Organisers - What they need to do
The regulations cover the management of health, safety and welfare when carrying out construction projects. The regulations replace The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) and are applicable to event construction in addition to all existing relevant health and safety law which must also be complied with. Construction work includes, but is not limited to, the assembly or disassembly (e.g. phases within build up and breakdown) of prefabricated elements to form a structure (e.g. shell scheme, features and space only stands). The regulations identify key roles (dutyholders) who each have specific responsibilities (duties) to fulfil.
Understand your roles and responsibilities
The organiser is likely to take the following role/s with the assigned responsibilities:
- Clients are the organisations, or individuals, for whom a construction project is carried out.
Summary of Main Responsibilities
Make suitable arrangements for managing a project. This includes making sure:
- Robust coordination and cooperation between those involved.
- Other dutyholders are appointed.
- Sufficient time and resources are allocated.
- Relevant pre-construction information is prepared and provided to other dutyholders.
- The Principal Designer and Principal Contractor carry out their duties.
- Suitable welfare arrangements are in place.
Principal Designers are organisations, or individuals, in control of the pre-construction phase where a project involves more than one Contractor. Appointed by the Client or if not appointed, the role is undertaken by the Client.
Summary of Main Responsibilities
Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project. This includes:
- Helping and advising the Client in bringing together the pre-construction information.
- Working with other Designers to identify, eliminate or control foreseeable risks.
- Ensuring Designers carry out their duties.
Prepare and provide relevant information to other dutyholders, including the Principal Contractor to help them plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the construction phase.
- Principal Contractors are organisations, or individuals, in control of the construction phase where the project involves more than one Contractor. Appointed by the Client or if not appointed, the role is undertaken by the Client.
Summary of Main Responsibilities
Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the construction phase of a project. This includes:
- Liaising with the Client and Principal Designers.
- Preparing the Construction Phase Plan.
- Organising cooperation between Contractors and coordinating their work.
- Suitable site inductions are provided.
- Reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access.
- Workers are consulted and engaged in securing their health and safety
- Provided suitable welfare arrangements.
Generally, the organiser manages a single construction site (i.e. the tenanted event space as a whole and any other construction projects that they procure e.g. feature areas). The venue may contain other construction sites within it i.e. space only plots, where exhibitors independently procure their own structures. The exhibition owner/exhibition organiser assume the role of Client and the operations team (either in-house or outsourced) assume the roles of Principal Designer (pre-site) and Principal Contractor (onsite).
Skills, knowledge and experience
Anyone appointing Designers (including Principal Designers), Contractors (including Principal Contractors) or workers must ensure that those appointed have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience.
It is likely that the Operations Manager (whether in-house or outsourced) will take the role of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor for the event and therefore consideration should be given by senior management of the exhibition organiser to ensure that those allocated these roles have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience. Similarly, consideration should be given to ensure that any Contractors appointed also have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience. It is good practice for the organiser to request from the venue documents that demonstrate that venue appointed in-house Contractors have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience.
A project is notifiable to the relevant enforcing authority if the construction work is scheduled to:
- Last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project - OR
- Exceed 500 person days.
A project can be notified via the electronic F10 notification form on the HSE website. The requirements of CDM 2015 apply whether or not the project is notifiable. It is the Client’s responsibility to notify and subsequently display the notice however Clients can request someone else, such as the Principal Contractor, do either of these activities on their behalf.
Whilst it is unlikely that a small event will exceed either of the trigger points for notification, if an organiser suspects that the construction and deconstruction of their event will do so then arrangements should be made for the project to be notified and the notice displayed.
Construction Phase Plan
Induction and Site Rules
A suitable site induction must be provided to any personnel requiring access to the construction site. The induction must be site specific, highlight any particular risks and include information on the emergency procedures. Where there is more than one Contractor involved in a project the responsibility for ensuring an induction is provided rests with the Principal Contractor. (See also Construction Phase Plan)
It is likely that the Operations Manager (whether in-house or outsourced) will take the role of Principal Contractor for the event and therefore will be responsible for providing an induction for the event as a whole. The induction is likely to consist of the salient information included in the Construction Phase Plan, the site rules, information regarding the welfare facilities and the emergency procedures (usually set by the venue). When developing the site rules, attention should be given to any venue rules communicated such as the e-guide. It may be the case that the organiser simply adopts the venue’s standard site rules and adds any of their own event specific rules. The site rules must be communicated to all personnel requiring access to the site during the construction phase.
Workers must be provided with suitable welfare facilities throughout the construction phase. Welfare facilities include, but are not limited to, drinking water, toilets, catering facilities and rest areas. Information regarding the location of the welfare facilities onsite should be disseminated.
It is likely that the venue will provide the welfare facilities however the organiser should obtain information regarding the location of the welfare facilities that will be available during the construction phase of their tenancy. This information should be disseminated e.g. via the site induction.
Reasonable steps must be taken to prevent access by unauthorised persons to areas where construction work is due to take place.
It is likely that access to the construction site will be via the venue’s loading bay/cargo doors. Sufficient security will be required to secure the entrance points to prevent access by unauthorised persons. Consideration should be given to what makes a person “authorised” and organiser’s should determine the criteria and process for obtaining authorisation. Should a single stand remain/become a construction site when the rest of the event isn’t then reasonable steps must be taken to prevent access by unauthorised persons to that stand.