What are the CDM Regulations?

The Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 came into force on 6th April 2015. They set out what people involved in construction work need to do to protect themselves from harm and anyone else the work affects. They will also ensure that future users of the building are safe (e.g. when carrying out routine maintenance).

What are the key changes?

If you are having construction work done you are classed as the client. Although you are not expected to actively manage or supervise the work yourself, you must decide which designer and contractor will carry out the work and how much money, time and resource is available to manage health and safety risks. The decisions you make have an impact on the health, safety and welfare of workers and others affected by the work.

1. Appointment of a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor is now required wherever there is more than one contractor required for the job.

2. Replacing the CDM Coordinator (CDM-C) with a Principal Designer (PD)

The Principal Designer will be responsible for:

  • Planning, managing and monitoring the pre-construction phase
  • Ensuring the risks are eliminated or controlled through design work
  • Passing information to the Principal Contractor (PC)
  • Ensuring co-operation and co-ordination
  • Ensuring designers comply with their duties
  • Assisting the client in preparing the pre-construction information
  • Preparing the health and safety file

Who are or who are likely to be designers?

“Designer” means any person (including a client, contractor or other person) who in the course or furtherance of a business:

– Prepares or modifies a design or;

– Arranges for or instructs any person under their control to do so relating to a structure or to a product or mechanical or electrical system intended for a particular structure

(N.B – A designer who is appointed PD may complete the role in-house or may appoint a specialist consultant. Clients may assume the role and complete the duties where no designer is appointed, or may decide to do so whether or not a designer is appointed. A contractor may also be appointed to complete the duties of the PD).

3. Changes to the threshold for notification

Under CDM 2015, a project is notifiable to the HSE if construction works last longer than 30 working days AND has more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project, or exceeds 500 person days of work. This is done via www.hse.gov.uk

4. Employing people to work on sites

Anyone employed on a construction site must have the skills, knowledge, training and experience to carry out the work they are required to do safely. Checks must be carried out on new recruits.

5. Domestic Clients

If you are having work done on your own home, or the home of a family member, and it is not in connection with a business, you will be a domestic client. The only responsibility a domestic client has under CDM 2015 is to appoint a principal designer and a principal contractor when there is more than one contractor. However, if you do not do this, (as is common practice) your duties as a domestic client are automatically transferred to the contractor or principal contractor.

6. Construction Phase Plan

This is required for every construction project and does not need to be complicated. A simple plan before the work starts is usually enough to show that you have thought about health and safety. If the job will last longer than 500 person days or 30 working days (with more than 20 people working at the same time) it will need to be notified to the HSE and it is likely to be too complex for a simple plan format.

When do the regulations come into force?

When CDM 2015 comes into force on 6 April 2015, there will be a transitional period that will run for six months from 6 April 2015 to 6 October 2015.

For projects starting before 6 April 2015, where the construction phase has not yet started and the client has not yet appointed a CDM co-ordinator, the client must appoint a principal designer as soon as it is practicable.

If the CDM co-ordinator has already been appointed, a principal designer must be appointed to replace the CDM co-ordinator by 6 October 2015, unless the project comes to an end before then.

In the period it takes to appoint the principal designer, the appointed CDM co-ordinator should comply with the duties contained in Schedule 4 to the new CDM 2015 Regulations. These duties reflect the existing requirements under CDM 2007 for the CDM co-ordinator rather than requiring CDM co-ordinators to act as principal designers, a role for which they may not be equipped.

Where can I find more information?

For more information about the CDM Regulations 2015, you can find more information using the links below:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg411.pdf

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l153.htm

http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/cdm-guidance-documents/

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