CDM (Jersey) Knowledge Base
Please note this topic relates to the CDM (Jersey) 2016 Regulations. If you are looking for the CDM 2015 (Great Britain) Regulations, please see the CDM (GB) Knowledge Base
Requirements set out in the duties contained in Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law, 1989 include reference to the qualifying term "so far as is reasonably practicable" which has been interpreted by the courts in a consistent manner whenever they are used in health and safety legislation.
The term "reasonably practicable" is a narrower term than "physically possible" and allows economic considerations to be taken into account as one factor, with, for example, time or trouble, to be set against the risk. Where it is shown that the risk is insignificant compared to the costs involved, the measures required to overcome the risk may not be considered to be "reasonably practicable".
"So far as is reasonably practicable" is a judgement in which the quantum of risk is weighed against the cost to eliminate or reduce the risk. Where the risk is high, then the resources used to overcome that risk may also be considerable.
This balance judges the risks to the health and safety of people against the costs involved in eliminating, reducing or controlling those risks.
This means that having identified a risk associated with project or work on the completed structure(s) the project team does not necessarily have to eliminate it or even reduce it. The practice should be to balance the health and safety matters against all other project and design criteria.
The risks to those who build, use and maintain the particular structure should be balanced against cost, fitness for purpose (in its literal sense), aesthetics, buildability and environmental impact. The issues of safety and health are in no way paramount.
Whoever makes a decision regarding the project and structures has to be able to show that the matters relating to health and safety had been considered and, if risk is accepted, that on balance, the cost, aesthetics or other considerations outweighed the requirements for health and safety.