Friday, 30 October 2015

CDM 2015 - Principal Designer

In an article from Construction Manager, the HSE’s chief inspector of construction feels that:

Six months after the shake-up of CDM 2015 and with the transitional arrangements ending today (6 October), the HSE’s chief inspector of construction has told Construction Manager that the revised regulations are “bedding in well” and designers are “on a journey” to fulfilling their new responsibilities.

Well, that is certainly one way of looking at it!

The other way could be that as a practice whose clients are domestic homeowners simply wanting to improve their home; the last thing our clients need is to pay for something (as obviously professionals like us have to charge for their time and expertise) they do not want or need. Our clients already know the risks at their home; such as living on a busy road, overhead cables, underground pipes, etc, etc. They do not need a report telling them this information and neither do the builders. Builders know the risks associated with the construction of an extension or conversion.

Quite why CDM 2015 has been applied to domestic projects is not as simple as it seems. Yes, more people are sadly injured or worse on domestic building sites than commercial ones. Of course they are! There are always vastly more domestic projects happening than commercial projects, and therefore obviously more people get injured on domestic building sites than on commercial ones.

A couple of examples:

If, 80% of drivers drove blue cars and only 20% drove red ones then obviously there would be more road traffic incidents involving blue cars than red ones. But it would not mean that people driving blue cars are more dangerous than those driving the red ones; that would be a false statistic.

In any joinery or cabinetmaking workshop there are more machine saws than any other type of machines. There could be the rip saw, the cross-cut saw, the dimension saw, the band saw, the fret saw and others. However, there would likely only be one mortiser, lathe, sander, over-hand planner, thickness planner, spindle molder, vacuum press and such like. So, guess which type of machine is involved with the most incidents? Yes, that is right; sawing machines obviously! There are more of them in the workshop. Therefore, stating that saws are more dangerous than other machines would be based upon a false statistic.

There is an old saying that you can prove anything with statistics and a cynical person might think that the HSE has applied CDM 2015 to domestic projects so as to create work for itself! Especially as we have just come through one of the worse recessions ever - the construction industry is always the first to suffer and to recover.

Many in the industry believe that CDM 2015 has been applied to domestic projects based upon false statistics that need further examination or to be seen in proportion.

There is no denying that CDM 2015 is here and needs to be adhered to and we just hope that proportionality is applied and that common sense prevails.

You can read the full Construction Manager article here