Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
Many PCCs are unaware that they are partially responsible for Health and Safety on site during building projects.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, known as CDM 2015, came into force on 6 April 2015. The regulations are designed to set out what people involved in construction projects need to do to protect themselves and others from harm. If your PCC are planning a building project, they need to be aware of the CDM 2015 regulations and their responsibilities under them.
The CDM 2015 regulations apply to all construction projects (including new builds, stonework repairs, renewing roofs etc.) that involve more than one contractor.
More detailed information is available on the Health and Safety Executive website including a helpful leaflet Need building work done? A short guide for clients on the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
Who has responsibility?
Parochial Church Councils are commercial clients under the definition in the CDM 2015 regulations. This means that PCCs have responsibility to comply with the appropriate sections of CDM 2015 regulations. Other people involved in the project also have responsibilities. The PCC should provide general oversight and management to ensure that others involved in the project comply with the regulations. The PCC are responsible for appointing suitably qualified people. The people with key responsibilities are the principal designer and principal contractor.
The principal designer is the designer appointed by the PCC in projects involving more than one designer or contractor. They are responsible for taking into account health and safety requirements when making design decisions and for identifying and controlling or eliminating foreseeable risks. Their primary responsibility is the pre-construction phase.
The principal contractor is the contractor appointed by the PCC to coordinate the construction phase in projects involving more than one designer or contractor. They are responsible for taking into account the health and safety risks to everyone involved on site. They are also responsible for writing and regularly reviewing the written construction phase plan.
Other designers and contractors also have responsibilities, as do site workers. A summary of these responsibilities can be found here.
What do PCCs need to do?
The PCC is responsible for making arrangements for the management of the project. This includes appointing a principal designer and principal contractor, ideally early on in the life of the project. The appointments should be made in writing so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
The PCC must ensure that the principal designer and principal contractor have risk management plans in place for all stages of the project. The PCC should also make sure that enough time and resources are available for the principal designer and principal contractor to carry out their responsibilities properly and for the works to happen safely. The PCC also needs to make sure that appropriate onsite welfare facilities are provided, either by the PCC or the principal contractor. The PCC needs to ensure the safety of the public and any church staff during the construction works. It may be necessary to restrict access to the building, change access routes, put up appropriate signage and brief staff.
The PCC should provide information about the site and any potential hazards to the principal designer and principal contractor. This includes information about the presence of asbestos, faulty wiring etc. The PCC should also discuss with the principal designer and the principal contractor the practicalities of using the building or other areas of the site while the works are taking place. It is also helpful to provide Health and Safety files from previous projects. The PCC should stay in regular communication with the principal designer and principal contractor.
The principal contractor should draw up a construction phase plan, it is the PCC’s responsibility to check that this has been done. When the project is finished the PCC should be given the health and safety file, this should be kept with the church records.
If the planned construction work involves more than 20 workers at a time and is scheduled to last longer than 30 days or the works exceed 500 individual worker days you may need to notify the Health and Safety Executive of the works. The principal contractor will be able to tell you whether notification is required for your project. The notification form is available on the HSE website.
The PCC should also notify their insurer or the works. The insurance company may be able to offer additional advice.
If the PCC are unsure of their responsibilities the principal designer, principal contractor or QI architect will be able to offer advice. Further information is also available on the Health and Safety Executive website.
The consequences of non-compliance
If you do not comply with CDM 2015 regulations you may be putting site workers, the public and other building users at risk of harm. Non-compliance may also have an effect on the standard of work that your designers and contractors are able to achieve.
If you do not appoint a principal designer and principal contractor additional responsibilities will fall on the PCC.
If there are breaches of the CDM 2015 regulations works may be stopped by the HSE or your Local Authority, in extreme cases prosecution may follow. There will be a fee imposed for the investigation the breach.