The Health and Safety requirements for a fit-out or re-fit of a bar or restaurant.

It's important to tick all of the boxes

When completing a fit-out or re-fit of a bar or restaurant, it is very likely that you will need to inform the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to notify them of the work to ensure you confirm to the Construction (Design and Management) regulations 2015, also known as CDM 2015.

Notice must be given in writing to the HSE if the construction work is scheduled to last longer than 30 days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any one point in the project or it exceeds 500 person days. This written notice must be given as soon as it is practical to do so and before construction begins. This notice must be clearly displayed in the construction site office on a comprehensible form that can be read by any worker on the project.

The written notice should include the following:

  1. The date of forwarding the notice.
  2. The address of the construction site or precise description of its location.
  3. The name of the local authority where the construction site is located.
  4. A brief description of the project and the construction work that it entails.
  5. The following contact details of the client: name, address, telephone number and (if available) an email address.
  6. The following contact details of the principal designer: name, address, telephone number and (if available) an email address.
  7. The following contact details of the principal contractor: name, address, telephone number and (if available) an email address.
  8. The date planned for the start of the construction phase.
  9. The time allocated by the client for the construction work.
  10. The planned duration of the construction phase.
  11. The estimated maximum number of people at work on the construction site.
  12. The planned number of contractors on the construction site.
  13. The name and address of any contractor already appointed.
  14. The name and address of any designer already appointed.
  15. A declaration signed by or on behalf of the client that the client is aware of the client duties under these Regulations.

In these regulations, all concerned parties involved in the fit-out or re-fit have certain responsibilities so it is very important that you read this document. Alongside a number of other duties, the ‘client’ (the person seeking any construction work) must have, as far as is reasonably practicable, suitable arrangements in place so that any construction work can be carried out without risk to the health and safety of any person affected by the project. They also should ensure that their principle contractor draws up a construction phase plan and the principle designer prepares a health and safety file for the project which needs to be revised where necessary to incorporate new information and available for any inspector. If the client does not appoint a principle designer or contractor then the responsibilities related to these roles lie with the client.

In the CDM regulations, it also states that both designer and contractor or a professional company hired to conduct the work must have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability to fulfil the role for which they have been appointed in a way that secures the health and safety of any person affected by the project. It is their responsibility to be sure that any worker complies with the regulations and notifies them of any reason that may impinge their health and safety or that of any other worker on the project.

The designer must try to eliminate any potential risks to health and safety through the design of the project and where not possible to eliminate, they must take appropriate steps to reduce or control the risks through subsequent designs. These risks must be shared with the principle designer and all other parties involved as well as be added to the Health and Safety file.

A construction phase plan must clearly set out the health and safety arrangements and site rules taking into consideration safe entry and exit to the site, any industrial activities that may take place during the fit-out and it must also make clear the specific measures taken to eliminate, reduce or control the risks.

The principle contractor must plan, manage and monitor the construction phase. Throughout this period, they should coordinate matters relating to health and safety so that all measures, so far as reasonably practical, are taken to ensure work carried out is done so without risks to health and safety. They must ensure that all workers have a suitable induction and take all reasonable steps to prevent access by unauthorised persons to the construction site.

There must be suitable signs outlining the perimeter that clearly identify the construction site and it must also be fenced off appropriately in the interests of health and safety.

It is paramount that all practical steps are taken to make sure that all structures are stable during the construction including any temporary structure erected during the project. Any timber or other material must not have any projecting nail or other similar object if those sharp objects may pose a danger to others. If dismantling or demolishing a structure, notification must be given in advance and all efforts should be made to eliminate danger to others in the process.

Workers must be directed away from any risk posed from overhead electric power cables and in cases when they need to work close to these dangers, the power must be isolated and where necessary, earthed. Construction work which could give rise to injury from an underground service or from damage to or disturbance of it must not be carried out unless every effort is made to remove the risks, or if not possible then reduce them.

Protocols for emergencies must be carefully planned and tested regularly and amended where necessary to prevent or minimise the risk to all workers. Emergency exits must be clearly labelled and remain clear at all times. The construction site must have sufficient and suitable fire-fighting equipment and fire detection alarms and all persons on the site must be instructed on how to use the fire-fighting equipment.

If a worker is going to be carrying out work near water or any other liquid it may give rise to a risk of drowning. In this case, all steps should be taken to minimise this risk of falling, the risk of drowning in the event of a fall and suitable rescue equipment should be provided and maintained to allow a prompt rescue. If transporting workers to and from the project via water, the vessel must not be overcrowded or overloaded.

