New CDM Regulations: what is changing (and what do you need to do)?

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The draft Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (“the Regulations”) are in the process of being approved by Parliament. They are set to come into force on 6 April 2015. Transitional arrangements are in place which will run for the first 6 months until 6 October 2015.

Some of the key changes are as follows:

  • the CDM co-ordinator role will be removed and replaced with a ‘Principal Designer’ who will be appointed during the pre-construction phase. The Principal Designer must plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project, which includes identifying, eliminating or controlling foreseeable risks and ensuring that the design team carry out their duties;
  • if the project involves more than one contractor, a ‘Principal Contractor’ will also need to be appointed during the construction phase. The Principal Contractor is responsible for the management and monitoring of the construction phase of the project which includes liaising with the client and the Principal Designer, organising cooperation between contractors and coordinating their work. For example, they must ensure that suitable site inductions are provided, that reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access, and that welfare facilities are available. A sub-contractor counts as a second contractor and therefore nearly all projects will require a Principal Contractor role;
  • there is now greater responsibility on the Client for health and safety. For example:

– in the 2007 Regulations, it was the CDM Co-ordinator’s responsibility to notify the HSE with the details of the project. Under the 2015 Regulations, this responsibility will fall on the Client;
– under the 2007 Regulations, the client was only responsible for providing information relating to health and safety to the CDM co-ordinator. Under the 2015 Regulations, the client has an absolute obligation to ensure the Health and Safety File is prepared; and
– under the 2015 Regulations, the Client has an absolute obligation to ensure a Construction Phase Plan is in place before any works commence (including site set-up);

  • the Regulations now also apply to domestic projects. Domestic clients may delegate the majority of their duties to the Principal Designer or Principal Contractor. This could impact on contract prices for smaller domestic jobs;
  • the existing requirements on competency will be replaced by a more general system which requires those who are instructing others to ensure that they have the appropriate training and information. The competency of industry professionals will be the responsibility of the relevant professional bodies and institutions; and
  • the Approved Code of Practice set out in the 2007 Regulations, which has been heavily criticised, will also be replaced with shorter guidance.

If you would like any more information on the new CDM Regulations, please get in touch.