Care homes are sensitive working environments. Building projects often involve contractors assessing work, quoting, and setting a start date. Yet, in care homes the process is more complex.
The 2015 Construction Design & Management (CDM) Regulations outline the responsibilities of contractors and care homes during construction projects. Compliance with these regulation helps to ensure the best levels of health and safety onsite and reduce risks.
We take a closer look at four important areas of concern when carrying out construction work in an occupied care home.
The competence of a contractor doesn’t refer to workmanship quality. Competency refers to a contractor’s ability to plan out and manage works onsite efficiently without jeopardising health and safety.
CDM regulations insist that care homes should only appoint competent construction contractors. Correct qualifications to complete work are essential. Contractors must also have experience and understand the challenges of working in a care home environment. This ensures they fully understand the risks involved and how to mitigate them.
The difference between building projects failing or succeeding often comes down to communication. To complete work with the least amount of disruption, clear communication is key.
Regular meetings between the contractor and the care home manager are crucial. Whether these are informal or formal, the focus should be on two-way communication. This allows care home staff to understand the project plan and where the construction work will take place. It also helps them to understand how and when work will impact the day-to-day running of the care home.
These conversations also inform contractors about areas that might be restricted or off-limits. This may be due to unforeseen circumstances or planned care home activities.
Staff must be kept regularly informed, enabling them to keep residents and their families up to date on work being carried out to ease any concerns.
Managing construction work in an occupied care home can be challenging. Homes may provide care for residents with dementia or who suffer from physical difficulties. Minimising the interaction between work and residents reduces risk and stress. While this can be difficult on smaller sites it is critical.
Staff may need to close corridors, wings, and sometimes floors to avoid risk during work. For added safety, contractors can make use of signs and physical barriers blocking resident access while working.
Finally, every care home building project must have a site logistics plan. The care home management and contractor draw up this document together. The plan describes agreed egress and access routes into the care home and onsite. If possible, the contractor’s route should be separate from that used by the care home. The plan should include designated areas for parking, deliveries, and internal and external storage. It should also includes no-go areas, fire safety routes and sanitary provisions for contractors. As building projects progress the plan should be flexible enough to allow for review and revision.
Do you need experienced contractors for a care home refurbishment?
We would always recommend using a construction team with the relevant experience to carry out work in care homes. BuildzoneUK Ltd specialise in works for sensitive environments such as care homes. Our skilled and experienced contractors bring knowledge and understanding to ensure safer projects. We work alongside our clients, keeping them informed at every phase of a project to ensure minimal disruption.
Contact us today on 0843 212 0031 to discuss your project or email our team: firstname.lastname@example.org.