CDM 2015 Regulations require that certain documents are in place throughout the specific stages of the construction project.
Pre-construction information plays a very important role. This information is vital to those designing, bidding for or planning work in the construction phase.
Pre-construction information provides a basis for the preparation of the construction phase plan. Some material may also be relevant to the preparation of the health and safety file.
The regulations define pre-construction information as:
Information about the project that is already in the client’s possession or which is reasonably obtainable by or on behalf of the client.
Pre-construction information needs to be constantly updated. Designers must then consider this information when preparing or modifying designs. So, it can have a huge impact on the project if something is missing or not communicated.
What Should Be Included in Pre-construction information?
As stated above, any information that is relevant or will impact designers and contractors needs to be included & communicated.
When pre-construction information is complete it must include proportionate information about:
- The project, such as the client brief and key dates of the construction phase;
- The planning and management of the project. This includes resources and time is allocated to each stage of the project. Also, the arrangements to ensure there is cooperation between duty-holders and that the work is coordinated.
- The health and safety hazards of the site, including design and construction hazards and how they will be addressed;
- Any relevant information in an existing health and safety file.
Information about the project
It's best practice to include a project description and programme details including:
- Client brief (if available)
- Key dates (For example the planned start and finishing dates of the construction phase)
- Details of Client, Principal Designer, Designers, and other consultants
What are the Client’s considerations and management requirements?
Again, it's best practice to detail arrangements for the following:
- Planning for and managing the construction work, including any health and safety goals for the project
- Communication and liaison between clients and others (regular meeting dates etc)
- Security of the site - Security Gates, are codes required?
- Welfare provisions - How many, where are they?
If the project will impact the client’s employees or customers, or members of the public. It is vital to include requirements relating to the health and safety of these.
- Site hoarding requirements
- Site transport arrangements and vehicle movement restrictions
- The Client’s permit-to-work arrangements
- Fire precautions to be put in place
- Emergency procedures and means of escape
- Restricted areas or other authorisation requirements
- Any areas the client has designated as confined spaces
- Smoking and parking restrictions.
Are there any environmental restrictions or existing on-site risks?
If there are any known on-site safety risks include them as this will impact the design and progress of the project.
In any project there will always be existing risks. Ensuring they are in the pre-construction information will minimise their potential impact.
- Boundaries and access, including temporary access. (narrow streets, lack of parking, turning or storage space)
- Any restrictions or impact on deliveries, rubbish collection or storage. If so, how will these now be handled?
- Adjacent land uses – for example, schools, railway lines or busy roads
- Existing storage of hazardous materials
- Location of existing services – water, electricity, gas, etc
- Ground conditions, underground structures or watercourses where this might affect the safe use of plant. For example, cranes, or the safety of groundworks.
- Information about existing structures. The stability and structural form of these structures. Also, if required anchorage points for fall arrest systems.
- Are there any previous structural modifications? This can include weakening or strengthening of the structure.
- Any fire damage, ground shrinkage, movement or poor maintenance? Especially if this has adversely affected the structure.
- Any difficulties relating to plant and equipment in the premises. For example, are there any overhead gantries whose height restricts access?
Health hazards including:
- Asbestos and any results of previous surveys
- Existing storage of hazardous materials
- Contaminated land and results of previous surveys.
- Existing structures containing hazardous materials
- Any health risks due to client activities.
Significant design and construction hazards
This section should include:
- Significant design assumptions and suggested work methods, sequences or other control measures
- Arrangements for coordination of ongoing design work and handling design changes
- Information on significant risks identified during design
- Materials requiring precautions.