It is widely acknowledged that most accidents on construction projects can be prevented with better management of design and occupational safety and health (OSH) risks at the pre-construction phase.
To this end Council Directive 1992/57/EEC on the implementation of minimum safety and health requirements at temporary or mobile construction sites (TMCS) and the transpositional law in the UK – the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015), have sought to focus attention on the management of such risks by requiring the appointment of a coordinator (referred to in CDM 2015 as Principal Designer) to coordinate safety and health risk management. Current statistics clearly suggest however that pre-construction occupational safety and health (POSH) risk is not being managed effectively. It was to contribute to addressing this problem of the construction industry that this research grant was secured from the European Union, under its Horizon 2020 research programme, to conduct research into Pre-Construction Occupational Safety and Health risk management. Dubbed Pre-COSH, this project aims to develop a flexible model for effective CDM 2015 compliance during the pre-construction phase of construction projects.
The project contributes to both theory and practice of OSH risk management at the pre-construction phase of construction projects, and has delivered among other things:
- A comprehensive industry report, synthesising insights from over eighty practitioners and regulators in fourteen focus group discussion workshops on the range of specific practices and procedures through which CDM 2015 are implemented, plus insights from an academic focus group on H&S education;
- A critical analysis of the health and safety provisions in standard form contracts;
- Four models which: (i) taxonomise the OSH skills, knowledge and experience (SKE) in the case of individuals and organisational capability (OC) where organisations are involved; and (ii) at the same time provide attributes for measuring and assessing the SKE and OC of Principal Designers under CDM 2015;
- A framework to assist dutyholders to effectively comply with the CDM 2015 at the pre-construction stages of projects;
- Five case studies reflecting different project types (new build, refurbishment, demolition, large, small, domestic and commercial) to illustrate how health and safety risks are managed on different project categories;
- An advanced pre-construction OSH risk management simulator (PRECOSIM) for the training of dutyholders in respect of OSH risk management; and
- Several scientific (peer-reviewed) articles in high impact journals and internationally reputable conference proceedings.
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