CDM 2015

CDM 2015

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has now confirmed their intention to implement the new CDM  2015 Regulations in April.

The proposed changes are going to affect the way we work and how projects are delivered. They include;

• Removal of the explicit competence requirement

• Introduction of the domestic Client

• Removal of the CDM Coordinator and placing of their duties with the Principal Designer

• Removal of the Approved Code of Practice (L144) and introduction of dutyholder targeted guidance

• Requirement to have a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor, where there is more than 1 contractor involved in the project.

• Raise the threshold at which the HSE are notified

• Bring the regulations in line with the European directive

We have summarised below, what we believe to be some of the key changes in more detail:

The Principal Designer Role

This is probably the most significant change to the legislation. It involves the removal of the CDM Coordinator and placing their duties with the Lead/Principal Designer.

Design institutions such as the RIBA have expressed concerns about the ability of designers to carry out this role effectively. This has been acknowledged by the HSE; who have stated that the lead designer must have access to competent advice. The HSE expect that this role will be delegated to a competent third party.

Increased Client Duties

The HSE wants Clients to take more ownership for health and safety (H&S) throughout the life of a project, therefore the responsibility for competence assessment requirements, notifying the HSE and duties from the original CDM 2007 will now sit with the client.

This could be challenging for infrequent or first time Clients, as they may fall foul of the legislation without realising it, if their Principal Designer does not provide them with the right advice.

Our experience shows that Clients often want their consultants to assist them in any way possible. As such, we believe it will become commonplace for Clients to request their Principal Designer to carry out Client duties on their behalf.

Domestic Clients

The European directive, upon which the new CDM Regulations have been created, does not differentiate between domestic and non-domestic clients. For the first time Domestic Clients will be have to comply with the regulations.

The key difference for domestic clients is that when they appoint either a designer or contractor, that party will have automatically been ‘deemed’ to undertake these duties for them.

This will have a significant impact on this sector of the industry, which until now has been regulated relatively lightly.

Reduced threshold for appointments

Under CDM 2007 a CDM Coordinator and Principal Contractor are only required where there are 30 days or 500 person days of construction. The threshold for making appointments will be reduced significantly to any project where there will be more than 1 contractor.

Our View

Overall WWA welcome the proposed regulatory change. Placing CDM duties with the lead designer will ensure that H&S is considered from the start of any design work through to completion of the project. It will ensure that Clients receive a building that is safe to construct, use and maintain.

At WWA we are ideally placed to provide advice and assistance on the new regulations to both designers and clients, as we have been heavily involved in the consultation process.

By David Owen, Health & Safety Principal