PRESS RELEASE: Issued 23rd March 2015
New CDM15 regulations now include domestic projects
-Contractor compliance with CDM15 could affect future sale of property-
Hosking Associates, the health, safety and environmental specialist, is sending out a stark warning to homeowners looking to engage contractors to be aware of changes to the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM15), which will affect them from next month.
CDM is a piece of legislation that aims to reduce accidents during construction projects via good design, planning and co-operation from concept to completion and ultimately decommissioning. It also specifies legal requirements on site safety standards and for the provision of welfare facilities such as access to toilets. The full scope of the updated regulations, which come into force on 6th April 2015, will – for the first time – include construction work carried out for homeowners who will live in the property after work has been completed.
Louise Hosking, managing director at Hosking Associates, said: “Of the 43 people who died on construction sites last year, three quarters were working on smaller projects. The new CDM15 legislation recognises that large construction sites are no longer where most people are being badly injured or killed, and – as a result, focus is shifting to smaller projects including those within the domestic sector.
“The way a building project is organised can reduce risks to workers significantly. It is imperative that everyone involved – architects, engineers, builders and the homeowner, work together to meet the new standards.
“The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) commissioned a report last year that showed very few home owners consider safety when they choose their contractor and this may have to change. For some projects a health & safety file, which outlines how the work was undertaken and what was installed, will be required at the end of the work and if this isn’t provided it could affect the future sale of the property.”
Important points to note:
- From 6th April 2015, all builders, whatever their size, working in the domestic sector, will have to create a construction phase safety plan for all building projects.
- All domestic projects will have to meet the same basic standards for the provision of welfare facilities as commercial projects.
- Any domestic projects finishing after 6th April 2015, where there has been more than one contractor must have a health and safety file presented at the end.
- The health and safety file is a handover pack, which should include ‘as built’ drawings or specifications of components that have been installed. Conveyancing solicitors are likely to request this when property is bought and sold.
- For home owners, CDM duties are passed to the contractor where there is only one or the principal contractor for more than one.
- Where there is more than one contractor, a principal designer must also be appointed and they coordinate all matters relating to health and safety.
- It the principal designer changes or is not engaged to the end, the responsibility for the file moves on and may rest finally with the principal contractor.
- The principal contractor is responsible for operational site safety and passing information to the principal designer for the health & safety file.”I would anticipate the HSE will start visiting home improvement sites more routinely and it will – probably – focus on the provision of welfare facilities and safe working practices initially,” adds Hosking. “If homeowners make it very difficult for their contractor or designer to comply, they could become responsible if this leads to an accident. Health and Safety offences that lead to death or significant personal harm can result in unlimited fines and imprisonment for those who made decisions or failed to make the decisions that led to this. Homeowners should therefore choose their contractors wisely, and push for the health and safety file.”
Billy Heyman, Managing Director at South West London building and refurbishment company, BTL Property (www.btlpropertyltd.co.uk), adds:
Overall, we welcome the change to the CDM regulations, which will hopefully help improve health and safety standards on private domestic building projects (which is where the majority of construction workers are employed in the UK).
It is very important that the new standards are properly enforced, or pressure will be put on previously responsible builders who may become unable to compete with those builders prepared to cut corners. Irresponsible builders can probably save anywhere between 5-20% by not operating safely. Examples of where corners can be cut include: sites not having sufficient scaffolding, not providing adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), using untrained workers and not producing a site specific Construction Phase Plan (we estimate a day to produce the document for a side return extension, for example).
The last thing we want to see is an increase in ‘unscrupulous’ builders as a result of increasing red tape and slightly higher costs.
Notes to editors:
About Hosking Associates
Established in 2005, Hosking Associates focuses on health and safety and the environment. Its consultants help companies and schools create a healthy and safe environment for their workforce and anyone who comes to the premises.
The company works with organisations as the health, safety and/or environmental manager – either within organisations that prefer to outsource, or where an internal resource is not necessary.
Hosking Associates saves organisations money by helping them comply with the law. The team works in partnership with clients and doesn’t just run risk or impact assessments. Instead, they guide them through the process – giving them the tools, training and confidence to manage all aspects of health, safety and sustainability on their own.
About BTL Property Ltd:
BTL Property is a leading South West London based building company founded in 2002. It specialises in basements, extensions, loft conversions and full house refurbishment and offers a complete service, either to design and build, or working with architects and interior designers that have already been appointed.
BTL Property prides itself on providing a professional and personal service at a fair price. All projects are led by a dedicated project manager and every project has a site manager and foreman to ensure the build is completed on time and to budget. All of the work BTL carries out is fully insured and guaranteed for six years. The Company is also a member of the Federation of Master Builders and approved Delta Membrane registered installers.
For further information, please contact:
Katrina Suppiah – Publicite
Tel: 020 8543 6582
Harriet Saywell-Lee – Foundation PR Ltd
T: 020 7580 2492