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  1. Hey everyone, My Architect has pointed out in his fees: Principle Designer – this service, to monitor Health & Safety and provide a H&S file is required by law. All design consultants and sub-contractors should design the property so that it can be constructed and maintained safely and any unusual risks identified so that appropriate precautions can be taken. I attach a document outlining the clients duties under the regulations. We can undertake this role at an additional fee will be required at 0.25% of the contract sum or a maximum fee of £6,000 + VAT (ME) I guess this is something I can manage myself and ensure all the required H&S on site is in place as its my residential home I am demolishing and rebuilding? (ARCHITECT) You can, we will need to produce a H&S document up to design stage and you can take over from there as Principle Designer and Principle Contractor and Client - you will be wearing a lot of hats. I will send you the CDM guides from www.hse.gov.uk/construction On my self build, I am the client and I will personally manage without a principal contractor. I will bring in all contractors such as groundworks, bricklayers, and general construction myself, rather than have one main contractor as their fee will blow my budget. So the principal designer is supposed to manage the construction phases of a project, and generally liaises with the client. Well, I want to be both of these and dont see any reason to pay someone else to manage that relationship on my behalf. From a H&S perspective, has anyone managed this as apparently I have to have a H&S site manual up to date should any authority turn or request one? My Arc will do it up to design stage then its passed over to me. Is there much else to add in there? I have read the manuals but it's all common sense stuff to be honest However, do you think its best to appoint a Principal designer and is it worth paying out the above for this type of role to save me the time and hassle? Just seems expensive, but this is a 5 bed detached house 450-500sqm. Thanks Chris
  2. Thought it might be useful to detail an accident that happened on our site during the main construction if only to prevent others from having a similar issue. I'm sure that we must have done some things wrong here, but there were others to blame in this tale too, and the events that unfolded seemed very bizarre to me. We used a registered scaffolding company to hire the scaffolding from and this was erected in August 2009. It was used for several months to do all of the main construction work and then towards the end of its time here someone fell off it. We used a particular builder to do all of the timber frame work, he supplied his own workers, and we paid him (and only him), in cash as he requested. We never paid any money directly to his team members. Towards the end of 2009 he sent a new guy here to do some work on the soffits and he arrived along with one of the regular team (the boss wasn't on site that day which wasn't that unusual as it was often just members of his team). The OH was living in a caravan on site at that time so greeted the 2 guys, one of whom he knew quite well as he had been working here for several months. He offered them tea and bacon rolls as he tended to do most mornings and went into the caravan to sort that out. About 10 minutes after they arrived there was a shout and the new guy had apparently fallen from the first level of the scaffolding landing on his arse (see photo to see the height of the first platform for reference). His co worker hadn't seen him fall and nor had my hubby who was in the caravan at the time. He was lying on the ground so my hubby called an ambulance. He said that the guy then got up, staggered to his car, put on his hi vis jacket and hard hat and sat in his car. When the ambulance arrived they suggested that he shouldn't have got into his car, and that they might get the fire brigade out to remove the roof in case he had damaged his neck. The guy refused their help at that point, said he wasn't having his car wrecked, and drove home. My husband reported the accident to the scaffolding company whereupon the owner drove to the site and attached an insurance certificate to the scaffolding dated that day. He said that the scaffolding wasn't signed off to use prior to that date even though it was hired back in August, several months before and had been used pretty much daily. Clearly he hadn't insured the site as he should have done. Health and Safety came to the site too and declared that some 'clips' were missing from the scaffolding, and put a notice on it declaring it not to be used. The scaffolding company came and put the clips on and it was then signed off as able to be used again. Apparently later that day the guy who fell off went to A&E and declared that he had hurt himself badly. He then engaged a no win no fee solicitor and took himself off to Australia to 'convalesce' or so he claimed. We reported the accident to our insurance company, and stated that the worker had been supplied by the contractor who was erecting the timber frame, and the scaffolding was supplied by the registered scaffolding company. The first issue we had was that the builder denied having supplied the worker. This left us with an issue as our insurance company said that we couldn't prove that the worker came via the main builder, and nor could we prove that we hadn't employed him direct. The scaffolding company collected the scaffolding and put themselves into liquidation meaning that the no win no fee lawyer came after us. My husband had to make statements and years later it was still going on with any settlement the insurance company was prepared to make reducing as time went on. It all seemed quite bizarre to us however that it was our insurance cover that was being claimed against when there were 2 other parties involved. In hindsight we should probably have taken a register of every person on site and who they were supplied from, and required every worker to sign in when they attended. We possibly should have known that scaffolding had to have an insurance certificate attached to it, but we believed that hiring from a registered company would have meant that we were completely covered as they would do the right things. Ironically my husband had refused to hire the scaffolding from anywhere other than a registered scaffold company in order to comply with H&S, but ultimately it did us no good!
  3. The H&S rebel lurks within me so I thought I would rely on statistics instead. Has a safety boot saved you from injury onsite anytime in the last five years?
  4. I'm having an MBC slab and frame, then subbies thereafter. Most of the time there'll be one contractor on site at any time. To fulfil CDM (from another thread), I've made a list of forms to fill out, H&S signs to erect, as well as: plasters, fire extinguishers and eyewash stations. But I have the following questions: 1. Unless an accident happens on site, do H&S ask to see any of the actual documentation? (does it need to be submitted anywhere or just held on file) 2. As a Chartered Surveyor I am expected to know every trade and will I therefore be held to a higher standard than the expectations of a typical domestic self-builder? I am not a building surveyor, nor am I capable of building my own house myself!
  5. Trying to work out which of the many signs I should be displaying. As well as the H&S at work sign, First aid point, Fire procedures, Fire assembly point, site rules are there any others? Any suggestions where to purchase from to?