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CDM - Queries re designers on R&M jobs

MB 6 months ago   Reply
Hi, its the first time that ive posted in this forum, but I have seen a few of the threads with varying opinion, so I was wondering if anyone had knowledge of my current query. I know CDM to a high level, and understand that we need a CPP on any job that isn't DIY, however, I'm trying to create a shorted version of a CPP for repairs & maintenance , to cover the bare minimum, however, I'm just wondering with regard to the principal designer, am I right in thinking, and noting down, that because it is a repair that the client is requesting, that this role sits with the client. just I was thinking I'd need to state the duty holders, and obviously there is no designer, as the job is completed ad hoc, so I was going to put a pre-populated statement that the principal designer role sits with the client as it is a responsive job. Has anyone had a similar experience or done this in a different way ? thanks,
Charlie Says 6 months ago   Reply
The Client would expect the R&M to be carried out in accordance with current ACoP, Regulation, BS, recognised best practice etc. and I would suggest, for the most part, this would be the limit of their 'design' input into R&M. With the remaining design being undertaken by the operative executing the R&M.
MB 6 months ago   Reply
yes, I understand HOW they want the job carried out, that wasn't the question. The question was purely , if a client calls to says 'my door handle is broke' and we go to repair that, are they taking on the designer responsibility for requesting that change? it could be things such a flooded ceilings, hanging a door etc, all of which we know how to carry out. my only issue/query is stating on the CPP that the client is the designer in these circumstances?
Charlie Says 6 months ago   Reply
It might help to consider a more unusual repair such as 'My window restrictor has failed, can you replace it?' The expectation would be to replace like for like but what if there is an existing Jackloc Restrictor that is dis-engaged by a little key to allow the escape window to be used, and the current occupant as arthritic hands that does not allow them to operate the small key. I would suggest the operative would contact the client for authorisation to install an alternative and therefore the design would be changed by the client to consider the needs of the end user. The client is the designer.
MB 6 months ago   Reply
thank you for your taking the time to think it through. the repairs are all done for local government, ie schools libraries etc, so the individual needing to change the style as a requirement etc, is probably unlikely, but I understand your jist, and is it possible that locks may need to be 'child-proofed' maybe, but its more than likely basic handy jobs ; if there is a dripping tap in a kitchen for example, it could just be replaced with an appropriate item which is already available (eg we installed the kitchen 6 months prior so have a sound replacement in the van that can be used and the client agrees)
Frank 6 months ago   Reply

Mb 

Hi at the risk of being controversial, for the type of maintenance you describe I just ignore CDM as it is just too cumbersome for this application. I do even as we speak run small maintenance and repair jobs using just point of work risk assessments and include where appropriate safe systems of work. A CPP is meaningless and will soon become totally ineffective with over use. So the answer to your question is I do not have a PD and the client takes on no more duties, I as a competent contractor carry out the works with my risk and method statements and accept responsibility as an employer.

Regards  

MB 6 months ago   Reply
Thanks Frank, I appreciate your honesty - and can say that some members of our team may take that attitude, the problem is, if anything goes wrong, RAMS will not cover you in the eyes of a HSE to prove that you planned, managed and monitored your job. you need to also prove you have considered more modern expectations such as explaining how long your planning to work for, use of welfare, and safe barriers for segregation. I understand that people think it defeats the object, on smaller jobs, and am not naïve enough to think that everyone uses CPP, despite them being a must for anything other than DIY, nor do I think that filling in a few bits of info will save an accident occurring, but I do think this will cover your back if something was to go wrong. I have created a really basic form for all of our staff, to hopefully increase them to start using, just being a large employer we just wont get away with saying we couldn't be bothered, even if it means filling something in to hang a door. just going off my topic have you see the HSE document 'CPP for a busy builder'?... is it only a page long and I think is there to cover sole traders in completing the bare minimum, not sure if this would be of assistance. the CPP I have created for my larger sites, anything over a week, is 36 pages, and only 20 sentences of that need amending, but I wouldn't expect anything that size to be looked at for a 30 minute job.
Charlie Says 6 months ago   Reply
That sounds like a reasonable approach - up until something goes wrong and questions are asked.
Liz Bennett 6 months ago   Reply

Yes, Frank, you are controversial! it is not in your gift to choose when to apply the law.

