A glance at the key changes proposed in the 2015 draft CDM regulations

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently published its draft guidance on the Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations for 2015, which are set to come into effect on April 6th, 2015.

The new guidelines will have an impact on the work of all architects, whether they are the lead designer on a specific project or contributing to development in any way.

While still subject to parliamentary approval, some of the key changes stated in the regulations that will affect architects are as follows:

Changing roles

The CDM Coordinator position (CDMC) is to be replaced with a Principal Designer. The CDMC has, since it was introduced in 2007, more often than not been contracted out. The Principal Designer, however, will be someone from within the project design team.

A Principal Designer will have the responsibility of coordinating the project at the pre-construction phase. The RIBA recommends that the Principal Designer role is taken on by the architect or lead designer of a project.

Essential reporting

Under the proposed regulations, both commercial and domestic projects must report to the HSE if the planned work on site is set to last longer than 30 working days, as well when there are more than 20 workers on the site simultaneously at any point or if the project exceeds 500 person days.

The Approved Code of Practice and guidance issued for the 2007 CDM regulations will be replaced with new tailored guidelines from the HSE. Draft guidance for Designers, Principal Designers, Principal Contractors, Contractors, and Clients has been published by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

H&S compliance

The Principal Contractor will have the main authority for health and safety matters once work has commenced on site. The Principal Designer role is only necessary until the design work has been completed. Once this is the case, it is the Principal Designer’s responsibility to ensure that the Principal Contractor is aware of any risks relating to the project.

Transition arrangements will be put in place with the implementation of the new regulations. If a CDMC has already been appointed for projects, a replacement Principal Designer must be in place by 6th October, 2015, unless of course the project is completed before then.

The RIBA has recommended that all architects read and get to know the draft guidance on the proposed regulations. The Legal (L) Series guidance is available on the HSE website.

The 2015 CDM draft is an update to the 2007 regulations, with it being intended to bring UK health and safety management in line with European standards.

Posted by Mark
April 5, 2015

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