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CDM REGULATIONS 2015: DEMANDING ROLES FOR ALL

cooperation2New project H&S obligations remain on course for April 2015

IMPORTANT UPDATE JANUARY 2015: Regulations now published

The HSE supported Industry Guidance on the CDM Regulations 2015 is scheduled to be made available on the HSE website in early January 2015.

We should remember that ‘legislation’ NOT ‘guidance’ sets out the actions required so the best place to start understanding obligations is with the forthcoming CDM Regulations 2015.

In recent months we have explored some of the changes contained in CDM Regulations 2015. The changes summarised below indicate that all involved with construction projects face more demanding responsibilities.

Domestic project builders and architects – new duties

New responsibilities for managing construction projects will fall to “domestic clients” i.e. those who procure extensions etc. for their own homes. These domestic clients were excluded under CDM 2007.

However, the impact on domestic clients will be eased by ‘deeming’ that either an appointed building contractor or designer e.g. project architect, will be responsible for the domestic client project management and coordination responsibilities.

Where there is no more than one contractor working on a domestic project at any time the contractor will be required to take the following actions:

  • Arrangements – for safety management and acceptable welfare;
  • Review – maintain and review those arrangements throughout the project;
  • Information – provide Pre-Construction Information to designers and others;
  • H&S Plan – draw up a Construction Phase Plan; and
  • Inform – notify larger projects to HSE.

These responsibilities are in addition to specific contractor duties included in the proposals.

Where it is foreseeable that more than one contractor will be working on a project the domestic client will be required to appoint a ‘Principal Designer’ (PD) and a ‘Principal Contractor’ (PC). If the domestic client fails to make these appointments they will be deemed to fall to the first designer and first contractor appointed.

Domestic clients are unlikely will make the required appointments and these new duties will most likely fall to the project architect (PD) and main contractor (PC).

Further details

CDM-PD duties go beyond those of CDM-C

The current CDM 2007 Coordinator (CDM-C) duties will become the responsibility of architect practices or other designers appointed as ‘Principal Designer’ (CDM-PD). HSE estimated that 1 million additional small projects will require the appointment of a PD each year.

The CDM-PD will be required to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the project pre-construction phase to ensure:

  • project is carried out without risks to health or safety;
  • pre-construction information preparation and provision;
  • identification, elimination, or control of foreseeable risks;
  • cooperation of all persons working on the project;
  • compliance of all designers with their duties;
  • preparation and revision of a health safety file; and
  • liaison with principal contractor e.g. information for construction phase plan

These wide-ranging CDM-PD responsibilities include both ‘design’ and other ‘preparatory’ work embracing a ‘management’ role beyond the current CDM-C function.

Further details

CDM-PC responsibilities extended

The Principal Contractor (CDM-PC) duties under CDM 2015 will extend PC legal responsibility for the construction work carried out by contractors working on a project.

The CDM-PC duty under CDM 2007 is to:

“plan, manage and monitor the construction phase in a way which ensures that, so far as is reasonably practicable, it is carried out without risks to health or safety”

By contrast the key duty of contractors under CDM 2007 is to:

“plan, manage and monitor construction work carried out by him or under his control in a way which ensures that, so far as is reasonably practicable, it is carried out without risks to health and safety”

Under CDM 2015 the distinction between PC accountability for the ‘construction phase’ and contractor accountability for ‘construction work’ will effectively be removed and the PC will become more strictly accountable for contractor ‘work’ and any offences, or charges, arising from those failings.

The proposal would reduce the ability to the PC to defend prosecutions or fee for interventions charges on the basis that the contraventions were solely or primarily those of the contractor.

Further details

CDM Designer duty more absolute

The main legal responsibility of designers under CDM 2007 requires that designers seek to avoid foreseeable risk during design.

This duty is heavily qualified and can be “performed so far as is reasonably practicable, taking due account of other relevant design considerations.”

Under the new regulation the qualification “taking due account of other relevant design considerations” has been deleted with the effect of making the designer duty far more absolute.

Further details

Useful Links

We have published many other posts on how the requirements of CDM Regulations 2015 can be met by Clients, Designers, Principal Designers/Contractors and Contractors.

CLICK HERE to view the full range of free information available.

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