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Chapter 28 CONSTRUCTION DESIGN & MANAGEMENT (CDM)


The CDM Co-Ordinator usually asks to see the Safety Policy, Statutory Checks lifting equipment etc., Risk Assessments, COSHH Assessments, & the Qualifications & training records of Staff. One important addition now being asked by the Planning Supervisor, is that the tasks being carried out have a WRITTEN METHOD STATEMENT on how it is intended to carry out the task. It is this I would like to consider in this chapter.

Let us look at the Method Statement of one of the common tasks in landscaping - seeding an embankment.

In all method statements we must consider:

The task of seeding can be broken down into sub-tasks:


The site must be examined to find the best and safest method to carry out these sub-tasks

SITE CLEARANCE

How do personnel have access to remove debris?

What accidents are likely or possible? : If rocks were disturbed and rolled, would they roll down the hill onto a road or footpath? In some cases there may be a drop wall at the base of the slope, which would cause further difficulty.


CULTIVATION

How can the area be cultivated

What accidents are likely or possible? : again rocks could roll down the hill onto a road or footpath? Can the operator or equipment slip off the slope?


FERTILISING & SEEDING

What accidents are likely or possible? Can the operator or equipment slip off the slope?


MAINTENANCE

How will the grass be cut in the future??

There are three basic ways I know of cutting grass on slopes - each of which has advantages and disadvantages. In each case, it is essential the correct PPE is worn - as I see it, the minimum is a boilersuit and toe-protected boots with good grip and ankle support


1. The cutting of the slope with a wheel driven rotary mower going across the slope - e.g. with a Ransoms' Condor.

This is the choice of many water boards around water tank bunds and local authorities on road verges.

What accidents are likely or possible?


2. The cutting of the slope can be carried out using a Flymo-type hover mower on a rope

What accidents are likely or possible?

Some Local authorities are reluctant to use this method because of the potential for accidents.


3. The use of a strimmer with nylon cord cutting head

What accidents are likely or possible?

Many authorities now extensively use this as the best and safest option but output is restricted by operator capability.


Having considered the above, you must now write down stage by stage, how you will carry the task out on the particular site - that is your METHOD STATEMENT.

You can now appreciate that just the simple task of seeding & maintenance of grass on a slope can involve you in some real Health & Safety Risk considerations!


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