CDM Regulations 2015: Are you prepared?

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On 6 April 2015, the new CDM Regulations 2015 came into force. This article contains a brief description of some of the key changes and the transitional provisions that will phase in the Regulations.

On 6 April 2015, the new CDM Regulations 2015 (the Regulations) came into force. A copy of the Regulations and guidance are available here. Any building contracts that are entered into on or after 6 April 2015 will be subject to the Regulations. If a building contract has been entered into before 6 April 2015 then the transitional provisions in the Regulations will apply. This article contains a brief description of some of the key changes and the transitional provisions that will phase in the Regulations.

Key Changes

1. Principal Designer
Where there is more than one trade contractor, then under Regulation 5, the Client must appoint in writing a Principal Designer and a Principal Contractor. This must be done as soon as is practicable and before the construction phase. If the Client fails to make the appointments, the Client must fulfil the duties of both.

The role of Principal Designer will replace the role of CDM co-ordinator. Unlike a CDM co-ordinator, a Principal Designer will have to ensure CDM compliance not only throughout the construction phase but also during the design phase. The obligations on the Principal Designer are set out in Regulation 11.

2. Notification to Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Under Regulation 6(1)(a) there is change to the requirement for notification to the HSE. A project is now notifiable to HSE if construction work on a construction site is scheduled to exceed 30 construction days with 20 or more workers working simultaneously, or if the project exceeds 500 person days.

3. Duties of Client
Regulation 4 places increased obligations on the Client to ensure that the contractor (or Principal Contractor) and the Principal Designer carry out their duties. This includes ensuring that the construction phase plan is drawn up and that a health and safety file is prepared. A Client must also provide pre-construction information as soon as is practicable to every designer and contractor appointed.

A Client also has an ongoing obligation to ensure that the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor comply with their respective requirements:

  • For a Principal Designer – Regulations 11 and 12
  • For a Principal Contractor – Regulations 12 to 14

4. Replacement of the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP)
In the introduction of the draft guidance it is stated that the current Approved Code of Practice is withdrawn. However, it is proposed that a mini ACoP will be published after the legislation comes into effect on 6 April 2015. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have also published industry guidance on the application of the Regulations which can be accessed here.

Transitional provisions

There will be a transitional period that will run from 6 April 2015 to 6 October 2015 to phase in the Regulations.

Under Regulation 37:

  • If a project commences before 6 April 2015, and the Client has not appointed a CDM Co-ordinator, the Client must appoint a Principal Designer as soon as is practicable, if the construction phase has not started.
  • If the construction phase of a project has started before 6 April 2015 and a CDM Co-ordinator is in place, the Client is not required to appoint a Principal Designer.
  • If before 6 April 2015, the Client has appointed a CDM co-ordinator, then they must appoint a Principal Designer by 6 October unless the project has come to an end prior to this date.

If a project commences prior to 6 April 2015 and the project is expected to continue beyond 6 October 2015, consideration should be given to the role of CDM Co-ordinator after this date. Due to the more onerous duties of the Principal Designer, it is possible that this role cannot be performed by the CDM Co-ordinator; therefore any new appointments should specifically deal with the termination of the CDM Co-ordinator and how these duties will be fulfilled after 6 October 2015.

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