• 13 February 2015

Are you ready for forthcoming CDM Regulation changes?

The CDM 2015 Regulations are almost upon us and the dust is beginning to settle. These regulations can be seen to be needed for a number of reasons but not least to embed Healthy Design and Creative Safety into designer’s everyday activities whilst encouraging innovative thinking.

In this blog, Paul Bussey, RIBA, RMaps, author of CDM 2015 – A Practical Guide for Architects & Designers’ discusses the forthcoming changes which will take effect from 6 April 2015.

The evolution of an independent profession of health and safety “coordinators” has been a largely unsuccessful attempt at achieving this objective, but their accumulated skills and experience can be utilised as CDM-Consultants to assist the Client, Contractors and Designers to deliver their duties, where their own capabilities are lacking or the risks are particularly significant.

The time for better collaboration, cooperation and coordination is now upon us where we put aside overzealous and misconceived health and safety design and construction risk management processes, where elimination and reduction of risk rules, and consider the simple integration of safety into conceptual design by avoidance and minimization of risks.

The subtle but essential difference between these two processes underpins the integration of the concept of “reasonable practicability” enshrined in all CDM and overarching legislation, but has been misinterpreted for some 20 years.

Once the extent of “proportionality” and “skills, knowledge, training and experience” can be established, the amount of “sufficient” bureaucracy can be agreed to design and inform the construction process and adequately appease the legislature.

The time is here to work as one construction industry and separate ourselves from the historic legacy of a blame, and fear of prosecution culture, and embrace the process of “informed risk taking” to achieve design excellence whilst excelling at safety.