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Topic Title: CDM recordable incident?
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Created On: 21 June 2010 10:32 PM
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 21 June 2010 10:32 PM
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peterfile

Posts: 53
Joined: 17 April 2002

I was checking the progress on the water treatment site we are working on at the moment, and came across a live single phase distribution board which had the cover removed and the four spare ways had the incomer bar exposed, live and easy to touch with most parts of the upper body. No marking or barrier to identify that someone was working in the area - including the electrical contractor - and anyone working on the site had access to this enclosure.

I asked the site manager to record this - possibly as a near miss - but he consulted the commissioning engineer and decided this was not necessary as no incident actually took place.

Does anyone have an opinion on this. I would like it logged as a reminder to tighten up safety, not necessarily to point the finger, but should it actually be a near-miss record?

Thanks.

Pete
 21 June 2010 10:49 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

An 'incident' did take place which was the 'near miss' and it should be reported. Also it was an unsafe system of work.

If you consult http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/guidance.htm#dangerous technically it may also need to be reported to the enforcing authority....however that will be a decision for those on site as to how clear things were.

If the conductors were 'live' and exposed, and under the conditions as you suggest, then the manager should not be consulting with the engineer but taking disciplinary action.

Regards.
 22 June 2010 08:28 AM
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peterfile

Posts: 53
Joined: 17 April 2002

The RIDDOR guidance only lists incidents with an action, whereas this occurrence is passive, in a similar way that scaffolding without kickboards or missing handrail would be if there is no-one in the area.

I have not given up on this, just wanted further opinion.

Thanks for that.

Pete
 22 June 2010 10:32 AM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

"Reportable dangerous occurrences (near misses)

If something happens which does not result in a reportable injury, but which clearly could have done, then it may be a dangerous occurrence which must be reported immediately"

*Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/guidance.htm#dangerous

The 'something that happened' was that live conductors were left exposed and unguarded and with other people working in the area and for all 'we' know someone may have come close to getting an electric shock which could have resulted in a 'reportable injury'.

These are decisions for those on site of course because for example the exposure could equally have been in a place which by default was not easily accessable and thus it was then very unlikely that anyone else, other than the engineer doing the work, would have come close to the live conductors.

'Near misses' are generally a difficult one because in many cases one persons 'near' is another persons 'not so near'.

Regards.
 22 June 2010 01:01 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19621
Joined: 23 March 2004

Sounds like a breach of Reg 7 of EAWR to me.

In terms of CDM, Reg 34 would cover energy distribution systems (perhaps not applicable here)

Regulation 19(2)d of the CDM regs requires contractors to report dangerous occurences and accidents to the principal contractor.

In general, the principal contractor is require to manage safety on the site - in this case his actions are so perverse as to raise questions by a client and the CDM-C as to the competence of that principal contractor.

This is clearly a near miss and should be recorded (and reported within the project) as such.

Personally I would be removing the half wit who left this exposed from site PDQ along with anyone else who wanted to collude with him to cover up the incident - if you can't change the people then change the people !!

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 22 June 2010 04:19 PM
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peterfile

Posts: 53
Joined: 17 April 2002

Thanks for all your comments.
The site manager had a safety audit (internal) today and actually discussed it with him - was advised to write it up - well it fell to me for that one.
Meanwhile the project manager agreed with me that it should be recorded.
However the person responsible (or irresponsible) could well have been the Client; no excuse, but difficult to take direct action against the individual, if he was identified.

OMS: whilst it would be tempting to cull the half wits, it would mean that another half wit would have to found to replace him, along with the necessary training. Easier to train the original half wit a little more first.

Regards

Pete
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