The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations have been revised for the second time since 1994 and will come into force on 6th April 2015. The Regulations require various participants in the construction process to take appropriate measures in respect of health and safety on a construction site. While there are some substantive changes, in general what needs to be done under the previous Regulations still has to be done, but in some cases by different people.
Broadly speaking the Regulations have been simplified and the role of the CDM co-ordinator is abolished, its duties now split between the principal designer (a new role, see below), the client and the principal contractor. The main changes in the revised Regulations are that clients must now take reasonable steps to ensure that the principal designer and principal contractor comply with their duties in the Regulations. The principal designer and principal contractor must now be appointed on any project on which there is more than one "contractor", a definition that includes sub-contractors.
The principal designer has taken over some of the functions of the CDM co-ordinator referred to in the previous Regulations. He will be a designer who is in control of the pre-construction phase (although this may continue into the construction phase if design is incomplete), usually the lead consultant of the design team, rather than an external consultant as before. This role may now be filled by existing lead designers or design and build contractors, depending on the procurement route utilised.
The principal contractor will now be responsible for overall co-ordination in respect of health and safety issues during the construction phase.
Previously, the regulations were supported by an Approved Code of Practice. This has now been withdrawn and the Health and Safety Executive issued Guidance on the Regulations on 2nd April 2015. The guidance is available athttp://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l153.pdf.
The revised Regulations will apply to all projects starting after 6th April 2015. Transitional arrangements will apply for projects in progress on that date; in particular, a principal designer must be appointed in place of a CDM co-ordinator for such projects unless completed before 6th October 2015.