contractors on site. For example, if any construction work involves the main contractor and then that main contractor appoints a scaffolder then this becomes the work that involves more than one contractor. Majority of the construction work carried out will involve more than on contractor unless it is a minor repair or maintenance work carried out a single contractor with their in-house employees.




What is a "CDM Notifiable" construction project?

A construction project is notifiable under the CDM Regulations 2015 when it meets the threshold requirements for sending a F10 notification to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (i.e. when the construction work on site will be more than 30 working days and will involve more than 20 people working on the site simultaneously or the construction work will involve more than 500 person days on site).

A notifiable project now under the current CDM Regulations 2015 only means that the project details are to be made aware to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the form F10 where as under the previous version of CDM Regulations 2015 (i.e. CDM Regulations 2007) a notifiable project meant a project which will require the appointment of a CDM Co-ordinator and the Principal Contractor.




What is a "Non Notifiable" construction project?

A construction project is non notifiable under the CDM Regulations 2015 when it does not meet the threshold requirements for sending a F10 notification to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) , i.e. when the construction work on site will be less than 30 working days and will involve less than 20 people working on the site simultaneously or the construction work will involve less than 500 person days on site.




What is a "F10 notification"?

A F10 Notification or a F10 (as commonly known) is specified information required to be sent to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) about the start of a construction project which meets the threshold requirement.

F10 threshold requirements are when the construction work on site will be more than 30 working days and will involve more than 20 people working on the site simultaneously or the construction work will involve more than 500 person days on site

This is a requirement under Regulations 6(2) of the CDM Regulations on a client of a construction project to send the notification to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) .

The typical contents of a F10 notification are provided in Schedule 1 of the CDM Regulations 2015.

A F10 is usually sent by using a link on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Under the previous version of CDM Regulations i.e. (CDM Regulations 2007) F10 notification carried a lot of weight as it made the project notifiable and required the appointment of then CDM Co-ordinator and the Principal Contractor , the threshold of sending the F10 was also less than the current threshold.



Safescope F10 Notification Requirements


When a "F10 notification" is required?

A F10 notification is required to on those construction project whose duration is expected to be above 30 working days and 20 are more people are expected to be working on that construction project site at one time simultaneously. If the project involves more than 500 person days on site then also a F10 notification is required to be sent to Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

F10 picture

However, please note that even if the project is non notifiable it will still require the appointment of a Principal Designer and a Principal Contractor as long as it involves more than one contractor.




What is a "Pre-construction Information (PCI)"?

Pre-construction Information (commonly abbreviated as PCI) is a specified document to be prepared by the Principal Designer. Pre-construction Information (PCI) compiles the details about the existing site conditions and identified health and safety risks from the project design in one single place before the construction work begins on site. The Pre-construction Information (PCI) is then passed on to the Principal Contractor and other designers. Principal Contractor then uses this information to prepare their Construction Phase Plan (CPP) before construction work begins on site.

The typical contents of a Pre-construction Information (PCI) are provided in Appendix 2 of HSE Guidance L153 (Managing Health and Safety in Construction).




Who are designers on a construction project?

Designers are those, who as part of a business, prepare or modify designs for a building, product or system relating to construction work. The designers include architects, consulting engineers, quantity surveyors, chartered surveyors, interior designers, temporary works engineers, technicians or anyone who specifies or alters a design. The designers are defined as one of the duty holders in CDM Regulations and they have their own specified statutory duties to comply with. Please see the section Designer CDM Duties.

If a client is involved in modifying or specifying design elements, then they could be treated as a "designer" for the purposes of CDM Regulations and they will have to comply with Designer CDM Duties.

We at Safescope, have also prepared a practical guidance and explanation of each of Designer CDM Duties to assist the designers in understanding and complying with their duties. Please see Practical Guide Designer CDM Duties.


What are CDM Designer Duties?

Please see CDM Designer Duties section on our website.


Who is a "Lead Designer"?

The CDM Regulations per se do not use the term lead designer, however, they use the phrase to define the role as "a designer who is in control of the pre-construction phase of the project".




What is "Pre-construction Phase"?

Pre-construction phase means any period of time during which design or preparatory work is being carried out for a project and may continue during the construction phase.




What is "Construction Phase"?

