Exemplary CDM Compliance

Daniel Piff
The CDM Regulations 2007 were put through high profile paces on the London 2012 Olympics.

The team who delivered the construction of the main sporting venues and infrastructure on the Olympic Park achieved an exemplary health and safety record, thanks to the efforts of the companies involved. Our parent company, Atkins, was key to this achievement.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) issued a report London 2012: The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007: dutyholder roles and impact. Their study researched the extent to which CDM helped or hindered the construction of London 2012 by reviewing how CDM duties were put into practice.

The study concluded that CDM 2007 had been extended and implemented successfully. In particular:

  • The Client (ODA/CLM) had a significant impact on health and safety.
  • Early and ongoing planning, coordination and Contractor involvement were crucial.
  • Principal Contractors shared ideas and lessons learned.
  • Worker engagement helped to motivate the workforce and get key messages across.
  • When compared with the wider construction industry, London 2012 scored significantly higher in 27 of the 39 Influence Network factors.

Lessons applicable elsewhere in construction include:

  • Clients taking the leadership role.
  • Engaging workers.
  • Initiatives to improve health and safety culture.
  • Allowing and encouraging workers to report ‘unsafe’ activities.
  • Integrating teams of Designers, Contractors and CDM Coordinators early and often.
  • Focusing on getting the right competences in individuals and organisations.
  • Forums for sharing knowledge between organisations and sharing office facilities were more appropriate for other large programmes.

Also in the news, HSE plans to consult publicly on revised CDM regulations in early 2013. The Construction Industry Advisory Committee's June 2012 paper Update on the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 confirms that any new regulatory package will come into force in April 2014 at the earliest.

In the report, Philip White, Chief Inspector of Construction, claims that the larger, more structured part of the industry has significantly improved health and safety over the last 10 years. He states that, increasingly, the motivation for achieving high standards of health and safety is through best practice and continuous improvement, rather than by regulation. He describes a two tier industry, still challenged to provide effective and accessible regulation for smaller construction sites. The evidence indicates CDM 2007 is poorly understood and applied on the smallest construction sites, with accordingly inappropriate or low compliance rates.

In what the Institution for Construction Safety (ICS) describes as a ‘mood for change’,  White also confirms that the HSE plans to bring the CDM Regulations in line with the corresponding 20-page EU Temporary Or Mobile Construction Sites Directive.

On our own projects, Faithful+Gould’s CDM services help clients navigate the complexities of CDM compliance. We have a nationwide network of experienced and qualified safety professionals. Our CDM expertise complements our services in health and safety training, premises compliance assessments, construction site auditing, advice to contractors, safe systems of work, and site waste management planning.