The Health & Safety Executive will remain the main enforcing authority for CDM2007. HSE inspectors have various powers:
Informal Action: the inspector will tell the duty holder what to do to comply with the law and explain why.
Improvement Notice: the inspector can issue an improvement notice telling the duty holder to take prescribed action to comply with the law. Further action can be taken against the duty holder if the notice is not complied with.
Prohibition Notice: if the inspector believes that an activity carried on, or to be carried on, will involve a risk of serious personal injury, the inspector may serve a prohibition notice, prohibiting the activity and not allowing it to be resumed until specified remedial action has been taken. This could result in the closure of the site.
Prosecution: in a serious case the inspector may also decide to initiate a prosecution. The courts are given considerable scope to punish offenders and deter others. The higher courts have the power to impose unlimited fines and, in some cases, even imprisonment.
Civil liability for breach is excluded except for a breach of:
The client’s duty to ensure that the construction phase does not start unless
(a) the principal contractor has prepared a sufficient construction phase plan; and
(b) he is satisfied that the requirements as to welfare facilities will be complied with during the construction phase;
- The principal contractor’s duty to take reasonable steps to ensure there is no unauthorised access to the site;
- All obligations in relation to health and safety on construction sites (Part 4, CDM 2007);
- The duty on all contractors not to start work on site unless reasonable steps have been taken to prevent access by unauthorised persons; and
In relation to employee/employer relationships.