Health and Safety
The CIC Health and Safety Panel provides a forum for health and safety representatives who are CIC members to meet, shape policy, discuss initiatives and develop responses on behalf of CIC. Membership of the panel includes the major chartered institutions, APS, ACE, ICW, IStructE and HSE.
The terms of reference of the committee are:
- To promote the consideration of health and safety in every sector of the built environment at all stages of projects: planning, design, construction, management, maintenance and demolition.
- To identify and publicise examples of good practice.
- To link and co-ordinate the activities of CIC members in relation to health and safety.
- To represent CIC and its membership to key agencies such as the Health & Safety Executive, CONIAC and CSCS.
- To promote health and safety risk management in all disciplines of education within the built environment.
- To hold under review legislative developments in the UK and in Europe.
Members of the main health and safety committee meet three times a year. Meetings in 2013 are scheduled for 24 January 2013, 29 May 2013 and 29 October 2013. In addition to main committee, which has a regular membership of around 20, there are also smaller sub-groups which consider specific areas such as education or specific legislative changes.
Major current projects in relation to health and safety include:
- The impending revision to the Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations;
- The effective early promotion of health and safety for the construction professions within the education system, to ensure that designers produce buildings which can be safely built, maintained and demolished.
The CDM Regulations were first introduced in 1994, then revised in 2007. Early in 2012, the HSE commissioned Frontline Consultants to produce a report evaluating the current Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, pending replacement of these regulations in 2014.
CIC ran a workshop attended by 35 key members of the health and safety community on 17 September 2012 which sought to identify the key issues for the construction professions in relation to the proposed updating.
The presentations at the meeting included one from Paul Bussey, an architect from Scott Brownrigg who gave a presentation on the significance of the underlying European Directive for the UK CDM regulations. Gavin Bye of the Health & Safety Executive, then presented the issue from the HSE’s point of view.
The proceedings of the workshop have been circulated. At this workshop Paul Bussey in his presentation considered the responsibilities which the current CDM regulations placed on the design professions. Following on from this workshop, a small group then produced a report which summarised their analysis of the underlying EU legislation in light of the input from the workshop. Formal consultation on the CDM Regulations 2014 is not expected until early 2013.
As part of a joint initiative between the HSE and the RIBA, a report was produced entitled, RR 925 Healthy Design, Creative Safety – Approaches to Health and Safety Learning in Schools of Architecture. The main conclusion of this report, was that at undergraduate level, students need to understand the principles of health and safety thinking, rather than the details of legislation. A consideration of ‘buildability, maintainability and usability’ at all stages of the design process is likely to be more engaging and better understood than using the term ‘health and safety’. Health and safety should be integrated into design projects where possible, rather than being an abstracted subject.
At subsequent meetings of the Health and Safety Panel, there was agreement that this was a training issue which had wider significance for all the construction professions. Following a discussion of the practicalities of integrating health and safety into design training, it was felt that the best way to promote this idea was to have a small working group who could consider the issue. This group has had several teleconferences and one formal meeting in December 2012.
It is proposed that there will be a workshop next year to consider how health and safety can be integrated into education across all the construction professions.
Recent achievements of the Health and Safety Panel
- Good practice guide on engaging clients in health and safety
- Joint input with the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) on the Loftstedt Review of Health and Safety legislation in the UK.