CDM Regulations

“We have been completely happy with the service provided and would happily use Act again, in fact, we may well be in touch some time soon!”

– Residential Homeowner, Mr Tomlinson

New CDM Regulations Proposed in 2014 or 2015

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to produce revised Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. The HSE has been looking in detail at the existing version of the CDM Regulations since 2009. Its evaluation was completed in May 2011 but reform was delayed in order to take into account the findings of the Löfstedt Review – an independent report on health and safety legislation published in November 2011- and the government’s Red Tape Challenge initiative. The HSE Board has now agreed that work should now start on simplifying and rationalising CDM 2007 and that reform must take into account three important aspects:

  • Work must be based on ‘copy out’ (using exactly the same wording) of the European Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD).
  • Any revision to CDM 2007 must satisfy the requirements of the European Commission to fully implement existing Directives. As it stands, CDM 2007 ‘under-implements’ TMCSD by not including owner occupiers (or ‘domestic’ clients) in the definition of ‘client’ for the purposes of the Regulations.
  • A two-tier industry has emerged as far as health and safety on building sites is concerned, with larger sites making significant progress in improving safety but smaller sites continuing to perform poorly. Small sites are disproportionately represented in the official serious and fatal accident statistics and the challenge to provide an effective regulatory framework for these sites remains substantial.

The Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) of the HSE reports that any revised regulatory package “will be prepared primarily based on the TMCSD but must avoid a reduction in standards, retain those aspects that add value or enhance them, particularly in regulating smaller projects”. It is possible that we will see CDM Regulations change in 2014, but it is more likely to be 2015. With an election in May 2015 it is possible that it may be an October 2015 enactment. We understand the HSE are still planning to hold a 3 month industry consultation period.

Key changes proposed in the draft CDM Regulations 2015 are:

  • Replacing the CDM Co-ordinator (CDMC) role with a Principal Designer responsible for health and safety in the design team (with duties in line with the current CDMC role, but with further control and influence over design). The role can be delivered by an individual or organization.
  • A legal obligation for duty holders to provide information, instruction, training and supervision, which replaces the duty to assess competence. The draft regulations do not specify the minimum standard required for compliance.
  • Construction phase co-ordination duties to remain with the Principal Contractor. But the current proposals do not make any provision for an independent role, as currently provided by the CDMC, to protect the client.
  • Replacement of the ACOP with tailored guidance. No date has been announced for HSE issue of the guidance documents
  • Imposing client duties for domestic projects. These can be transferred to the Principal Designer and/or Principal Contractor.
  • Client must ensure that the Principal Designer for health and safety complies with their duties. Requires the client to be informed and aware of their role and responsibility.
  • Client must ensure that the Principal Contractor complies with their duties. The draft regulations provide no indication as to how compliances are achieved.
  • Amending the notification trigger to 30 days, more than 20 persons on site or 500 man days.
  • Client responsible for notifying HSE of a project (F10 notification).
  • Client required to appoint a Principal Contractor and/or Principal Designer if there will be more than one contractor on site. We understand contractor means ‘’trade’’ and therefore any project with more than one trade on site will require these client appointments. In effect the vast majority of projects.
  • A construction phase plan will be required for all projects. The draft regulations do not require a review or indicate the plan’s contents.
  • Responsibility for ensuring the functions of the Principal Designer for health and safety are met will rest with an individual or business in charge of the pre-construction phase. The role of Principal Designer will lie within the project team. The Principal Designer for health and safety will be responsible for planning, managing and monitoring the pre-construction phase in the same way that the Principal Contractor is responsible for planning, managing and monitoring the construction phase.

Our experience has shown that clients value an independent and impartial co-ordinator. It’s anticipated that many clients and large contractors will continue to use a construction health and safety risk specialist (currently the CDMC) as has been the case in Ireland since their revised regulations in 2012.