The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force in Great Britain on 6 April 2015. These Regulations supersede the CDM Regs 2007. They set out what people involved in construction work need to do to protect themselves from harm and anyone the work affects.
Whatever your role in construction, CDM aims to improve health and safety in the industry by helping you to:
- sensibly plan the work so the risks involved are managed from start to finish
- have the right people for the right job at the right time
- cooperate and coordinate your work with others
- have the right information about the risks and how they are being managed
- communicate this information effectively to those who need to know
- consult and engage with workers about the risks and how they are being managed
- CDM 2015 is subject to certain transitional arrangements, for construction projects that began before 6 April 2015 and continue beyond that date.
Virtually everyone involved in a construction project has legal duties under CDM 2015. These ‘dutyholders’ are defined as follows.
Client – Anyone who has construction work carried out for them. The main duty for clients is to make sure their project is suitably managed, ensuring the health and safety of all who might be affected by the work, including members of the public. CDM 2015 recognises two types of client:
- commercial clients have construction work carried out as part of their business. This could be an individual, partnership or company and includes property developers and companies managing domestic properties
- domestic clients have construction work carried out for them but not in connection with any business – usually work done on their own home or the home of a family member. CDM 2015 does not require domestic clients to carry out client duties as these normally pass to other dutyholders
Designer – An organisation or individual whose work involves preparing or modifying designs, drawings, specifications, bills of quantity or design calculations. Designers can be architects, consulting engineers and quantity surveyors, or anyone who specifies and alters designs as part of their work. They can also include tradespeople if they carry out design work. The designer’s main duty is to eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during construction work, or in the use and maintenance of the building once built. Designers work under the control of a principal designer on projects with more than one contractor.
Principal designer – A designer appointed by the client to control the pre-construction phase on projects with more than one contractor. The principal designer’s main duty is to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety during this phase, when most design work is carried out.
Principal contractor – A contractor appointed by the client to manage the construction phase on projects with more than one contractor. The principal contractor’s main duty is to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety during this phase, when all construction work takes place.
Contractor – An individual or business in charge of carrying out construction work (eg building, altering, maintaining or demolishing). Anyone who manages this work or directly employs or engages construction workers is a contractor. Their main duty is to plan, manage and monitor the work under their control in a way that ensures the health and safety of anyone it might affect (including members of the public). Contractors work under the control of the principal contractor on projects with more than one contractor.
Worker – An individual who actually carries out the work involved in building, altering, maintaining or demolishing buildings or structures. Workers include: plumbers, electricians, scaffolders, painters, decorators, steel erectors and labourers, as well as supervisors like foremen and chargehands. Their duties include cooperating with their employer and other dutyholders, reporting anything they see that might endanger the health and safety of themselves or others. Workers must be consulted on matters affecting their health, safety and welfare.
CDM 2015 recognises that there will be construction projects that start before the Regulations come into force on 6 April 2015 and continue beyond that date. For these projects, the following transitional arrangements apply.
Where there is, or is expected to be, more than one contractor on a project:
- where the construction phase has not yet started and the client has not yet appointed a CDM co-ordinator, the client must appoint a principal designer as soon as practicable
- if the CDM co-ordinator has already been appointed the client must appoint a principal designer to replace the CDM co-ordinator by 6 October 2015, unless the project comes to an end before then
- in the period it takes to appoint the principal designer, the appointed CDM co-ordinator should comply with the duties contained in Schedule 4 of CDM 2015. These reflect the duties placed on CDM co-ordinators under CDM 2007 rather than requiring CDM co-ordinators to act as principal designers, a role for which they may not be equipped
Other transitional arrangements are:
- pre-construction information, construction phase plans or health and safety files provided under CDM 2007 are recognised as meeting the equivalent requirements in CDM 2015
- any project notified under CDM 2007 is recognised as a notification under CDM 2015
- a principal contractor appointed under CDM 2007 will be considered to be a principal contractor under CDM 2015
In all other circumstances, the requirements of CDM 2015 apply in full from 6 April 2015.