Electricians – are you aware of the new Health and Safety changes?

A new Health and Safety law that affects all domestic electricians came into force from the 6th April. Replacing the the Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2007, the new Regulations are designed to improve health and safety and reduce accidents during building projects.
The new Regulations are known as Construction, (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2015. Building firms need to review their current health and safety processes to ensure they are compliant with the new law.
What is the main change?
The main change that domestic electricians need to be aware of is that the Regulations apply to all electrical projects regardless of size, duration and the nature of the work. This is to ensure that managing health and safety is a responsibility for all jobs, not just a select few.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be targeting more domestic properties as a result of the new Regulations to ensure electricians and all constructions firms are following the new Regulations. Failure to do so can have major implications for the client, who will have to produce a Health and Safety file which outlines how the work was undertaken and what was installed upon any future sale of the property.
What key changes are taking place?
Constructions firms will have to provide a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates how the health and safety regulations have been met. The key changes that will now be required in addition to previously are:
All building projects must have a written construction phase safety plan.
CDM applies to all building and construction work including new build, demolition, refurbishment, extensions, conversions, repair and maintenance.
All domestic projects will have to meet the same basic standards for the provision of welfare facilities as found on commercial projects such as access to toilets.
There is a duty to make sure all people working on the job have the right skills, knowledge, training and experience.
Where there is more than one contractor, a principal designer must also be appointed. Typically this would be the architect and they co-ordinate all matters relating to health and safety.
If the principal designer changes or is not engaged to the end of the project, responsibility for the file passes on and may rest finally with the principal contractor.
The new Regulations affect all building work completed after the 6th April (even if the project began before then) where there has been more than one contractor must have a health and safety file presented at the end.
Trustmark supports electricians of new Health and Safety Law change
Following the correct health and safety regulations is vitally important. Failure to follow them can not only cause a serious accident or worse, but also cause a devastating effect to the reputation of your business if you are found to be in breach of health safety law.
Trustmark, the only Government endorsed scheme for all domestic trades, is providing advice and support for trades people to help them comply with these significant health and safety changes which now apply. Simon Ayers, Chief Executive of TrustMark, says: “These new CDM 2015 Regulations will help to reduce accidents during building projects by involving everyone – architects, builders and the home owner.  It’s a positive step forward to helping everyone enjoy a safe working relationship on all home improvements and building projects.
“It is important now that all TrustMark registered firms get the detailed guidance they need in order to ensure they are fully compliant.  I’m delighted our approved scheme operators in this sector, including NICEIC, NAPIT and ECA, are already busy providing this support to their TrustMark registered firms.”
For further information on the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015, click on www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg411.pdf  or www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction... for industry guidance documents.

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