HSE appoints new chief inspector of construction

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has appointed its new chief inspector of construction.

Peter Baker, who is currently Head of HSE’s Chemicals, Explosives and Microbiological Hazards Division, will replace Philip White on 1st April 2015.

Philip, who has been acting interim chief since Heather Bryant left HSE in September 2014, will continue in his role as Head of HSE’s Operational Strategy Division.

Construction is one of Britain’s most important industries employing over two million people. Vast improvements have been made in the sector in recent years however it remains one of Britain’s most dangerous industries to work in.  The post of chief inspector of construction for HSE is hugely influential in working with and encouraging industry to drive up health and safety standards.

Peter said:

“I am delighted to be appointed as the chief inspector of construction, and I am very much looking forward to working collaboratively with the whole of the construction industry to continue the progress it has made in reducing ill health and injury in recent years.

In particular, I want to ensure the industry responds in a sensible and proportionate manner to the revised CDM Regulations.  All changes bring challenges, and I want the industry to work together in focussing on the real health and safety risks to workers’ lives;

I believe that industry leaders also have a critical role to play, and have seen in the major hazard sectors how vital clear and positive leadership is to achieving the effective management and control of risks.”

Philip said:

“I’m very pleased to be handing over to Peter whose extensive experience of managing high hazard industries for HSE stands him in excellent stead to provide leadership for an industry which despite its vast improvements, still has a lot to do.

Peter will also take over a dedicated and hard-working team within HSE, committed to driving improved health and safety outcomes in the industry”

New CDM Regulations for 2015

New Construction (Design and Management) Regulations for 2015

Subject to Parliamentary approval, new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) will come into force on 6 April 2015.

About this guidance
This draft Legal (L) Series guidance is on the legal requirements for CDM 2015.  It’s being made available before the Regulations come into force on 6 April to help anyone who has duties under the Regulations to prepare in advance.

Please note the draft Regulations within the guidance have been amended following consultation. The Regulations and this draft Legal series guidance may be subject to change while the Regulations are awaiting Parliamentary approval. The final version of the Legal series guidance to support CDM 2015 will be available on 6 April 2015.

What will change?
Principal designer. The replacement of the CDM co-ordinator role (under CDM 2007) by principal designer. This means that the responsibility for coordination of the pre-construction phase – which is crucial to the management of any successful construction project – will rest with an existing member of the design team.

Client. The new Regulations recognise the influence and importance of the client as the head of the supply chain and they are best placed to set standards throughout a project.

Competence. This will be split into its component parts of skills, knowledge, training and experience, and – if it relates to an organisation – organisational capability. This will provide clarity and help the industry to both assess and demonstrate that construction project teams have the right attributes to deliver a healthy and safe project.

The technical standards set out in Part 4 of the new Regulations will remain essentially unchanged from those in guidance related to CDM 2007. HSE’s targeting and enforcement policy, as a proportionate and modern regulator, also remains unchanged.
Draft industry guidance
There are a series of draft industry guides for the five dutyholders under CDM 2015, and one for workers. These are available before the Regulations come into force and may be subject to change.

They set out, in practical terms, what actions are required to deliver a safe and healthy construction project.

HSE will also be working with stakeholders in the entertainments industry to provide specific guidance for these sectors. An update letter on their progress ia available.

Transitional arrangements
When CDM 2015 comes into force on 6 April 2015, there are transitional arrangements in place that will run for six months from 6 April 2015 to 6 October 2015.

To download your free copy of the draft legislation please click here.

For the full article please click here.

UK Construction Industry grows strongly in February

Activity in the UK’s construction industry accelerated in February, a survey has indicated.

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose by a point to 60.1, its highest level since October. A score above 50 indicates growth.

The housing, commercial and civil engineering sectors all showed signs of accelerating growth.

The news came as housebuilder Taylor Wimpey and construction supplies firm Travis Perkins posted upbeat results.

On Monday, a similar PMI survey suggested that growth in manufacturing hit a seven-month high in February.

‘Renewed vitality’Construction accounts for about 6% of the UK economy.

Commenting on the construction figures, Tim Moore, Markit’s senior economist, said: “The latest survey highlights renewed vitality within the UK construction sector, as output growth picked up further from the soft patch seen at the end of 2014.

“However, some construction companies noted that the uncertain general election outcome could prove a temporary bump in the road for new work.”

Also on Tuesday, Taylor Wimpey became the latest UK housebuilder to report a jump in profits, following strong figures from firms such as Bovis Homes, Persimmon and Barratt Developments last week.

Pre-tax profits at Taylor Wimpey jumped 67.7% to £450.1m in 2014, with revenues climbing 17% to £2.69bn.

Chief executive Peter Redfern said: “2014 was an excellent year for Taylor Wimpey. Customer confidence is high with good levels of employment and an affordable mortgage environment.”

As at 1 March, the firm said it had sold 51% of houses currently being built and had an order book worth £1.66bn.

Separately, Travis Perkins, whose chains include Wickes, City Plumbing, Keyline and Tile Giant, reported pre-tax profits of £321.4m for 2014, up from £312.6m the year before.

Chief executive John Carter said the firm had seen “encouraging progress in the majority of our businesses”.

But he warned that “it is still relatively early in the recovery of the UK construction industry.”

Thanks to BBC News.  To see the full article click here.