BLOG: The new CDM regulations - what does it mean for you?

Posted by Robert Norman on May 10 - 2015
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The construction sector has recently witnessed the biggest changes to health and safety legislation in a decade. So what do the modifications mean to you?

If you work in the construction industry you should have heard of the changes to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (“CDM 2015”) which came into force on 6 April 2015.

But if you are struggling to get to grips with what it means we are here to help.

No more CDM coordinators

The biggest change is that the role of CDM coordinator has been scrapped.

Under new legislation, clients must instead appoint a principal designer on any project involving, or anticipated to involve, more than one contractor.

Since the definition of “contractor” includes sub-contractors, the vast majority of projects will require a principal designer.

The principal designer must be the designer with control over the pre-construction phase of the project.

This may be an architect or project manager and it will be the client’s responsibility to ensure the person is competent to fulfill the role.

CDM applies to domestic projects

Another important change is that CDM 2015 applies to domestic clients.

This is will mean that compliance with CDM becomes relevant on small domestic extension and refurbishment projects which were previously exempt.

However, in these cases, the role of the client on domestic projects is to be fulfilled by the contractor.

This will minimise the burden on domestic clients who cannot reasonably be expected to have the knowledge or experience to carry out their CDM responsibilities.

Other changes

1. Changes to notification requirements

Whereas under CDM 2007 the CDM coordinator was responsible for notifying the project to the HSE, under CDM 2015, notification is the client’s responsibility.

2. Construction phase plan always required

Under CDM 2007, a construction phase plan was only required for a notifiable project.

Under CDM 2015, a construction phase plan is always required. Where a project involves only one contractor, and therefore no principal contractor has been appointed, the construction phase plan must be drawn up by the contractor.

3. Approved Code of Practice repealed

The Approved Code of Practice (“ACOP”) which accompanies CDM 2007 has also revoked and is to be replaced with HSE Legal (L) Series Guidance. The HSE consultation conducted prior to the introduction of CDM 2015 found that the ACOP was too lengthy and difficult to follow.

Transitional arrangements

If you are only just up to speed with what is expected of you under the new guidelines, don’t panic.

For live projects, there will be a transition period running from 6 April 2015 until 6 October 2015.

Due to the transitional arrangements, there is no real need to amend existing contracts to refer to CDM 2015 but contracts which have not yet been entered into or where work started after 6 April 2015 should be amended to refer to CDM 2015.


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