As trailed in our previous bulletin, the CDM Regulations 2015 came into force on 6 April, replacing the 2007 version.

The new Regulations create the role of Principal Designer, and abolish that of CDM-Coordinator. A Principal Designer must plan, manage and monitor health and safety during the pre-construction phase, so far as reasonably practicable, to minimise risks.

The organisation or person taking on the role must be sufficiently skilled, knowledgeable and experienced to fulfil this duty. In many cases the Principal Designer will be the project architect, but that is not inevitable. Others can be appointed, provided they have the requisite skills, knowledge and experience to understand, manage and co-ordinate the work and protagonists involved in the project. Preparation of an appropriate health and safety file is a key specific duty.

In most cases, a Principal Designer will need to be in post as soon as practicable, and in any event before the construction phase commences. Projects involving more than one contractor trigger this requirement. The appointment will be by the client, and must be in writing. In a change from the 2007 regulations, however, client duties will remain.

Transitional arrangements apply to projects commenced before the new regulations came into force on 6 April and where a CDM-C was in place by that date. In such projects where completion takes place before 6 October 2015, it will not be necessary to replace the CDM-C. In all other cases, however, a Principal Designer must be appointed to replace the CDM-C from the 6 October date.

The HSE has set out guidance on the CDM Regulations – please click here.

The Construction Industry Training Board have produced industry guidance and a comprehensive template of a Construction Phase Plan addressing the requirements of the CDM Regulations, which includes information on the requirements placed upon the Principal Designer role to manage and coordinate design risks at the pre construction phase.

For a copy of the CITB’s guidance – please click here.