Construction Phase Health and Safety plan

Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan – are you doing everything required of you?

As most in the building industry are aware, Construction and Design Management 2015 (CDM) regulations changed in April 2015. If you were not aware, where have you been and listen up!

One of the most significant changes was to enforce the need for a Construction Phase Health & Safety Plan for EVERY building project. This applies to something as little as a boiler change or as big as a new build and has resulted in some backfire from builders and developers.

Like it or lump it, Construction Phase Plans (CPP) are here and you better get to grips with them quick before the fines, site shutdowns and even prosecutions come rolling in. It’s not something you can turn a blind eye to when £609,312 of Fees for Intervention Invoices were issued in October 2015 alone.
Cases of companies failing to provide appropriate Construction Phase Plans and facing the penalties for this negligence have been noted on the HSE website. Recently the HSE served this notice to a company in Swansea:

construction phase health and safety plan“You have not taken reasonable steps to ensure that the arrangements made for managing the project are suitable to ensure that construction work can be carried out safely so far is reasonably practicable.

There was no evidence of a construction phase plan.” 

Another reported served notice against a Construction firm was posted by the HSE on the 14th of December 2015 noting:

construction phase health and safety plan
You have failed to ensure, before the construction phase plan has begun, that a construction phase plan had been drawn up by the contractor.

“As the person responsible for appointing a contractor o carry out work on your project, you failed to take reasonable steps to be satisfied that your contractor had the necessary skills, knowledge & experience to fulfill the role of sole contractor in a manner that secures the health & safety of any person affected by the project.”

The fact of the matter is that until the Principal Contractor (PC) has completed the CPP then legally, work should not start on site, but being in complete control of your health and safety does not need to be a difficult task. With Health & Safety Xpert this won’t hold you back as it can produce this crucial document, and any other health and safety documentation you require in minutes helping you get boots on the ground as soon as possible.
The simple breakdown of this is that if you are working for a domestic client and you are the person in control of a project, the only contractor or the Principal Contractor you will be responsible for:

  • Preparing a plan
  • Organising the work
  • Working together with others to ensure health and safety is carried out

“Make sure you’re covered and at the same time make it easy on yourself! All of Health & Safety Xpert (and the whole software range) has been written with the builder in mind. This is why they have been designed to be straightforward and easy to use with helpful walkthroughs and guides. Not only this but with our superhero support team on hand and a ton of resources to draw on you can find you’ll never get stuck again” Joanna Mulgrew, HBXL Marketing and Product Director.

One impact we have heard of the uniform implementation of the CPP is that it has caused problems for the maintenance sector that have left maintenance companies ‘displeased’ with increased levels of paperwork for minor jobs.

Health & Safety Xpert once again to the rescue with the introduction of the Simple Phase Construction Plan to save you time and effort on the smaller jobs. Health & Safety Xpert 2016 (coming in May) has the addition of this shortened plan written specifically with smaller jobs in mind using the HSE’s CIS80 template.

The Simple Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan covers smaller jobs like rehanging a door or changing a boiler. The HSE have a suggested list of works that could be covered by this reduced plan (including installing a kitchen or bathroom, structural alterations, roofing work and extensions or loft conversions) but at HBXL we advise the more comprehensive plan to be used for anything where work will be undertaken at height or that requires excavations.

Some may be reading this and still be considering whether they are able to get away with skipping these considerations. The easiest way to demonstrate to those individuals is to depict some of the cases that have been caught out for these exact misdemeanours. We aren’t going to name any names but you can easily find them yourself if you follow this link to the public database where cases of HSE fines for interventions are noted, which adds to the negative effect of not adhering to the rules. Notable incidents reported by the HSE in recent months include fatalities, fines of £97,500 with £300,000 costs, firms being taken through drawn out court proceedings and increased setbacks as a result of a tarnished company profile. This can be seen even in the way that the results returned from a ‘Google search’ for any of these companies include more references to their fines and court appearances than any other representation of the company.

The short answer is that any company with the right approach to health and safety knows that construction phase health and safety plans are not something that are to be messed around with and that the HSE certainly aren’t messing around with coming down hard on those who haven’t made the right considerations.

Having your Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan and any other health and safety documents in order is a simple task with Health & Safety Xpert from HBXL. If you are interested in how Health & Safety Xpert can save you time, effort and ultimately help prevent terrible accidents and hefty fines, please give us a call on 0117 9167898 or drop us an email at