On 30 January the CDM 2015 Regulations were laid before Parliament. Subject to approval, the regulations will come into force on 6 April 2015 and will apply to all building and construction projects, regardless of the size, duration and nature of the work. 

WHAT WILL CHANGE?

  • Principal designer: The replacement of the CDM co-ordinator role (under CDM 2007) by principal designer. This means that the responsibility for coordination of the pre-construction phase – which is crucial to the management of any successful construction project – will rest with an existing member of the design team. 
  • Client: The new Regulations recognise the influence and importance of the client as the head of the supply chain and that they are best placed to set standards throughout a project. Client responsibilities will include the provision of pre-construction information and ensuring the health and safety of affected persons. 
  • Competence: This will be split into its component parts of skills, knowledge, training and experience, and - if it relates to an organisation - organisational capability. This will provide clarity and help the industry to both assess and demonstrate that construction project teams have the right attributes to deliver a healthy and safe project.

Two other changes include a duty to notify the HSE where a project will last more than 30 days and involve more than 20 workers and the extension of CDM to non-commercial clients. 

The technical standards set out in Part 4 of the new Regulations will remain essentially unchanged from those in guidance related to CDM 2007. HSE’s targeting and enforcement policy, as a proportionate and modern regulator, also remains unchanged.

INDUSTRY GUIDANCE

Draft guidance has been produced by the HSE for the five duty holders under CDM  - clients, contractors, designers, principal contractors and principal designers - and one for workers. These set out, in practical terms, what actions are required of them to deliver a safe and healthy construction project. These have been written by the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) with small businesses in mind.

The draft six guidance documents are available for download here.

Penningtons Manches partner, Richard Cooke, who heads up the construction and infrastructure team, said: “The CDM Regulations 2015 represent the greatest change to CDM and construction safety for over a decade. The change to CDM 2015 potentially introduces a number of uncertainties. CDM 2007 benefited from having in place an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and the new guidance will not have the same standing afforded to the CDM 2007 ACOP. 

“Domestic clients were generally exempted from CDM 2007 but that is not the case under the new Regulations and, although many of their duties are carried out by other duty holders, domestic clients will wish to ensure they are adequately protected.

“To date, training of designers has focused on design but, as Principal Designers, designers will need to ensure they have in place adequate systems to ensure they can meet obligations imposed by the new Regulations.”