Wey & Arun Canal Trust volunteers and a newly-constructed bridge at Birtley in Surrey take a starring role in The Inland Waterways Association’s latest safety information video.

A camera crew spent the day filming a working party and familiar Trust members at the site for its CDM - No Excuses film, which sets out the requirements of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) and how it applies to canal restoration projects.  

CDM are the main regulations that cover the management of health, safety and welfare on construction sites – regardless of size, number of volunteers on site, duration and nature of work. The regulations apply to all waterway restoration projects, from towpath creation to bridge building and everything in between. 

Volunteers said they were happy to help the IWA and reinforce the importance of safety on site. Wey & Arun Canal Trust restoration supervisor Dave Evans commented: “Following CDM is the law, but it also benefits a project as it has encouraged us to properly plan and reduces risks for everyone on site and improves communication between our volunteers. Ultimately, it has meant the project has been well run and on schedule.

“CDM doesn’t have to be an onerous regulation to follow, it’s just about working safely and following some key guidelines.”

Teams began work at the Birtley site at the end of last year, creating an access track and towpath, but construction of the first of two bridges planned started in July. With the help of visiting Waterway Recovery Group summer camps and weekend visits, and ongoing support from the Trust’s own volunteers, the bridge structure is now complete and ready for its steel deck. The Trust plans to open a 2.5km circular canalside walk at the section.

See the video at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7zcp5IL9hU