Under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015, a Construction Phase Plan is required for ALL projects. Where there is more than one Contractor working on a project, this becomes the responsibility of the Principal Contractor.
The Principal Contractor is responsible for planning, managing and monitoring the construction phase of the project. In doing so, the Principal Contractor is required to coordinate the activities of other Contractors. It is a requirement that a suitable Construction Phase Plan is developed prior to the commencement of work and relevant parts of the plan are communicated to Contractors so that they are aware of the management arrangements and risks involved so that they can plan and manage their works effectively.
Under CDM 2015, Clients also have duties in relation to the Construction Phase Plan. Clients are required to ensure that the Plan is suitably developed to allow the construction phase to commence. The Client should utilise their in house health and safety expertise to advise them on the Plan’s suitability. If this expertise is not available then external advice should be sort, such as a CDM Consultant.
The Construction Phase Plan is a live document and should be developed by the Principal Contractor during the Construction Phase to capture the current site activities and conditions. The site arrangements will differ considerably from the start of the project compared to the latter stages. For example, there may be restrictions regarding site access, parking, deliveries and storage at the start of the project until after the demolition phase is complete. Site logistics may then be reviewed and updated accordingly so as to ease congestion, segregate vehicular and pedestrian access/egress routes, incorporate one way systems to avoid site congestion, mitigate the need for HGVs to reverse on site etc.
There is little value in having a comprehensive and well thought out Construction Phase Plan if it is not communicated to Contractors and the workforce. The Principal Contractor should ensure that relevant parts of the Plan are issued to Contractors and the Construction Phase Plan is made available on site to those who need to refer to it. It is always useful to display on site relevant extracts of the Plan, such extracts could include:-
- i) Fire and Emergency Plan
- ii) First Aid Arrangements
- iii) Site Rules
- iv) Site Logistics Plans
Information Flow – Pre Construction Information
The Principal Contractor must take into consideration the Pre Construction Information made available by the Principal Designer. This information should include details regarding the restrictions, constraints and foreseeable risks associated with the project, as well as any existing surveys, reports, drawing and the CDM Risk Register.
The flow of information initially stems from the Client to the Principal Designer, who then includes this within the Pre Construction Information. The Principal Designer should identify any information gaps, for example if the project involves alteration and refurbishment works to an existing building and the addition of a side extension, and there is no asbestos survey or information on live underground services, then the Principal Designer may advise the Client to have surveys commissioned so that vital information on asbestos and live services can be made available and be taken into consideration.
Information Flow – Construction Phase Plan
As well as utilising the Principal Contractors own knowledge and expertise regarding the project, the Pre Construction Information must also be considered and relevant parts incorporated into the Construction Phase Plan. Where necessary, the Principal Contractor must elaborate upon the information provided, for example, if an asbestos survey has been commissioned and identifies the presence of asbestos, the Plan should document how the Principal Contractor intends to manage the risk of exposure.
Information Flow – Method Statements/Risk Assessments
The principle aim of the CDM Regulations is to provide worker protection. It is therefore imperative that information cascades down to those working on site. In order to do this, the Principal Contractor must ensure that relevant parts of the Construction Phase Plan are issued to Contractors involved in the project. As well as informing Contractors of the management arrangements, the Plan will allow Contractors to incorporate relevant parts into their Method Statements and Risk Assessments and elaborate where necessary to ensure that potential risks likely to be encountered by workers are either mitigated or controlled.
Prior to carrying out works on site, the Principal Contractor must ensure that workers are briefed on the developed safe system of work. This also provides the opportunity for workers to raise questions and have areas of uncertainty clarified. The Principal Contractor must consider that foreign workers may not have a good grasp of English, therefore it may be necessary to bring in translators.
Construction Phase Plans are required on ALL projects, regardless. These are prepared by the Contractor, if there is no more than one trade Contractor, or the Principal Contractor, if there is more than one trade Contractor.
Construction Phase Plans should be project specific, relevant, and proportionate to the level of risk involved, updated throughout the project and effectively communicated, with the overall aim of providing worker protection.
Posted by: Paul Littlewood BSc (Hons), Marpal’s Managing Director.
For further information on construction phase plans, please contact Paul Littlewood by phone (01332 668877) or email ([email protected]).