CDM 2015 Construction Industry Update

Kim Turnbull
With less than one month to go, there is still time to be part of the Health and Safety Executive 10-week consultation on the proposed changes to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. Have your say by clicking on the link at the end of this article.

Amid industry speculation and uncertainty, it’s clear that effective CDM co-ordination will of course remain integral to health and safety within the construction industry. In this potentially changing landscape, Faithful+Gould will pro-actively support clients, designers, principal contractors and colleagues with any revision that affects their operations, whilst continuing to be embedded within the design and construction phases.

Among the most significant changes is the replacement of the supporting Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) with guidance tailored to specific activities. This new guidance will be more accessible to small and medium sized businesses, reflecting HSE’s statement that small and medium projects are responsible for the majority of deaths and accidents in the construction industry.

Key Changes Proposed in the Draft CDM Regulations 2015

  • Replacing the CDM Co-ordinator (CDMC) role with a Principal Designer responsible for health and safety in the design team (with duties in line with the current CDMC role, but with further control and influence over design). The role can be delivered by an individual or organisation.

  • A legal obligation for duty holders to provide information, instruction, training and supervision, which replaces the duty to assess competence. The draft regulations do not specify the minimum standard required for compliance.

  • Construction phase co-ordination duties 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. You may wish to comment on this in the HSE Consultation.

  • Replacement of the ACOP with tailored guidance. No date has been announced for HSE issue of the guidance documents.

  • Imposing client duties for domestic projects. These can be transferred to the Principal Designer and/or Principal Contractor.

  • Client must ensure that the Principal Designer for health and safety complies with their duties. Requires the client to be informed and aware of their role and responsibility.

  • Client must ensure that the Principal Contractor complies with their duties. The draft regulations provide no indication as to how compliances are achieved.

  • Amending the notification trigger to 30 days, more than 20 persons on site or 500 man days.

  • Client responsible for notifying HSE of a project (F10 notification).

  • Client required to appoint a Principal Contractor and/or Principal Designer if there will be more than one contractor on site. We understand contractor means ‘’trade’’ and therefore any project with more than one trade on site will require these client appointments. In effect the vast majority of projects.

  • A construction phase plan will be required for all projects. The draft regulations do not require a review or indicate the plan’s contents.

Responsibility for ensuring the functions of the Principal Designer for health and safety are met will rest with an individual or business in charge of the pre-construction phase. The role of Principal Designer will lie within the project team – our experienced team at Faithful+Gould will perform this role for clients. The Principal Designer for health and safety will be responsible for planning, managing and monitoring the pre-construction phase in the same way that the Principal Contractor is responsible for planning, managing and monitoring the construction phase.

Our experience has shown that clients value an independent and impartial co-ordinator. It’s anticipated that many clients and large contractors will continue to use a construction health and safety risk specialist as has been the case in Ireland since their revised regulations in 2012.

Continuing to Support Our Clients’ Compliance

Whatever the outcome of the consultation and the final content of the regulations, please be assured it will be business as usual at Faithful+Gould. We’ll continue to support clients in achieving the most effective approach to construction safety and risk management. We’ll be immersing ourselves in any revisions, ensuring we have the information and understanding to provide you with exceptional CDM leadership and guidance. If you’d like to explore the likely impact on your business or project, we’d be pleased to discuss the proposed revisions with you. We’ll also be offering update training when the consultation period is completed.

We want our clients' voices to be heard – please take the opportunity to learn more and to play an active part in the HSE consultation period, which ends on Friday 6th June 2014. Have your say by reading the CD261 consultation document and completing the questionnaire.

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