Under the new Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations introduced in April 2015, self builders and renovators managing their own building projects (i.e. not using a main contractor) will have to act as the Principal Contractor on their own projects (all domestic building projects) unless:

they are using a main contractor for the majority of the construction project (in which case the main contractor will take it on); or:

they are carrying out the project on a DIY basis (in which case CDM regs don’t apply).

Here’s what you need to do if you are taking on the role of Principal Contractor:

1. A Construction Phase Safety Plan

You will need to produce a Construction Phase Safety Plan for the project. This needn’t be as onerous as it sounds. HSE have provided a guide and a template and the CITB’s CDM Wizard App is a good resource on the Plan and other aspects.

2. Safety Equipment

Ensure that all necessary pieces of safety equipment are provided for anybody who may be working on site. The equipment must be in safe, working order and compliant to industry standards. Here are the main items you may need for a common building site:

  • Head, face and eye protection
  • Drain equipment
  • Fire protection
  • Safety footwear
  • Hearing protection
  • High visibility clothing

3. Security Measures

Ensure the entire perimeter of the site is clearly identified by suitable signs or be fully fenced off. Try Tempfence who stock a selection of temporary fencing solutions for small and large building sites alike.

4. Sanitation

If you are working on a site without access to running water and toilet facilities, it is your responsibility as the Principal Contractor to provide these. Toilet facilities are a basic right for all workers on a construction site – and it is unsanitary to not provide these with water provisions to wash their hands.

Portakabin stock a huge selection of portable toilet blocks, washrooms, changing rooms and shower blocks.

The washing facilities must be suitably ventilated and include:

  • A supply of hot and cold, or warm, water;
  • Soap or alternative means of cleaning;
  • Towels or alternative means of drying

5. Canteens and Rest Facilities

It is vital that a source of wholesome drinking water is freely available on site whenever anybody is working. CDM 2015 dictates that a sufficient number of cups or drinking vessels are provided and drinking water must be appropriately signed. If you are expecting workers to be on site for more than two hours at a time, it is important that facilities for rest are provided.

Rest facilities must be equipped with an adequate number of tables and seating options. Canteen provisions must include suitable arrangements for food preparation and the means to boil water.

6. First Aid

Get an on-site first aid box which should include, as a minimum:

  • A leaflet giving general first aid guidance
  • Individually-wrapped sterile plasters in assorted sizes
  • Sterile eye pads
  • Individually-wrapped, sterile triangular bandages
  • Safety pins
  • Disposable gloves
  • Individually-wrapped, medium-sized sterile unmedicated wound dressings
  • Individually-wrapped, large-sized sterile unmedicated wound dressings

First Aid Warehouse stocks a comprehensive range of first aid kits for a wide range of different size sites.

Produced with Manchester Safety Services

who can offer guidance and supplies to help self builders and renovators meet the new CDM regulations

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