CDM for Gas and Transmission Industries

Martyn Clark
The gas and transmission industry is currently focused on two programmes with substantial health & safety implications: ongoing RIIO upgrade and removal of redundant equipment.

RIIO upgrades

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) expects to see £200m savings across the industry. RIIO is a central part of this, demonstrating the industry’s determination to introduce more efficient delivery. Much of the equipment is over 30 years old and needs upgrading to realise these efficiencies and cost savings. The programme has an important health & safety element, with CDM affecting the installation, operation and maintenance of the equipment.

Challenges for the industry

  • Enabling interaction between relevant departments in client organisation, eg. gas engineers, electrical instrumentation (EI)

  • Working within existing plant and equipment to ensure safe and uninterrupted continuity of supply

  • Multiple locations

  • Identifying the outdated equipment where there may be no performance record

  • Only seven years remaining to complete the updates

Lack of CDM compliance leads to:

  • Financial loss

  • Schedule delays

  • Health issues for maintenance staff

  • Legislative issues

We find that our clients are very keen to deal efficiently with CDM matters but often under-estimate the issues and are uncertain how to best proceed.

Removal of redundant equipment

This may be part of plant update or part of estate rationalisation. From a CDM perspective, the key issue is to identify significant hazards associated with the plant. There may be contamination through historic processes and the operator is required to identify this. If the site is to be cleared for future development, mitigation of any significant hazard will enable the land value to be maximised. Demolition of gas holders, for instance, is currently releasing a lot of urban land for development.

From a CDM perspective, the key issue is to identify significant hazards associated with the plant.

Specialist CDM guidance

Faithful+Gould has significant experience in this field, with an excellent grasp of the complexities associated with CDM in the gas and transmission industries. We are liaising with clients to identify existing operational issues that need to be addressed pre-installation, and we are also working on removal of redundant equipment (eg. demolition of gas holders). This forms a key part of our wider CDM work in the gas, water, offshore wind, marine and biomass power industries. In supporting clients with RIIO, we maintain and improve on the high health & safety standards achieved to date while looking for innovative approaches to reducing delivery costs.

We use our knowledge and tools to provide an enhanced health & safety service in relation to standards and delivery times whilst controlling or reducing costs. The development of IT packages in conjunction with our clients has enabled key health & safety areas to be targeted whilst providing real time information. For example the development of our hand-held information systems has provided sufficient flexibility to identify and target trend issues whilst enabling real time reports to be issued from the field. This reduces costs and frees up resource to target areas of potential concern. 

Written by