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Changes to the Event Health & Safety Law – this affects you!

Vinatge_Weekend_0036_PPSFrom April 2015 the Construction Design Management (CDM) Regulations will apply to the events industry. There has been some concern from the industry as to how this will affect event management so this short piece aims to set out how this could affect you.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have indicated that they will be issuing further guidance over the next 6 months specifically for events health & safety law (as soon as this is available it will be circulated) and that the regulations will be applied ‘with a light touch’. Further they have stated that: “In many production and smaller scale event related construction activities in the entertainment sectors, where risks are generally considered to be lower, CDM management provisions will be of limited relevance beyond what is required by other health and safety legislation.” Nevertheless Festival & Event Organisers should be aware that the Regulations can be enforced (ignorance is no defence) and understand the main requirements.

The regulations apply to events where there is construction activity for example unique constructions, stages, seating, temporary demountable structures (e.g. Marquees) and particularly where there are multiple contractors. The key to the guidance is understanding the specific roles required under CDM and relating it to events:

The Client – This is the person or organisation that holds responsibility for the project/event and for the appointment of competent people/organisations to undertake the roles of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor outlined below and that they fulfil their duties under CDM. These people must be appointed before commencement of the project and when appointing these roles you should ask that they are competent under CDM regulations to undertake this role.They are also responsible for providing any relevant information to the Principal Designer & Principal Contractor.

Principal Designer –  This is the person or organisation responsible for planning, managing, monitoring & co-ordinating the health & safety of the project and for the production of an event safety plan for the purposes of identifying, eliminating or controlling forseeable risks.

Principal Contractor – This is the person or organisation that is responsible for planning, managing, co-ordinating & monitoring all build, use and dismantling ‘on-site’.

It should be noted that the Client can also undertake the roles of Principal Designer and/or Principal Contractor; in addition the Principal Designer and Principal contractor can be the same person or organisation. The Client should set out clearly and in writing the name of the person or organisation that will undertake each role.

The CDM draft regulations can be downloaded free of charge here.

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