Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015

The Health and Safety Executive have published their draft L-Series Guidance to the proposed new CDM Regulations on 9th January 2015.
It is anticipated, subject to Government approval, that these new regulations will come into force on 6th April 2015.

The principal changes are as follows:

  • Strengthening of Client duties;
  • Introduction of Domestic Clients;
  • Replacement of CDM Coordinator by a Principal Designer for the planning, managing, monitoring and coordination of pre-construction phase health and safety. See Salus’ new Principal Design Consultant (PDC) (link to CDM sub-page ‘Principal Design Consultant’) services;
  • Principal Designer and Principal Contractor will be required on all projects where there will be more than one contractor working on the project;
  • Replacement of explicit requirement for dutyholder competence with need for appropriate Information, Instruction, Training & Supervision;
  • Change to the HSE’s Notification level – now only required for projects lasting more than 30 days and involving more than 20 workers simultaneously.

Summary of main changes:

Principal Designer

One area of particular concern is the new Principal Designer (PD) role which will replace the existing CDM Coordinator position. The PD is expected to be a client appointment from within the design team, for example the Architect, Structural Engineer or Services Engineer.

The PD will be responsible for:

  • Eliminating or controlling risk throughout the design phase
  • Ensuring that the Principal Contractor (PC) is kept updated
  • Ensuring that a Construction Phase Plan (CPP) is prepared
  • Assisting the client with the preparation of the CPP
  • Make certain that designers comply with their duties
  • Preparing the Health and Safety File

How the PD is expected to carry out these additional duties remains unclear. Training existing design staff is one option although many expect the PD role will be sub-contracted out to a specialist.

What is clear to Salus is that PD’s will need a support mechanism to meet their obligations when the changes are enforced, which is one of the reasons why at Salus we are offering our CDM specialist services by acting as their Principal Design Consultant (PDC) to help PDs fulfil their duties and comply with the new legislation.

Removal of the domestic client exemption

Domestic clients have no responsibilities currently under CDM 2007. The HSE is proposing to remove the exemption as it breaks the EU Directive. This has led to concerns over small contractors, who only carry domestic works, being subject to new complex regulations which they will have to get to grips with in a short space of time.

Recognising that this change needs to be proportionate, the HSE has recommended that duties placed on domestic clients are taken on by the contractor (or Principal Contractor).

Replacement of the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP)

Following the consultation which took place on August 13th, the HSE is planning a partial reversal of its plan to abandon the Approved Code of Practice when it implements the CDM Regulations 2015, and now intends to publish a slim line version to accompany the new Regulations at a later date.

The HSE had planned to remove the ACOP, which gives practical advice on implementing CDM 2007, in favour of industry-written guidance. This plan was included in the consultation documents published on 1 April. But an HSE board paper addressing the outcomes of that consultation, makes it clear that the HSE is now proposing to produce a short “signposting” version of the ACOP.

The switch seems to be partly in response to support for the ACOP in the consultation, and partly out of acknowledgment of industry fears that the interlinked pieces of guidance might not be written in time.

Structural simplification of the Regulations

The HSE proposes to simplify the structure of the Regulations to make them clearer and easier to understand. This is largely aimed at small to medium projects which tend to use SME companies. It is claimed that SME companies generally find the current Regulations difficult to understand and follow.

Raising the threshold for notification of projects.

The requirement to notify the HSE about projects expected to last more than 30 days or involve more than 500 person-days of labour will be replaced by a requirement to notify projects involving “more than 30 working days and more than 20 workers simultaneously”. However this will not be the trigger for the appointment of a PC or PD which has been the case to date. Instead, a project with more than one contractor will initiate the allocation of a PC or PD.

Managing the Transition

Many of you will be pleased to hear that the HSE is now proposing a ‘crossover’ period of six months for projects under construction when the revised Regulations come into effect. For a substantial majority of projects it will subsequently be possible to continue with a CDM co-ordinator until their co-ordination function is no longer required, subject to a six month limit. This will significantly reduce transitional costs for these projects.

Managing the transition from CDM 2007 to 2015 is still however expected to present a number challenges for constructions companies, who will need to ensure that the new regulations are enforced to guarantee compliance. Salus will therefore be offering a specialist consultancy package for companies that require a CDM 2015 implementation plan specifically tailored for their business.

In the meantime, CITB have published the draft Industry guidance documents. The guidance documents have been produced for the five CDM dutyholders and one for construction workers.

These documents set out, in practical terms, what actions are required of them to deliver a safe and healthy construction project and have been written with small businesses in mind.

It should be noted that the new proposed Regulations and supporting guidance documents are all in draft form before they come into force and may be subject to minor changes. They do however offer duty holders the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the HSE’s main requirements before they come into force in April 2015.

Would you like further information and advice for your project? Contact us on 01978 290950 and ask for Wayne Jones, our CDM specialist.

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