CDM Changes - what to expect

10 June, 2015
Pat Perry

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

Pat Perry qualified as an environment health officer in 1978, and went on to establish her own environmental health consultancy, (PSN) in 1988. In 2013 PSN joined Acoura, and Pat is now a non-executive Director with Acoura Consulting. Pat has been providing consultancy services since the first Construction Design & Management (CDM) regulations came into force in 1994, and has since then written 3 books regarding the CDM regulations.

Here she outlines some of the main changes to the 2015 CDM Regulations

"CDM are the main set of regulations that govern the Health & Safety of construction projects, to ensure that the number of major accidents on construction sites continues to reduce.

The regulations are aimed at anyone who commissions a construction project (the client), and the new regulations outline specific roles for the Designer, contractor and anyone involved in the project. Clients in particular have specific responsibilities to provide information to all duty holders and must ensure that health and safety is effectively managed throughout the construction cycle. They cannot abdicate this responsibility.

One of the key changes with the 2015 Regulations, which came into force on April 6, 2015, is that they will now apply to domestic projects, previously only commercial construction was government by CDM, now any client commissioning a construction project, from a refurbishment to a new build must comply.

The creation of a new duty holder, the Principal Designer, is another key change. This person is essentially in charge of all the pre planning for H&S for the job, and for the collation of the Health and Safety File with the Principal Contractor responsible for health and safety on site to the completion of the project. These are duties that previously the CDM Co-ordinator would have carried out.

Even 'one-man band' domestic contractors will legally have to produce a written safety plan for each project they undertake. HSE have templates available that may help with this.

The new regulations came into force on April 6, 2015, and there is a transition period of six months for existing projects. Penalties for non-compliance are huge. As well as having to deal with serious accidents, or even fatalities, cost implications include downtime on projects while any investigation is ongoing, as well as the threat of unlimited fines for non-compliance. Reputational damage is also at risk and I suspect there will be a big possibility of civil proceedings where fatalities or very serious accidents are concerned. I think there will be also an increase in enforcement of the regulations, and any client needs to be properly prepared to ensure that they have thought about the hazards and risks associated with a refurbishment or construction project."

Simone Harris-Stevens, CDM Client Account Manager for Acoura explains how they can help companies to comply with CDM 2015:

"With regards to CDM 2015, Acoura aims to act in two ways: firstly acting as an advisor to the client and principal designers, helping them understand and action their duties, as well as providing general assistance and expertise.

The Principal Designer should be educated in their role within the new regulations and we can help them through this process with training, guidance and help to complete specific tasks.

For more information, and to find out how Acoura can help you comply with CDM 2015, contact us on 0330 024 0255, info@acoura.com, www.acoura.com

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