On the 2nd March Lynden Potter asked some very good questions regarding the new CDM Regulations which come into force on 6th April this year.

Like Lynden, I too am about to embark on a barn conversion self-build project (is it self-build, or a barn conversion or a renovation??). The plan, principally driven by tight budgets is that I do most of the work myself, having good practical skills and some experience of my own domestic building work previously. However, of necessity I will be having to use sub-contractors for the bits where my skill-set is lacking. The sub-contracted parts of work will be carried out one-at-a-time, with no overlap of their presence on site. This makes it practically impossible to appoint a Principal Contractor, as the Regulations appear to demand. No sub-contractor could be expected to take responsibility once they have departed.

I can think of several creative solutions to the problem, as well as the helpful thoughts of Jim who answered the question. However Jim has the advantage in that he has long experience in the building trade to withstand the “spine” of an HSE inspector. Besides this, my creative solutions while addressing the spirit of the law – a planned approach to safety before, during and after the build, yet may not satisfy the letter of the law.

My architect says this is the “death-knell” of self-building, unless some clear guidance is presented in a non ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. I truly do not know where I stand on this. The mere cage-rattling act of pre-notification could kill my project before it starts

I echo Lynden’s suggestion that a practical application guide to the Regulations is badly needed. Otherwise self-build and its magazines might also be a thing of the past. Any thinking HSE experts out there…?

  • John Poole

    CDM is easy to deal with, sure it might require some extra work but it’s nothing that won’t secure a safe work site.

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