By
Chris Stops Associates & B P Collins Associates (Posted 24.05.14)

Changes to the Construction Design & Management (CDM) 2007

What do the proposed changes to the Construction Design & Management (CDM) 2007 mean for your business?

The Construction Design & Management regulations were bought in in 1994 to improve health and safety in the construction industry and to enable businesses to focus on the planning and management of risk. These were later revised in 2007 and subsequently are up for consultation by HSE (Health & Safety Executive) with the agreed amendments likely to be implemented in (2015) in April / October.

In a high risk industry such as construction, it’s vital that businesses are up to date on the requirements. Failure to comply could lead to your finished structure being unsafe to use or unsafe to maintain. Perhaps most crucially however is the likelihood of a dangerous or fatal accident if regulations are not followed. Since 2001, more than 760 construction workers have been killed on UK construction sites*, a staggering figure which of course must be prevented at all costs.

Furthermore, failure to follow regulations might mean that your construction project has to be halted, you may face fines from the HSE, or even prosecution which can have devastating consequences on your business’ profitability and growth.

So what changes do you need to know about?

· The new regulations are likely to bring more focus on managing safety issues rather than controlling site safety risks.

· The ACoP (Approved Code of Practice) which has previously had special legal status and provided practical advice for all those involved in construction work will now be abolished and will be replaced by industry written guidance instead.

· The new regulations will now apply to cover temporary workplaces including events and trade shows in line with the EU requirement of the Mobile and Temporary Worksites Directive of 1991.

· The competence and training component of the AcoP will also be abolished; however more useful aspects will be included in the above industry written guidance in order to advise businesses.

· The role of the CDM co-ordinator will be abolished and subsumed into the role and duties of the Client, Principal Designer and the Principal Contractor.

- The client will have enhanced legal duties and be expected to lead projects
- The Principal Designer will be responsible for the pre-construction phase of the project
- The Principal Contractor will be responsible for the construction phase of the project

These proposed changes are likely to have an impact on your business in some way however the interpretation of them may vary depending upon each business’ unique requirements. It’s worth remembering that the CDM regulations are in place to improve health and safety, ensure that the right people are doing the right job at the right time to manage risks on site, and to help focus your focus on the effective management of risk, therefore it’s important getting to grips with them. By working in close partnership with a trusted partner, organisations can be best advised on how to manage risk and ensure compliance with the regulations.

*http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/apr/12/death-richard-laco-britain-builders-safety-construction