New CDM Regulations for 2015 - What's it All About?

New CDM Regulations for 2015 - What's it All About?

13th January 2015

On 9th January the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published their draft L-Series Guidance to the proposed new Construction, Design & Management (CDM) Regulations.  Subject to government approval, these new regulations are due to come into force on 6th April, 2015.  Today we’re taking a look at the document and what it’s likely to mean for those who work in the construction industry.

The HSE warns that these regulations may be subject to change while the Regs are awaiting parliamentary approval so it’s vital for those working in the construction industry to keep an eye on the news and make sure they are up to date at all times with any changes that occur.

The new guidance was designed to be more accessible to small and medium sized businesses which reflects the HSE’s statement that small and medium projects are responsible for the majority of fatalities and accidents in the construction sector.

The main changes in the Regulations are:

  • Strengthening of Client duties – the new Regulations recognise the importance and influence of the Client as head of the supply chain and they are the best placed to set standards throughout the project.
  • The introduction of Domestic Clients
  • The replacement of CDM Coordinator (CDMC) with a Principal Designer for the planning, managing, monitoring and coordination of pre-construction phase health and safety. This means that responsibility for the coordination of the pre-construction phase (which is vital for the management of any successful construction project) will lie with an existing member of the design team.
  • A Principal Designer and Principal Contractor will be required on all projects with more than one contractor working on it
  • The replacement of explicit requirement for duty holder competence with the need for appropriate Information, Instruction, Training and Supervision. This will allow the Competence to be split into its component parts of skills, knowledge, training and experience. The HSE aims to provide clarity and help the construction industry to both assess and demonstrate that construction project teams have the relevant attributes to deliver a healthy and safe project.
  • A change to the HSE’s Notification level – which is now only required on projects lasting more than 30 days and which involve more than 20 workers working simultaneously.

While the new Regulations are likely to come into force from 6th April, there are some transitional arrangements in place that will run for the initial 6 months (until 6th October, 2015).  Any project which start before 6th April, 2015 in which the construction phase has not yet begun will need to have a Principal Designer appointed by the Client as soon as is practicable.  If the CDM Coordinator (CMDC) has already been appointed, a Principal Designer must be appointed to replace the CDMC by 6th October, 2015 unless the project ends before that date. 

During the period that it takes to appoint the Principal Designer, the appointed CDMC must comply with the duties in Schedule 4 to the new CDM 2015 Regulations.  These duties reflect the current requirements under CDM 2007 for the CDMC rather than requiring that CDMCs act as Principal Designers as they are unlikely to be equipped for the role.