• Lee Calver
  • 25 March 2014

Is the date for changes to the CDM Regulations finally upon us?

We have been led to believe that the update to the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2007 would be published on numerous occasions, only to be disappointed by many a delay.

However, comments last week from a health and safety law expert hinting that we might finally be getting somewhere have raised excitement levels.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been planning revisions to the regulations for what seems an eternity now, but on Thursday 20 March, health and safety expert, Sean Elson, of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, insisted that plans would be published shortly.

Mr Elson stated that plans to revise UK laws on construction safety are likely to be published by the Government at the beginning of April with the intention that they then come into force from April 2015.

He added:

“Our understanding is that a 12-week consultation will begin at the start of April and that new guidance on what the laws will mean for industry will be published between then and April 2015, when it is hoped that the regulations will come into force.”

Further delays

The HSE has actually been looking in detail at CDM 2007 since 2009 and its evaluation was completed in May 2011, however reform was delayed in order to accommodate findings of the Löfstedt Review and the Government’s Red Tape Challenge.
A consultation of revised CDM Regulations was then earmarked for early summer 2013 to allow the new law to come into force in April 2014. However, after no consultation had appeared by July 2013, the HSE told the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) that it anticipated its ‘well-developed’ revised CDM Regulations to open for a 12-week public consultation in late summer 2013, to come into force in October 2014.

Unfortunately this was not achieved, and as we approach April 2014 we still await confirmation from the HSE of an exact date that the new regulations will come into force.

On a positive note though, The Association for Project Safety (APS) also revealed last week that a decision on a consultation was to “go out imminently”, but admitted that it had no firm information on the proposals.

However, it stated that it is led to believe that the HSE may be proposing:

  • Removal of the independent CDM Coordinator role and placing Design Phase health and safety coordination with a Principal Designer (working title);
  • Removal of the Appendix 4 Competence Assessment criteria;
  • Placing construction phase coordination duties with the Principal Contractor;
  • Full application of CDM Regulations to all projects with more than one contractor on site (including domestic  projects); and
  • Placing client duties for domestic projects with the first appointee (architect or contractor).

Despite the never-ending toing and froing over the CDM Regulations, it does finally seem that we are getting closer to knowing when these changes will be introduced, and of course, as soon as any extra information is released, Workplace Law will keep you informed.