CDM 2015 Part 4: How To Keep & Maintain Construction Site Safety

CDM 2015 Regulations are divided into 5 sections. The three main sections are Parts 2, 3 and 4. 

Part 1 is really just an introduction into CDM 2015. Whilst part 5 contains some general information on enforcement and review of the regulations. 

We have a whole content hub dedicated to explaining CDM 2015 regulations in detail. 

You may be aware that CDM places specific requirements on different roles that are in the project. 

Roles such as the Client, Principal Designers, Principal Contractors all have specific duties to fulfill.

Part 4 is often overlooked when it comes to the regulations. 

However, when you consider that in total there are 39 regulations under CDM 2015 and 16-35 are in part 4 you can see the significance.

That's nearly 50% of the regulations in part 4 alone.

This section should be the main concern of Principal Contractors and Contractors. It concerns what actually happens on site and the general condition of the working environment. However, it's the duty of anyone involved in the project to support this and report any risks or hazards.

When we look at the CDM 2015 guidance it lays out the application of Part 4

(1) This part applies only to a construction site.

(2) A contractor carrying out construction work must comply with the requirements of this Part so far as they affect the contractor or any worker under the control of the contractor or relate to matters within the contractor’s control.

(3) A domestic client who controls the way in which any construction work is carried out by a person at work must comply with the requirements of this Part so far as they relate to matters within the client’s control.

Here's the full list of regulations included in CDM 2015 part 4:

  1. Safe places of construction work
  2. Good order and site security
  3. Stability of structures
  4. Demolition or dismantling
  5. Explosives
  6. Excavations
  7. Cofferdams and caissons
  8. Reports of inspections
  9. Energy distribution installations
  10. Prevention of drowning
  11. Traffic routes
  12. Vehicles
  13. Prevention of risk from fire, flooding or asphyxiation
  14. Emergency procedures
  15. Emergency routes and exits
  16. Fire detection and fire-fighting
  17. Fresh air
  18. Temperature and weather protection
  19. Lighting

The True Importance of Part 4

The health and safety of workers and everyone involved in the project should never be jeopardised.

At this stage of the project any challenges that appear need to be addressed properly. If everything has gone smoothly to this point foreseen risks should be minimised or addressed.

However, circumstances out of the duty holders’ control can always put things off course. Budgets may come under closer scrutiny, workarounds suggested or even a change in suppliers.

Since CDM 2015 was introduced there have been 95 prosecutions. 46 of those prosecutions occurred last year (2018). 

Out of those 46 two significant prosecutions came under CDM part 4. 

In Manchester, a property developer was sent to prison for breaching regulation 19. (stability of structures). 

The second breach and prosecution were under regulation 27 (traffic routes). This resulted in a £500,000 fine for a Birmingham based contractor. 

The true importance of part 4 is making sure those who are doing the work are kept safe and can return to their families. 

How to Keep Your Site Safe?

Ever since the project was a concept the CDM 2015 regulations put safety first. From the correct appointments of designers and contractors to specific duties CDM puts in place.

However, when we get to part 4 in reality it comes down to one key thing. Communication.

This should be the number one priority for everyone from day one. Communication between key duty holders will ensure all risks are known and addressed. 

Communication between Contractors and Designers will ensure health and safety is always met.

Communication between Contractors and workers will ensure they are kept up to date with key information that will affect them on a day-to-day basis.

Have regular safety meetings, weekly if needed. You can use these to discuss any safety issues on site and come up with solutions. 

Safety meetings are a good way for site management to get feedback from the workforce. 

10 Easy Ways to Promote Site Safety

  1. Do not start work without a thorough induction
  2. Weekly Safety Meetings
  3. Easy near miss & defect reporting
  4. Regular Site Safety Inspections
  5. Effective Waste Management 
  6. Weekly Equipment & Machinery Checks
  7. Formal Documents - Sign in Sheets, Inspections etc
  8. Ensure Protective Gear is always worn when needed
  9. Clear on-Site Safety Signs
  10. Don't be afraid to ask for help
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