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Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

Summary of the Changes

  • On Thursday 29th January the new the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 [CDM 2015] were tabled in the House of Commons. 40 days from this date, if there are no objections from either house, the regulations will be waived through and become law on the 6th April 2015.
  • The regulations apply to all construction work whether commercial or domestic.
  • Where there is, or may be, more than one contractor working on a project at any time, the client must appoint a Principal Designer [PD] and Principal Contractor [PC].
  • The PDs will replace the current role of CDM Co-ordinator. On current projects where a CDM Co-ordinator has been appointed, there is a 6 month transition period before a PD needs to be appointed.
  • Clients must appoint a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor on all projects where there is or may be more than one contractor.
  • CDM 2015 is drafted to make client and designer prosecutions easier. Duty holder ‘must’ carry out most duties. It is generally only the effect of actions which is tempered by the phrase ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’.
  • If architects and designers have the Principal Designer role added to their services an audit and review process will be vital to monitor the process is happening.
  • To download a client guide please click here

    To download a guide for potential Principal Designers please click here

    To download a flowchart which shows how the new regulations will work in practice please click here

    To speak to somebody about how we can assist you with your duties under CDM 2015 please contact Mark Snelling on 01372 462277 or email us

    Introduction

    On Thursday 29th January the new the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 [CDM 2015] were tabled in the House of Commons. 40 days from this date, if there are no objections from either house, the regulations will be waived through and become law on the 6th April 2015.

    The HSE’s Draft Guidance on CDM 2015 [L153] was published on the HSE website on the 9th January 2015

    There will be a small signposting Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) but this will not be available before the Regulations come into force.

    Summary of Changes

    The new Regulations are due to come into force on 6th April 2015.

    The main changes in comparison with the CDM Regulations 2007 are that:

  • they apply to all clients, whether or not a person is acting in the course or furtherance of a business;
  • the role of a CDM co-ordinator has been omitted and a new role of a Principal Designer has been created;
  • the client's duty to appoint a Principal Designer or Principal Contractor is triggered where there is more than one contractor, rather than the previous 30 working day threshold for notification under CDM 2007;
  • the duty to notify a project sits with the client; and
  • the notification threshold has risen from 30 working days to 30 working days and more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project.
  • Domestic Clients

    The new regulations will apply to domestic clients. These duties are howevercarried out by:

  • the contractor for a project where there is only one contractor;
  • the principal contractor for a project where there is more than one contractor; or
  • the principal designer where there is a written agreement that the principal designer will fulfil those duties.
  • Clients

    Unlike CDM 2007 where the client must appoint a CDM co-ordinator and a Principal Contractor where the project is notifiable (the construction phase will last over 30 working days or 500 person days), under CDM 2015 the client must "where there is, or may be, more than one contractor" appoint in writing, as soon as practicable, a Principal Designer and a Principal Contractor.

    In effect this will mean that a Principal Designer and a Principal Contractor will be required on all commercial construction projects including repair and maintenance operations involving more than one contractor.

    Unlike in CDM 2007 where the client has to 'take reasonable steps to ensure that arrangements made for managing the project', under CDM 2015 the client must make arrangements for managing a project, including the allocation of sufficient time and other resources, that are suitable to allow persons with a duty under the Regulations to ensure that:

  • construction work is carried out so far as is reasonably practicable without risk to the health and safety of any person;
  • the minimum welfare standards are complied with.
  • The duty to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the pre-construction phase of a project is absolute, it is only the duty to ensure that construction work is carried out without risk that is subject to being reasonably practicably.

    The duties to provide information is similar to CDM 2007. In CDM 2015 the client must provide pre-construction information to each designer and contractor who is or might be engaged by the client in relation to a project.

    Unlike in CDM 2007 where the CDM Co-ordinator is the client's advisor and must:

  • give suitable and sufficient advice and assistance to the client on undertaking the measures he needs to take to comply with the Regulations;
  • take all reasonable steps to identify and collect the pre-construction information;
  • under CDM 2015 the Principal Designer must only ensure that assistance is provided to the client in the preparation of the pre-construction information.

    All designers must "not commence work in relation to a project unless satisfied that the client is aware of the client duties under these Regulations" however there is no duty for the Principal Designer or Designers to advise the client.

    In CDM 2007 the client can, as long as they can demonstrate they appointed a competent CDM Co-ordinator and followed their advice, use these actions as to demonstrate compliance with their duties.

    Under CDM 2015, if the advice given by the Principal Designer or the company they recommend is poor, the client cannot automatically use compliance with this advice to demonstrate compliance with their duties.

    There is a new duty under CDM 2015 for the client to take reasonable steps to ensure that the arrangements are maintained and reviewed throughout the project. The client must also ensure that the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor comply with their duties.

    We cannot see how this can be achieved without formal periodic reviews and compliance auditing.

    Given the significance of the client's duties it would seem sensible for clients to have or appoint CDM Advisers to:

  • advise them on their duties;
  • advise on the required pre construction information document;
  • verify that Principal Designers and Principal Contractors have suitable arrangements; and
  • review the arrangements at relevant periods;
  • audit Principal Designers and Principal Contractors.
  • Although the HSE clearly do not intend this to be the outcome, we cannot see why a professional client would not do so given the risks they would be exposed to if any duty holder failure could be traced back to their action or inaction.

    The Principal designer

    Where there is, or may be, more than one contractor the client must appoint in writing, as soon as practicable, a Principal Designer.

    A "Principal Designer" is the designer in control of the pre-construction phase.

    A Principal Designer must plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the preconstruction phase of a project, to ensure that:

  • the project is, so far as is reasonably practicable, carried out without risks to health or safety;
  • foreseeable risks to the health or safety of those constructing, cleaning, maintaining or using a structure are identified and, so far as is reasonably practicable, eliminated or controlled; and
  • designers comply with their duties.
  • The "pre-construction phase" is any period of time during which design or preparatory work is carried out for a project. It can, and usually will last until the end of the construction phase.

    The duty to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the pre-construction phase of a project is absolute, it is only the duty to identify, avoid or reduce risk which is subject to being reasonably practicably.

    A Principal Designer assist the client in the preparation of the pre-construction information and ensure that the information is promptly provided in a convenient form to designers and every contractor who has been or may be appointed by the client.

    The Principal Designer must also ensure that a health and safety file is prepared but once again does not need to do this themselves.

    Their final duties are to ensure the cooperation of all persons working on the project and liaison with the Principal Contractor for the duration of the project.

    They must in particular liaise with the Principal Contractor regarding any information which they may need to prepare the construction phase plan or which may affect the planning and management of the construction work.

    Duties of the Principal Contractor

    The duties of the Principal Contractor under CDM 2015 are very similar to their duties under CDM 2007.

    The Principal Contractor must plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the construction phase to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, construction work is carried out without risks to health or safety.

    A construction phase plan must be drawn up by the Principal Contractor and is required on all projects where there is a Principal Contractor appointed.

    General Requirements for all Construction Sites

    The general requirements under CDM 2015 remain fundamentally the same as those set out in Part 4 of CDM 2007.

    To download a copy of this briefing please click here


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