The CDM Regulations are changing with the new Regulations coming into effect on Friday 6 April 2015.

The revised regulations will affect the roles and responsibilities of companies involved in construction projects across England, Scotland and Wales with some significant changes.

The main changes, outlined in general by the Health & Safety Executive, are as follows:

1.  Significant structural simplification of the Regulations

2.  Replacing the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) with targeted guidance for the five duty-holders:

  • clients
  • designers
  • principle designers
  • contractors
  • principal contractors

3.  Replacing the CDM Co-ordinator role with the new role of ‘Principal Designer’ within the project team, such as an architect or engineer. Concerns have been raised with regard to this point and the capacity of designers to focus on additional health and safety aspects as well as their regular aspects. There have been suggestions that designers will in many cases use third parties thus rendering the changes largely inconsequential from a cost perspective

4.  Replacing explicit requirement for individual competence with a requirement to have appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision to work safely. It is likely that the final wording of the Regulations is likely to focus upon skills, knowledge, training and experience of individual workers.

5.  Remove domestic client exemption but those duties fall to contractor or Principal Contractor where more than one. This places legal obligations on house-holders who are having even minor construction work done on their homes. This may well have a significant impact.

6.  Raising the threshold for notification of projects. HSE notification level changes:
2007: 30 days or 500 person days
2015: 30 days and more than 20 workers simultaneously

7.  Requiring that a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor be appointed whenever there is more than one contractor on a project.

8.  Requiring written construction plans for all construction projects.

The CDM Co-ordinator will no longer be able to carry out a number of functions for their client, such as, reporting to the HSE or ensuring a health and safety file is produced, and will have to take responsibility for these actions themselves.

The aim of the revision appears to be to remove unnecessary bureaucracy with better communication and recording. We will need to wait and see the finer details but it is a change that everyone involved in construction projects including refurbishments need to be aware of.

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