Building For A Safer Future

EDF Energy, November 2004

The European Week of Health and Safety this year focuses on 'building on safety'

Networking - Issue 16 - November 2004Led by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EASHW), the aim of the week was to highlight some of the key health and safety risks in the construction industry - as well as some solutions that should lead to a safer, healthier and more productive working environment.

In the UK, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 (CDM) aim to increase health, safety and welfare on construction sites, as well as incorporate future health and safety features into new designs by placing a legal duty on everyone involved in the project - from client to contractor.

In particular, Regulation 13 places a duty on the designer to ensure that, as far as is reasonably practicable, all construction and future maintenance risks have been avoided or designed out from the source.

In order to ensure that sites comply with the regulations, Networks Branch has appointed Peter Fisher as CDM Implementation Manager.

His duties include co-ordinating appropriate training, undertaking audits, ensuring Health and Safety files/ plans are devised and implemented, and setting out the company policy on CDM.


Says Peter: "The biggest challenge is making people aware of CDM and educating them on the roles of each duty holder. For example, EDF Energy staff will sometimes arrive on a site where work is being undertaken by a contractor.

"As the project was commissioned by EDF Energy, they assume it is a company site - so they arrive and access the site without notifying anyone.

"Health and Safety responsibility has actually been handed over to the contractor, so EDF Energy staff are subject to the contractor's Health and Safety rules and should have reported to the site reception on arrival.

"To try and emphasise these matters to staff, 25 training courses have been organised in various locations."

Says Alan Carey, Managing Director Power Networks: "Where CDM Regulations are implemented properly there is a significant reduction in the number of injuries and fatalities within the construction industry.

"I am pleased that we, as a company, take safety seriously and are working towards an Incident and Injury Free organisation."

Within Networks Branch a CDM toolkit has been developed. The CDM ToolKit™ is an electronic, server based programme developed to effectively implement CDM procedures. The ToolKit™ provides a common storage and production area for all CDM related information and a general management overview.

A screen grab of the ToolKitOne advantage of the system is that information can be copied and pasted from one project to another. This makes the management of repetitive jobs, such as transformer changes, more efficient as it removes the need to write a completely new document for each job. Usually the only thing that changes between these is the location.

CDM also requires a Health and Safety plan to be developed, known as a SHE Plan within the business. Everyone involved in the project, from the client to the subcontractors, has a legal duty to contribute to this plan by providing risk assessments and other health and safety documentation relevant to the site and the project.

The CDM ToolKit™ can be used to store these documents. The Health and Safety plan is reviewed periodically during the course of construction and developed into a Health and Safety file which is handed over to the client after construction is completed.

It includes all relevant health and safety information on the project as well as information about maintenance, repair, refurbishment and demolition, which leads to safer systems of work in the future.

The ToolKit™ has four main areas:

The Knowledge Centre - basically a CDM encyclopaedia which includes information on legislation, hazards and duties and duty holders.

The Knowledge Base - an area where company specific documents such as risk assessments, policies and procedures can be entered.

Organisations - giving information on various organisations including EDF Energy, it also provides facilities for assessing the competence of contractors for the project.

Project Information - providing a list of all current projects, or information related to one specific project, this will include various SHE plans, risk assessments and other documents required by the legislation.

Safer sites

The Connections team are successfully implementing CDM. Says Don Challis, Connections Safety Advisor: "This has led to our sites being safer. The majority of incidents on site are trips, slips and falls arising from personal negligence rather than unsafe sites.

"During the design phase, the Connections team must also take into account future actions that the maintenance team may have to take in order to eliminate any potential risks."

Article reproduced from the EDF Energy in-house magazine 'Networking' by kind permission.