Opus4 CDM 2015 Seminar Proves To Be A Great Success

Opus4 CDM 2015 Seminar Proves To Be A Great Success

Opus4 has held an insightful seminar into the importance of CDM 2015 and the legal ramifications of the new changes.  The seminar was held at the offices of Macfarlanes LLP – UK Law Firm of the Year 2015 at the Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence.  Prestigious guests from companies including Carillion, Nando’s, First Group, Cordant Group, CoStar and Charles Stanley heard two keynote speeches from Paul Molley, of Trojan Workplace Solutions and Chris Peoples from STMC Building Control.

From 6 April 2015, any client engaged with considering a construction project, needs to take account of the new CDM regulations and faces increased liabilities and responsibilities.  Paul Molley delivered an excellent presentation into just how seriously the HSE were enforcing the new laws and gave real world examples of how the changes might affect the businesses of those in attendance.  A number of key duties which were traditionally the responsibility of an independently appointed CDM Co-ordinator are now the legal responsibility of the client.  These include the submission of the F10 document (the official submission document which is sent to the HSE to notify them of the construction project), to ensure that health and safety is applied and welfare provided, that a H&S File and a Construction Phase Plan is prepared and that generally, reasonable steps are taken to ensure competency at all levels of the project.

The new regulations stipulate the need to appoint a Principal Designer on any construction project where more than one contractor is involved.  The Principal Designer (PD) has to plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety during the pre-construction phase.  This includes the preparation of a Health and Safety file and ensuring all site drawings provide sufficient health and safety information to eliminate, reduce and control foreseeable risk during the execution of the project.

The new laws also identify the importance of the Principal Contractor (PC).   The key responsibilities of the PC, in respect of CDM 2015, is to plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate the work of the Construction Phase Plan without any risk to health and safety.    This places greater emphasis on the provision of suitable site welfare facilities, closer liaison with the Principal Designer and consulting and engaging with the workers on site to ensure the

As a design and build interior contractor with in-house design capabilities and a skilled workforce which is in large part, directly employed, Opus4 is in a unique position to assist clients meet their obligations under CDM 2015.  This is because they can adopt both of these key roles as Principal Designer and Principal Contractor. This allows for a seamless project delivery and much more synchronicity between the two defined roles which the HSE have now seen to be critical  to safe project delivery.

David Hook, Head of Property for First Group Transpennine Express said: “The seminar has really opened my eyes to the importance of the new regulations. Whilst it is daunting to realise there are legal ramifications for failing to uphold  CDM 2015 and a greater responsibility resting on our shoulders, it is a relief to know that a long terms supply partner like Opus4 is championing the law changes and continuing to act in our best interests.”

Chris Peoples delivered an informative speech which explained what the key considerations were to meet Building Regulations compliance when undertaking a commercial or industrial fit out.  The delegates were enlightened on the basic principles of means of escape, travel distances and quantities of escape routes, fire compartmentation, inner rooms and the latest legislation surrounding Document M.

Anthony Tetlow, MD of Safety Smart commented: “I really learned a lot about Building Regs, particularly about means of escape and how elimination and reduction of risk plays such an important role in the design and planning of a fit out project.”

For a copy of the meeting notes or to learn more about CDM 2015 and how it will impact the fit-out and refurbishment projects you undertake, contact Andrew Jackson at ajackson@opus-4.com

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