CDM is intended to protect the health and safety of those carrying out the work and others who may be affected by it for example, members of the public.
Most Baptist churches are likely to undergo refurbishment, maintenance or restoration work at some point so it’s important to keep regulation in mind.
To keep all parties safe whilst works are in progress, it may be necessary to meet certain legal duties under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM).
The client - under CDM regulations, a client is someone for whom construction work is carried out including planning, design, management or other work associated with it until that work is complete.
Construction work - Construction work can describe a variety of different actions. It can include the renovation, alteration, redecoration, upkeep, repair or other structural maintenance of buildings and other structures.
As a client you are not expected to supervise the works yourself. However, decisions made by the client can influence how works are carried out. This in turn can affect the health, safety or welfare of those involved in it. For example, you decide which designer and contractor will carry out the work and how much money, time and resource is available to complete it.
When your church is acting as the client Where CDM applies, clients are required to:
- Appoint a principal designer and a principal contractor – if there will be more than one contractor working on the project at any time. These appointments need to be in writing and made in a timely fashion before the work starts.
- Apply due diligence - ensure that you work with people who have the skills, knowledge, experience and capability necessary to fulfil their duties.
- Manage health and safety precautions – you will need to make suitable arrangements (including the allocation of sufficient time and other resources) for managing health and safety precautions, including the safe provision of necessary welfare facilities. These arrangements should be maintained and reviewed throughout the project.
- Provide appropriate information – this could include information about what you intend to build, information about the site, the presence of existing structures or hazards you are aware of (e.g. asbestos, overhead cables, and buried services).
- Notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – some types of construction work require notification to the HSE as soon as possible before the work starts. This can apply to:
- work lasting longer than 30 days with more than 20 workers present at the same time
- work involving 500 person days of work.
- Ensure that an adequate plan is drawn up – your principal contractor will draw up a construction phase plan before the work starts. This should include an explanation of how health and safety risks will be managed during the works.
- Ensure that a health and safety file is prepared and stored – this should be created by your principle designer. It needs to meet certain requirements and contain relevant information to help you manage any health and safety risks during future construction work. You will receive the file on completion of the works and this should be stored in a safe place, making it available to anyone who needs to alter or maintain the building. If circumstances change, the file should be updated to reflect this.
And, you should take reasonable steps to ensure that the principal designer and the principal contractor carry out these duties.