Construction phase means the period of time beginning when construction work in a project starts and ending when construction work in that project is completed. Mobilisation period and enabling works are also included as part of the construction phase.




What is "Post completion Phase"?

Post completion phase means the period of time starting when construction work on site is completed. This period includes occupation of the building for its intended use, maintenance, repair, cleaning, use as a workplace (where relevant), refurbishments, extensions, conversions, modifications, and ultimate demolition at the end of its useful life.




What are "General Principles of Prevention"?

General Principles of Prevention in simple terms mean the use of hierarchy of controls when dealing with the risks, for instance as follows:

  • E ‐ Eliminate
  • R ‐ Reduce
  • I ‐   Isolate
  • C ‐ Control
  • P ‐ Personal Protective Equipment
  • D ‐ Discipline

The above list is commonly abbreviated as "ERIC PD" for ease of remembering.

The systems we have developed at Safescope for General Principles of Prevention is relevant to a construction project health and safety risks and is abbreviated "ERESSP". Details as follows:

  • E ‐ Eliminate the risk
  • R ‐ Replace the proposed materials or process with less hazardous one
  • E ‐ Engineering controls applied to manage the potential risk
  • S ‐ SSoW - Safe Systems of Work ‐ Risk Assessments and Method Statements (RAMS)
  • S ‐ SST ‐ Site Specific Safety Training (relevant tickets, CSCS Cards, training, toolbox talks, Inductions, and further Information etc)
  • P ‐ PPE ‐ Personal Protective Equipment (boots, high visibility waist, hardhats, goggles, gloves etc) or Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) (face masks or breathing apparatus etc)

The General Principles of Prevention are specified in Schedule 1 to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.




What is a "Construction Phase Plan (CPP)"?

Construction Phase Plan (commonly abbreviated as CPP) is a specified document to be prepared by a Principal Contractor or by a contractor (if there is only one contractor involved in the construction works). A Construction Phase Plan (CPP) provides details about how construction work will be carried out safely on the site. Construction Phase Plan (CPP) must be in place before construction works begin on site. Where relevant the Pre-construction Information (PCI) is used as basis for developing the Construction Phase Plan (CPP).

Construction Phase Plan (CPP) is meant to be live document and must be reviewed and kept up to date to reflect prevalent conditions and activities on site.

The typical contents of a Construction Phase Plan (CPP) are provided in Appendix 3 of HSE Guidance L153 (Managing Health and Safety in Construction).




What is a "Health and Safety File"?

Health and Safety File is a specified document to be prepared by CDM Principal Designer. A Health and Safety File provides details about the remaining (residual) health and safety risks in a recently completed building project. Health and Safety File helps clients and facilities managers etc to manage the remaining (residual) health and safety risks in a completed building project. Health and Safety File also helps other contractors coming to do any maintenance and repair works in an operational building to know about existing health and safety risks in a building.

The typical contents of a Health and Safety File are provided in Appendix 4 of HSE Guidance L153 (Managing Health and Safety in Construction).




What are "Residual Health and Safety Risks"?

Residual health and safety risks are those risks that could not be eliminated or minimised to a tolerable level during design and construction works and have been left in a completed building project. These may include encapsulated asbestos, difficult access to certain areas of roof, reduced headlight in plant room etc. The client must be made aware of these risks during the design and construction process. The client or his team will then have to take responsibility for managing these risks in post completion phase. The details about this risks and suggested management strategies and solutions should be included in the handover documentation (i.e. Health and Safety File, Building (O&M) Manuals or Residual Risk Register) and passed on to the client.




We hope that you found the information useful, however, we welcome any feedback or comments to improve the details or any other aspect of the CDM Regulations that will be useful to add to the above.




Please see our Safescope CDM Services





CDM 2015 Guidance




Our Contact Details

For further information and a prompt hassle free fee proposal please contact us as follows:

Lindsey Heffer - Safescope
LINDSEY HEFFER

Business Management Co-ordinator
T:  01473 407020
M: 07443 789226
E:  LBrown@safescope.com

Dr. Khalid Bhutto - Safescope
DR. KHALID BHUTTO
BEng MSc PhD CMIOSH FCIOB CFaPS
Director
T:  01473 407020
M: 07818 288122
E:  KBhutto@safescope.com