Is it construction? Yes. CDM applies.

Are there more than 2 contractors on site at any time? No. No need for a PD or PC and you are likely to have just a Client and a Contractor. Very common.

Make sure you know who the client is. If in doubt apply Regulation 4(8). YOu need this because you still need PCI like where the job is, what it is, if there are any local challengess etc. MOst of the hazards and risks are likely to have been managed by selection of those with adequate skills, knowledge, experience and (as they ar contractors) training and/or supervision.

However small the job you need a Construction Phase Plan but it is sensibsly for this size of project almost the same as the work order or whatever you call you paperwork for payment. Write your procedure to take that fact into account. I expect you can have almost all the appropriate and proportionate written evidence on one sheet of paper or one screen of a phone/laptop. I bet you have a record for the plan for payment. A record is needed too of the plan for safe and healthy working.

Safety Provisions 6 months ago   Reply

CDM only applies if it is construction work. Fitting a replacement window restrictor, a door handle etc. is not construction work

Charlie Says 6 months ago   Reply
Would you really complicate the matter by determining which element of R&M was construction work and which was not. Constructing a big job in the welfare unit isn't construction work either but the health and safety in doing this is still covered by CDM!
MB 6 months ago   Reply
In the eyes of the HSE, and after having this confirmed at the CITB duty holders course, the minute you have a tool in your hand, this is construction. i.e. if you go to price a job on site, it isn't construction, but the minute you open your toolbox and start to use tools, even a screwdriver, it is construction.
Frank 6 months ago   Reply

MB 

With all respect I think you have been misinformed , There are more jobs that do not meet CDM than do, Construction is a very particular industry and some advisors are trying to include every industry into these regs and they just dont fit. The wording in the regs has a lot to answer for as it tries to encompass every scenario but the clue is in the title CONSTRUCTION Design Management. We have our gas heating serviced, windows cleaned, grass cut, vending machines serviced , welders calibrated, etc etc None of which are CDM no matter what arguments are put forward I do not include this type of work.

MB 6 months ago   Reply
I appreciate your views Frank, however, I think you are getting confused between CDM, and when a job is F10 notifiable. ALL CONSTRUCTION WORK is CDM ; not manual labour or using every day tools such as mowing lawn and cleaning windows - after all you are not altering a structure after all are you? a job becomes notifiable - when the construction job has more than 20 staff, at any one time, for over 30 days, or 500 person days. so you may be a contractor working for a client, which isn't notifiable, but you would STILL need to complete a basic form of what you are doing and when, to satisfy the HSE. whether we agree of not, please see the CITB regulations definition, in full, of what they deem to be 'construction' which is at the very start, part1, of the regs. "construction work" means the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work and includes- (a) the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance (including cleaning which involves the use of water or an abrasive at high pressure, or the use of corrosive or toxic substances), de-commissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure; (b) the preparation for an intended structure, including site clearance, exploration, investigation (but not site survey) and excavation (but not pre-construction archaeological investigations), and the clearance or preparation of the site or structure for use or occupation at its conclusion; (c) the assembly on site of prefabricated elements to form a structure or the disassembly on site of the prefabricated elements which, immediately before such disassembly, formed a structure; (d) the removal of a structure, or of any product or waste resulting from demolition or dismantling of a structure, or from disassembly of prefabricated elements which immediately before such disassembly formed such a structure; (e) the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer or similar services which are normally fixed within or to a structure, but does not include the exploration for, or extraction of, mineral resources, or preparatory activities carried out at a place where such exploration or extraction is carried out
Frank 6 months ago   Reply

