What You Need to Know About the New CDM Regulations

Simon Fursman has worked with Serious Stages for seven years. His role as Project Manager involves supporting clients including Reading & Leeds festivals, Glastonbury, the tours of Elton John and Rod Steward to Mumford and Sons, through to the spectacular Tribeca Film Festival in Doha, creating unique events through Serious’ staging and temporary infrastructure. Having worked on the 2012 London Olympics, Simon’s passion for managing a safe event site saw him embrace a health and safety culture and become one of Serious Stages’ leading advocates, implementing the training and working practices associated with the new CDM 2015. He was also pivotal in coordinating cross-industry input and agreement to create a new guidance document. In this article he outlines the key points of the CDM regulations, and offers guidance on how to navigate them.

This April the introduction of Construction, Design and Management (CDM) regulations and their enforcement became a reality for all event sites. The regulations aren’t new and have clear parameters, but the way in which they are going to be applied to live event sites and enforced by the Health and Safety Executive, HSE, had not been clearly defined. As a Project Manager at Serious Stages I have spent over eighteen months liaising with the HSE and industry peers to co-ordinate a widely accepted ‘Guidance for the Management and Use of Stages and related temporary event structures’.

Serious Stages, along with other contractors, were faced with fulfilling their criteria leading into the 2012 London Olympics. CDM practices written for the construction sector weren’t always easy to integrate into live events environments, especially when the build period is days, not months, and when budgets – let’s face it – are a lot less. From 2010 onwards we have invested a lot of time consulting with the HSE as to how CDM regulations could be realistically applied to our industry, ever mindful that the HSE has a legal obligation to enforce all safety at work during the build and dismantling processes we undertake.

This has been an extensive collaborative process between the major supply companies constructing temporary event structures to arrive at a document we all believe defines working practices that are practical within live event sites. This should make it easier for us as suppliers, lead contractors and enforcing officers to have clearly defined parameters to work to. We have also done our upmost to support clients’ when they have asked for help in compliance with CDM 2015.

The documents are free to download, and can be found here. For the time poor, here are the key points:

. Enforcement of CDM 2015 will be undertaken by the HSE during site build and re-rig phases, show-days will still be regulated by the local council authority.

. CDM regulations place the onus on the Duty Holders (clients / organisers) to appoint a principal designer (PD) and a principal contractor (PC) to ensure the management processes for design and construction elements of an event site are undertaken in line with the regulations.

. This requires effective consultation with all contractors to ensure a compliant safety plan and management process is in place.

. It is the responsibility of the client, and or their appointed PD & PC, to provide and maintain safe working areas, and to provide for the welfare of all contractors they engage.
A full site briefing needs to be received by everyone entering the site.

When it comes to staging we have liaised with the HSE and other staging suppliers to identify safe practices around construction, with particular attention to adhering to areas such as Working at Height Regulations, wind management processes and load bearing calculations, which we have been implementing since 2012, well in advance of this April’s enforcement date. These are detailed in the free guidance document.

Having embraced the principals of CDM regulations for several years we welcome their introduction as another step in making our industry a safer place to work, with improved professionalism at all levels, which can only be a good thing.