CDM 2015: what you need to know

CDM 2015: what you need to know
September 22, 2015

On April 6, 2015, significant changes were made to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, which will affect clients, contractors and designers involved in the planning, management and coordination of construction and engineering projects, outlining legal duties and seeking to improve the health, safety and welfare of the industry.

A six-month transitional period was put in place to allow people time to comply with the new rules, which will bring the UK in line with European Union health and safety at work legislations. By October 6, the changes will be fully implemented, so it’s important to know your responsibilities, whatever your role.

Replacing CDM 2007, CDM 2015 applies to all projects, including domestic work, with an increased emphasis on the role of the client and an aim to simplify the rules to make them clearer to understand.

While CDM 2007 did not affect domestic clients, the rules have now changed. Duties will vary depending on the type of work involved, however it’s crucial for clients to be aware of what is expected of them, to allow early identification of risks which helps to prevent issues once works have begun, such as accidents, delays, additional costs and legal problems. The revised regulations acknowledge that domestic clients must provide important information about a site or building, disclosing the presence harmful substances or materials like asbestos. If you’re aware of an issue, it will be your responsibility to notify contractors before works begin.

Another notable change is the replacement of the CDM coordinator with the new role of principal designer. This person must be appointed by the client and be equipped with the understanding and skills to manage and coordinate the design phase of a project.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must also be informed of any projects in which construction work is likely to last more than 30 working days (with more than 20 people working at the same time), or expected to exceed 500 person days. A construction phase plan must also be in place before work begins, to outline key dates, details of the principal contractor and any other people who will be working on the project, as well as potential hazards.

The changes will have different requirements and implications for clients, contractors and designers, so make sure you’re aware of your duties before the transitional period ends on October 6 and the new regulations become enforced.

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