The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) 2015 came into force on 6 April 2015, replacing the CDM 2007. Despite what the name might suggest, this change is relevant to any manufacturers involved in construction work. Construction work is defined widely by the CDM and includes projects involving renovation, redecoration or other maintenance, decommissioning and demolition. 

Transitional arrangements apply to ongoing projects which began before 6 April, but the key changes to be aware of are:

  1. The role of CDM Co-ordinator has been abolished, with a new role of Principal Designer created. This new role should not be confused with the role of Principal Contractor. The Principal Designer must be appointed by the client in writing and is the designer with control over the pre-construction phase of the project. Their duties include ensuring that the design comes together in a way that delivers a project that can be built and used safely, ensuring parties cooperate and coordinating the handover of a safely designed project to the Principal Contractor. The Principal Designer should be appointed from the pre-existing project team rather than appointed as an additional consultant.
  2. The notification threshold has changed. Going forward, HSE will need to be notified about projects exceeding 500 person days or “longer than 30 working days” with “more than 20 workers working simultaneously”. This should reduce the number of notifiable projects.
  3. The trigger for additional duties has changed. Now, rather than the trigger being whether a project is notifiable, additional duties are triggered where it is reasonably foreseeable that more than one contractor (including subcontractor) will be working on a project at any time. This means, for example, that a Principal Contractor must be appointed where there is more than one contractor on a project as opposed to when the project is notifiable.
  4. Removal of the Approved Code of Practice, which has been replaced by a new guidance document.

The new regulations mean that many more projects will be subject to additional duties. Manufacturers should review any planned projects by reference to the wide ranging definition of construction work in regulation 2 of the CDM to ensure that, where required, projects are being planned and delivered in compliance with the new legislation.