Health & safety risk management - what you need to know

Whether dealing with minor hazards or reducing the potential for major accidents, managing health and safety risks effectively is an essential requirement for technicians, engineers and managers throughout their careers.

Health and safety risk management in construction
Health and safety risk management in construction

The ICE Life long learning paper is essential reading regardless of engineering discipline. It sets out for the first time, guidance as to what is considered to be a minimum requirement to satisfy CPD requirements, and therefore maintaining professional standards, over a notional career span. It applies to both 'technical' and 'managerial' career paths within the construction sector.

Engineers, technicians and managers all have a key role in ensuring that the safety and health of the workforce and the public is given prominence in all that they do.

The continuing need for skills and knowledge in this field, post qualification, and over an entire life-long career path is the reason for the creation of the guidance. The concept originated within ICE, and was then developed into a pan-discipline document by JIGSR (Joint Institutional Group on Safety and Risk). This JIGSR document has now been particularised by an ICE H&S Panel working group to include suggested CPD Items for Institution members.

This paper was created by the ICE Health & Safety Expert panel with special thanks to Graeme Walker and John Carpenter.

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The 'team approach' to risk management

During the design phase, there is often the need to involve more than one designer in collective discussion and agreement with a wider design team. This improves compliance, confidence and provides professional strength to the developing design.

However, only one Designer (or Design Organisation) is responsible for completing the actual design task for that design element and when doing so they are responsible for ensuring compliance with CDM Regulation 9. Responsibility for that duty cannot be abdicated from by indicating that the design decisions were made by a collective. For some, this can cause confusion.

This paper has been written to outline ICE's position with regard to the 'team approach' when undertaking risk management during the design phase.

Just to avoid misunderstanding, 'team work' is to be applauded: we need more of it for it helps build relationships, communication, co-operation, co-ordination. Having co-ordinated, co-operated and communicated it will always be the responsibility of one design party to manage a specific risk.

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