Hi MB

I am very aware of what is termed as construction in all of its forms, I am very conversant with CDM. I do however question the validity of some of the criteria, There is clearly a distinction between a new door handle and painting a wall to a new extension. My role is to promote and nurture good healthy and safe work practices and environments, one of the tools is good RAMS, education and legislation. For a one man band to produce a piece of paper so that he can be bought to account if things go wrong, a piece of paper that will not be read and has no perceived value does not enhance the wellbeing of anybody. Accountability is all around what if something goes wrong we need to blame someone! so that the insurance can avoid claims. To my way of thinking is the wrong approach, why not make sure that nothing goes wrong in the first place? You can do this with buy in and ownership from the workers and create safe systems of work, not get them to complete forms they dont understand and store them in a file nobody reads. Obviously this is not the case in every situation but it is widespread in the industry particularly if people are not working in a specific designated construction site run by the major contractors. Right or wrong agree or disagree but this is what happens all too often. Redecorating my office should I consult the CDM file to see what paint is on the walls, what carpet and underlay is on the floor or what lights are on the ceiling, in truth I dont give a hoot what I will concentrate on is what is to be used and how when the contractor turns up on site, we can look at MSDS and appropriate methods of working, will I ask for a CPP and include in the CDM file for the building No! I might just record the paint code for repair jobs. I would like some lead based paint with an asbestos texture finish but I cant seem to find any? I will have to stick to what is commercially available.

MB 6 months ago   Reply
OK, just you say you are aware of construction in all forms?, but you listed activites you said were not CDM, which are listed in the CDM regs? Basically, I didn't make the regs, I am simply saying you aren't following them. For what ever your reasons, whether I agree with you or not, if you read them and ignore what it says in black and white, if the HSE rock up, you are non-comlpiant and may face a FFI, this is a fact. Also, can I check before I just end this conversation as it is going totally off topic, have you looked at the CPP on this website ?This cis80, it is a 1 page sheet, which literally asks where you are and what you are doing. I am sorry, but if you are telling me that grown people do not 'understand' how to answer 15 questions including have you considered risks inc asbestos with simple answers, then I would not want you measuring up, ordering and fitting my kitchen. Whether we like it or not, CDM is there, and is useful if followed correctly. whether this is to appease the blame and insurance culture is another argument, but you attitude of why should we need to is unfortunately very much down to that. I think the opposite, if its just done for the sake of filling in and recording on a page of paper, to prove what you have thought about and safely considered, then why not just do it. the client could refuse to pay you for a kitchen that you have took too long to do - how do you prove what you've told them? Unfortunately, times are changing and if you don't change with the times you will get left behind.
Frank 6 months ago   Reply

MB

From the outset I said this is an honest response as to how I deal with minor jobs, it is no reflection on your ability or desire to follow the rules to the enth degree. I have said that CDM is really great legislation well at least 2007 was.  I just do not believe that filling in paper for filling paper's sake is a great philosophy. I do not ignore CDM I just adapt to the size and importance of the job which is the philosophy of CDM itself,reduce paperwork and be proportionate. CITB are over the top and lack a sense of proportion if they say the operator of a screwdriver is contracting under CDM regulations and faces FFI without a CPP. Good luck with that in the courts.

I have great respect for you MB as with other members who operate in the best way we can to remain compliant and do a really great job, I was just being totally honest and admit that CDM is over burdensome at times and I deal with small jobs in other ways.I am also very happy to face any authority who decides that I am non compliant for want of a piece of useless paper.

Regards   

MB 6 months ago   Reply
I don't think its about putting arguments forward, its purely about reading the regs. However, it's up to you if you decide to follow them.
Frank 6 months ago   Reply

Liz 

I may be controversial but with a degree of honesty. I do not particularly choose to apply individual laws like CDM as a matter of course. The original post did not have too much detail and in some cases I would apply CDM. In the very small jobs it is very difficult to get buy in and when dealing with the public its almost impossible. I will refuse to create mountains of paper to satisfy a bureaucrat and in a lot of cases (local authorities in particular) they are so focused on paper that they fail to really understand the task, in this instance we just provide what they ask for regardless of the pertinence of the content. We service and repair, alarm systems, farm equipment, cranes, heaters and a host of other equipment but I do apply a certain amount of practicality and I am more than happy to speak up in court should things go wrong because if I adhere to HASWA and good practice I will be in a good position despite no CPP. That said we do perform all of the said duties in CDM on our construction side including client, PD.PC and CDM advisor.

Please understand I am not opposed to CDM, it is fantastic (especially 2007!), I am honest in as much as we do not apply in all cases due to individual circumstances. 

MB 6 months ago   Reply
yes, I hope that in these instances, for the majority, we will be the only contractor there so wont need to worry about the PD/PC factor. But for the smaller jobs there is a document called CDM for the busy builder which is a page long, so I agree, I cant see how for such a small consideration, where the info reflects the job, that this can 'just be ignored'