• 16 December 2014

CDM 2015 – the very latest

As part of the UK Government’s drive to cut bureaucracy, some major changes are on the way in relation to the management of health and safety within the construction industry.

It is recognised that that the majority of fatalities within the construction sector occur in smaller constructions sites. It is with this in mind that the HSE is focusing on the simplification of the current Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, so they are easier to understand by those in control of small and medium projects.

Under the proposed regulations, it will be a duty of the client to inform the HSE for a construction project which lasts 30 days with more than 20 workers occupying the site simultaneously or project exceeds 500 person days. Through the addition of requiring the 20 workers in order for a 30 day project to become notifiable, this may mean the notifiable projects are reduced by approximately 50%, allowing the HSE to focus on targeting smaller construction sites.

When the new Regulations come into force there will be a replacement of the CDM Coordinator (CDMC) role, with that of a Principal Designer who is appointed by the client. The need to appoint a Principal Designer will be where a project involves more than one contractor on site. It is hoped that through the removal of the CDMC role and the introduction of the Principal Designer, which has responsibilities for health and safety in the design team, that health and safety may be integrated within the project from the outset. Domestic clients will also have duties for domestic projects, which can be transferred to the Principal Designer and/or Principal Contractor.

The proposed Regulations remove the need to assess competency, which was seen as one of the elements of the current Regulations that is overly bureaucratic and replace this with a legal obligation on the Client to ensure that the parties they appoint are able to demonstrate appropriate information, instruction, training, and supervision.

Construction phase coordination duties are to remain with the Principal Contractor, but the current proposals do not make any provision for an independent role, as currently provided by the CDMC, to protect the Client.

It was recognised by the HSE that the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) associated with the current Construction Design and Management Regulations is too large, and the original proposal was to remove the ACoP and replace it with industry specific guidance. However, the HSE has since changed tack following a review of the responses to the consultation document and a slimmed down version of the Approved Code of Practice will be retained, but industry specific guidance will also be issued.

Under the proposed Regulations, more onuses will be placed on the client to ensure that both the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor which they appoint comply with their legal duties. Though at present, there is no further information on how the client will be able to demonstrate this compliance.

International Workplace’s next CDM Regulations One Day Workshop will take place on Wednesday 25 February 2015. It is designed to help you find out everything you need to know about the CDM Regulations and includes practical guidance from our expert course tutor, who has real world experience as a CDM Coordinator.

To find out more and to book your place, please click here.