Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM)

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The 2015 Construction Design and Management Regulations

The CDM Regulations have made a significant impact on the construction industry as injury rates have continued to fall over the last 20 years. However, construction still remains a high risk industry and although it accounts for only 5% of the employees in Britain, it accounted for 31% of fatal injuries to employees and 10% of reported major/specified injuries (Health and Safety Statistics)Clearly we must continue to do more in this industry to eliminate and manage the risks such that we protect the lives of those working in the industry and those impacted by construction activities.

Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM)

CDM 2007 continued to bring change to the industry and followed on from the original CDM Regulations introduced in 1994. As from the 6th April 2015, the new CDM Regulations came into force replacing the CDM 2007 Regulations. This change was driven by the EU to bring the UK’s health and safety management system fully in line with the EU Directive 92/57/EEC on ‘Temporary & Mobile Construction Sites’, first published in 1992.

Please click on the link to view the 2015 CDM guidance.

As a Design and Project Management Company,  PM Group are extremely well placed to support our clients through the process of migrating from the CDM 2007 to the CDM 2015 Regulations. Key changes to Regulations included the removal of the CDM Coordinator and increased responsibility for the Client and the Principal Designer, (a new duty holder in the 2015 Regulations).

The good news is that PM Group are able to support these duty holders with advice and assistance in complying with the revised CDM regulations and many of the other important regulations that help keep construction sites safe. PM Group have always adopted CDM as best practice and will continue to influence other industries to adopt a safer way of working. As RoSPA Award Winners since 2001, we are committed to managing, promoting and enhancing Health and Safety in the construction industry and the protection of the Environment.

CDM 2015 has had an impact on the industry, as does most change, however change in this case can be seen as a positive. 

The following duty holder roles are summarised from the CONIAC (Construction Industry Advisory Committee) guidance which is freely available to download.

  • Clients – CDM 2015 defines a Client as anyone for whom a construction project is carried out. Unlike CDM 2007, the new regulations apply to both domestic and commercial Clients. A commercial Client is an organisation or individual for whom a construction project is carried out in connection with a business, whether the business operates for profit or not. Examples of commercial Clients are schools, retailers and landlords.

You are a domestic Client if you are having work carried out which is not connected with running a Business. Usually, this means arranging for work to be carried out on the property where you or a family member lives.

  • Principal Designers – New to CDM 2015. The Principal Designer must be a designer on the project and be in a position to have control over the design and planning stage.

The Principal Designer will usually be an organisation or, on smaller projects, an individual with:

  1. Technical knowledge of the construction industry, relevant to the project
  2. Understanding of how health and safety is managed through the design process
  3. Skills to be able to oversee health and safety during the pre-construction phase of the project and the ongoing design.

The Principal Designer needs to have good relationships with the Client and Principal Contractor and it is also essential for them to establish good relationships with other designers working on the project. This is the arrangement for the majority of projects. The Client is not required to appoint a Principal Designer or Principal Contractor if there is only one contractor engaged on the project.

  • Designers – A designer is an organisation or individual that prepares or modifies a design for any part of a construction project, including the design of temporary works, or who arranges or instructs someone else to do it.

‘Designers’ can be architects, consulting engineers, interior designers, temporary work engineers, chartered surveyors, technicians, specifiers, Principal Contractors and specialist contractors.

You could also be carrying out design even if you would normally not identify yourself as a Designer. An example would be if you are a Client or contractor specifying a particular roof system, deciding what size joists to use or selecting a type of window. Manufacturers supplying standardised products for use in any construction project are not designers. However, the person who selects the product is a Designer and must take account of Health and Safety issues arising from the installation and use of those products.

In situations where a product is required to be purpose-built (bespoke), then the person who prepares the specification or drawings is a designer and so is the manufacturer who develops the specification into a detailed design.

  • Principal Contractors – The Principal Contractor is the contractor in overall charge of the construction phase. They are appointed by the Client and there should only be one Principal Contractor for a project at any one time. The term project in this guide is used to describe any construction, building, infrastructure repair or maintenance work, whether on a fixed or transient site.

The Principal Contractor must be capable of carrying out the role and have the right skills, knowledge, training and experience. This will depend upon the nature of the work and the range and nature of health and safety risks involved.

The principal contactor is normally a contractor so will also have contractor duties. (They may be Principal Contractor on some projects) and a contractor on others.

  • Contractors – A contractor may be an individual, a sole trader, a self-employed worker or a business who carries out, manages or controls construction work in connection with a business.

Anyone who directly engages construction workers or manages construction work is a contractor. This includes companies that use their own workforce to do construction work on their own premises.

The duties on contractors apply whether their workers are employees, self-employed or agency workers.

  • Workers – A ’worker’ is anyone who carries out work during the construction, alteration, maintenance or demolition of a building or structure. A worker could be, for example, a plumber, electrician, scaffolder, painter, decorator, steel erector, as well as those supervising the work, such as foreman and chargehands.

In addition to working alongside our Clients, PM Group have been active in the consultation process for the 2015 CDM Regulations. This means that our advice on procedural and documentation issues is comprehensive and well developed. This covers areas such as:

CDM Compliance and Training

A PM Group CDM compliance audit can  provide Clients with an objective third party view of their company’s strengths and weaknesses in this area. This audit has a two stage approach, information gathering followed by a detailed report. If changes are recommended, the PM Group team can assist with the implementation measures. Beyond the understanding of the CDM regulations lies a need for a safety driven business culture. PM Group can support learning programmes through a number of different techniques such as;

  • CDM mentoring for construction staff and those who have a vested interest in the success of the project
  • Advice and assistance with contractor appraisal, for example the requirements of PAS91
  • Advice and support on the Design Risk Management Process
  • Assist the Client, and where applicable the Principal Designer, with their duty to provide relevant information at the earliest opportunity. (This is known as Pre-Construction Information).
  • The development of the Health and Safety File
  • CDM Awareness Training.

Health, Safety and Enivronmental Compliance

Worker protection and the protection of the environment are key to every business and none so more than our own. PM Group are proud of the fact that to date we have won 21 consecutive RoSPA Gold Awards, which has culminated in our seventh ‘Order of Distinction’ Award, based on our excellent Health and Safety performance and our ability to manage projects. Areas which we offer advice on to other businesses include:-

  • The suitability of the Construction Phase Plan
  • Welfare Arrangements
  • Construction Site Safety Auditing
  • The effectiveness of the Safe System of Work such as the Risk Assessments, Method Statements, COSHH Assessment, Lifting Studies, (Are they suitable for the planned work and is the risk being managed effectively)?
  • Assistance with the management of Waste (industry best practice, previously known as Site Waste Management Plans).

Links to other useful web sites