HSE on track to implement CDM changes by April 2015
The Health and Safety Executive has insisted it is on track to bring far reaching changes to the Construction Design and Management Regulations (commonly known as the CDM Regulations) into law by April 2015 – the last opportunity to pass new legislation before next year’s General Election.
The CDM Regulations are aimed at improving the overall management and co-ordination of health, safety and welfare throughout all stages of a construction project, reducing the large number of serious and fatal accidents which happen every year in the construction industry.
The HSE are currently consulting on changing the regulations to include a number of key changes to Clients, Consultants and Contractors.
These changes include:
- Simplification of the rules
- Removal of the Approved Code of Practice, replaced with Target Guidance
- Replacement of the CDMC with a Principal Designer Role
- Removing the requirement for Individual and Corporate Competence,
- Clarification of Client Duties on Residential Properties, and
- Amendments to the notification requirements
The Consultation closed in early June 2014 and all responses are now with the HSE for consideration.
The following consideration points stood out:
- Removal of the Approved Code of Practice – This document is currently used as a guidance document for all parties to navigate the CDM process. The likely removal of this document, which is yet unknown, may create confusion for clients on their roles and responsibilities.
- The replacement of the CDM Co-ordinator (CDMC) with a Principal Designer, removes the traditional role of the CDMC and aims to provide an individual or group of individuals more control of the design process, by placing one of the team members as the Principal Designer.
- The inclusion of greater responsibility on residential work. This is likely to put greater responsibility on residential property owners when they commission work, to make sure that they are undertaken safely, as they are likely to be considered a client under the CDM regulations.
The aim is to reduce costs and allow for greater engagement of the Principal Designer in the design process. This if developed successfully could be of benefit to clients, but a word of caution will be when selecting the Principal Designer this needs to be considered carefully. The role may vary from scheme to scheme, dependent on the type of scheme that is being progressed.