Alongside the health and safety particulars of the project, those managing your project should also consider the general safety of the surroundings such as air and temperature. Every effort must be made to ensure that a construction site and its approach has a supply of fresh or purified air. During working hours, the indoor temperature must not be unreasonable and if working outdoors, protection from adverse weather should be made. It is also necessary to provide protective clothing or work equipment if it protects your workers from adverse weather. For example, a shelter could be provided to protect from wintry conditions or intense heat from the sun.

Where possible, the construction site should be lit by natural light however the site, its approach and traffic route must be well lit. Any artificial light used should not alter the perception of any sign or signal that directs workers about health and safety. In the event that the primary source of lighting fails, a secondary source should be provided wherever there is potential risk to a worker’s health and safety

The CDM regulations also provide the following comprehensive list on what those managing the project should provide to ensure the welfare of their workers.

Sanitary conveniences
1.—(1) Suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences must be provided or made available at readily accessible places.
(2) So far as is reasonably practicable, rooms containing sanitary conveniences must be adequately ventilated and lit.
(3) So far as is reasonably practicable, sanitary conveniences and the rooms containing them must be kept in a clean and orderly condition.
(4) Separate rooms containing sanitary conveniences must be provided for men and women, except where and so far as each convenience is in a separate room, the door of which is capable of being secured from the inside.

Washing facilities
2.—(1) Suitable and sufficient washing facilities, including showers if required by the nature of the work or for health reasons, must, so far as is reasonably practicable, be provided or made available at readily accessible places.
(2) Washing facilities must be provided—
(a)in the immediate vicinity of every sanitary convenience, whether or not also provided elsewhere; and
(b)in the vicinity of any changing rooms required by paragraph 4, whether or not provided elsewhere.
(3) Washing facilities must include—
(a)a supply of clean hot and cold, or warm, water (which must be running water so far as is reasonably practicable);
(b)soap or other suitable means of cleaning; and
(c)towels or other suitable means of drying.
(4) Rooms containing washing facilities must be sufficiently ventilated and lit.
(5) Washing facilities and the rooms containing them must be kept in a clean and orderly condition.
(6) Subject to sub-paragraph (7), separate washing facilities must be provided for men and women, except where they are provided in a room the door of which is capable of being secured from inside and the facilities in each room are intended to be used by only one person at a time.
(7) Sub-paragraph (6) does not apply to facilities which are provided for washing hands, forearms and the face only.

Drinking water
3.—(1) An adequate supply of wholesome drinking water must be provided or made available at readily accessible and suitable places.
(2) Where necessary for reasons of health or safety, every supply of drinking water must be conspicuously marked by an appropriate sign.
(3) Where a supply of drinking water is provided, a sufficient number of suitable cups or other drinking vessels must also be provided, unless the supply of drinking water is in a jet from which persons can drink easily.

Changing rooms and lockers
4.—(1) Suitable and sufficient changing rooms must be provided or made available at readily accessible places if a worker—
(a)has to wear special clothing for the purposes of construction work; and
(b)cannot, for reasons of health or propriety, be expected to change elsewhere.
(2) Where necessary for reasons of propriety, there must be separate changing rooms for, or separate use of rooms by, men and women.
(3) Changing rooms must—
(a)be provided with seating; and
(b)include, where necessary, facilities to enable a person to dry any special clothing and any personal clothing or effects.
(4) Suitable and sufficient facilities must, where necessary, be provided or made available at readily accessible places to enable persons to lock away—
(a)any special clothing which is not taken home;
(b)their own clothing which is not worn during working hours; and
(c)their personal effects.

Facilities for rest
5.—(1) Suitable and sufficient rest rooms or rest areas must be provided or made available at readily accessible places.
(2) Rest rooms and rest areas must—
(a)be equipped with an adequate number of tables and adequate seating with backs for the number of persons at work likely to use them at any one time;
(b)where necessary, include suitable facilities for any woman at work who is pregnant or who is a nursing mother to rest lying down;
(c)include suitable arrangements to ensure that meals can be prepared and eaten;
(d)include the means for boiling water; and
(e) be maintained at an appropriate temperature.

This article has highlighted the most relevant regulations that are applicable to a bar/restaurant fit-out however it does not identify all the regulations therefore it is imperative that you visit the HSE website to read and adhere to the full regulations. With all these rules, it can be overwhelming, which is why utilising a professional company to carry out your work is advisable. Not only will the professional team be very knowledgeable about the regulations, they are likely to notify the HSE for you and furthermore they are likely to also carry out all your planning applications too.

Putting the health and safety of your team of workers must be a priority. Beside it being an offence to not conform, without adhering to these regulations, you are risking injury or worse to your workers. Whilst some regulations may seem stringent, they are there for a reason and they try to ensure everyone’s safety.