CDM 2015: Construction Phase Plan

The Construction Phase H&S Plan

The contractor (if there is only one) or principal contractor (if there is more than one), is responsible for creating a Construction Phase Plan. Under the new CDM 2015 requirements, a plan has to be created for any construction work. Commercial clients must not allow a project to start on site without this. The CITB have created a smart phone/tablet app called “CDM Wizard” which can be used for small jobs. The HSE and CITB have also created templates which are available on their websites. Ultimately, contractors should work toward their own format which works for them and the work they do. The HSE have been clear that the information provided should be proportionate but specific. For smaller jobs, less is required than for major refurbishment projects. These requirements are designed to make the contractor stop and think before they start work.

The contractor (if there is only one), or principal contractor (if there is more than one), is responsible for ensuring site safety standards are managed on site and the construction phase plan should describe how the contractor will fulfil their responsibilities.

Depending on the job, it should contain the following information:

  • General Project Overview and programme with key points highlighted. Start and Finish!
  • Responsibilities of key named individuals, duty holders and sub-contractors
  • Emergency Arrangements including fire arrangements, dealing with foreseeable emergencies of incidents and relevant emergency contact details
  • How hazards will be identified and risks managed as the work progresses (Risk & Method Statements – RAMs)
  • A risk register with a list of completed risk assessments for the project.
  • Location and details of welfare facilities which must meet the requirements within the regulations
  • How induction & tool box talks will be organised and training standards confirmed for all workers
  • How supervision will be organised especially in relation to new and inexperienced workers or where workers are operating in ones or twos
  • How workers will be consulted in respect of H&S arrangements
  • How project meetings will be planned and organised
  • Selection criteria and how work by sub-contractors is planned, monitored and organised
  • The Contractors Site Rules

How Part 4 of CDM 2015 which contains site safety standards will be met in relation to all sites. In particular how the following will be managed:-

  • Potential for contact with asbestos and how this will be managed
  • Reducing the risks of exposure to building dust
  • How the potential for accidental contact with services will be managed – isolation arrangements by whom and when
  • Risk from falls – when will work at height be managed and how
  • Collapsing structures and excavations – a demolition plan must be included where relevant
  • Potential conflict with members of the public or other building users

Although it is not a legal requirement, a plan & description of the site / work location showing the following is very useful for work that has to be separated off from the main functions of the building:

  • Signing in, and provision of immediate hazard information e.g. on a white board or notice board
  • Visitor safe access points
  • Emergency escape routes
  • First aid locations
  • Fire points and emergency alarm locations (if relevant)
  • Access / egress for deliveries, workers and visitors
  • Separation of vehicles from people
  • Waste Disposal
  • Site Warning Notices and Information e.g. use a white board which describes issues of the day

In order to have created the plan, the contractor should demonstrate they have considered the provided pre-construction information.

For larger jobs, the plan should change and develop with the project as it progresses; for these, risk assessments for at least the start of the project are likely to be included within the plan and continually added to as the work progresses.

In order to have created the plan, the builder must take time to identify hazards which could affect the project such as hidden services or the presence of asbestos, and say how these risks will be managed.

A demolition plan must form part of the Construction Phase Plan if any part of a structure is being dismantled or demolished. This will describe how the structure will be safely dismantled in a manner which will not affect the overall structural stability of the building, or put workers at risk.

Please contact us for further information on CDM 2015 or to clarify any points raised in this article.