The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 and compressed air

Published:  05 August, 2010

In the words of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM) 2007 Approved Code of Practice (APoC) "The key aim of CDM2007 is to integrate health and safety into the management of construction work".

The term 'construction work' has a wide meaning and includes 'engineering construction work' that is related to construction projects.  As a result the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of compressed air equipment, which are normally fixed within or to a structure are also included.

There is a misconception that the equipment itself has to comply with the regulations when in fact it is the health and safety related issues, which the compressed air installer has to address.

Where the construction work is required to become a 'notifiable project' then the regulations identify a 'CDM Co-ordinator' with whom the compressed air installer should liaise to establish the health and safety issues to be addressed.

Those requirements will be in addition to the general site requirements already identified by the 'principal contractor'.  A risk assessment using the H&SE '5-rules' concept will then help to identify those specific to the compressed air installer.  Issues such as any need for heavy lifting equipment, manual handling or working at height as examples and any coordination of work activities needed between other contractors on-site.  The compressed air installer will also need to consult the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) to identify the design and installation requirements for compressed air systems.

More information on CDM can be obtained from HSE Books in the form of L144 (ACOP) and HSG150, a guide to health and safety in construction. More information on PSSR is available in L122 (ACOP).

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