Managed realignment (bank)

Health and Safety and CDM issues

Throughout the development of a Bank Realignment scheme, all activities should be carried out in accordance with current health and safety legislation and procedures.  Apart from the “normal” health and safety issues during study, design and construction, the following are likely to need specific consideration and consultation:

  • The feasibility of safely removing extensive lengths of banks needs careful consideration, as once tidal inundation occurs site working can be considered to pose an unacceptably high level of risk.
  • Large volumes of material to be disposed of.
  • Excavation of potentially contaminated material or material of unknown origin.
  • Public exclusion measures in the new intertidal area.
  • Temporary or permanent signage for the site.
  • Safe working for construction and/or maintenance taking account of tidal working.

The Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2007 place a duty on those undertaking construction to ensure construction workers are not put at risk, and bank retreat may increase the risks above other approaches for realignment.

Working across tidal cycles in intertidal areas needs care to avoid health and safety and environmental protection risks; it is sensible to assess the feasibility of construction before expending resources on investigations for the design of the site. As much work as possible should be undertaken before bank removal, which may necessitate phasing works over more than one year. In assessing this, it is important to involve the (earth-moving) contractor to ensure that CDM considerations are included in the method statements and that construction is safe and practical. Any limitations imposed as a result of safe working requirements may necessitate modification of the design.

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