Proposed Changes to the CDM Regulations

Last month we highlighted the consultation exercise which the HSE has started regarding proposed changes to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Below we compare the main differences to CDM 2007.

During the process of developing the proposed revisions, HSE has also considered:

  • The implementation of the Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD), which concerns the minimum health and safety requirements at temporary or mobile construction sites.
  • The Government’s policy on the implementation of EU Directives.

The UK remains committed to fully implementing EU Directives and the proposed changes to the Regulations will meet that aim.

When compared to CDM 2007, the main changes proposed are as follows:

  • The Regulations will apply to all clients, including domestic clients (regulation 2(1)).
  • For a domestic client, some of the duties under the Regulations will be carried out by the contractor, or the ‘Principal Contractor’ (PC) where there is more than one contractor.
  • The role of the CDM co-ordinator has been omitted and instead a new role of ‘Principal Designer’ (PD) has been created (regulations 2(1) and 9).
  • The duties which were formerly carried out by the CDM co-ordinator will now be carried out by the PD, for example notification to the HSE; provision of pre-construction information; checking the construction phase plan; managing the delivery of the health and safety file.
  • The client’s duty to appoint a PD or PC is triggered where there is more than one contractor (regulation 6), rather than the previous threshold for notification (over 30 days or over 500 person days in duration).
  • The principal contractor and main contractor duties remain the same, but in some instances they may be required to provide a health and safety planning co-ordinator, once appointed, to take over the PD’s duties during the construction phase.
  • The duties of contractors remain largely the same as for CDM 2007.
  • The requirement for specific competences will be removed and replaced with a stipulation for appropriate skills.
  • The Regulations will be structurally simplified, with the intention of making them more accessible.

At Aegis, we are currently assessing the implications of these changes to our clients and fellow construction professionals.

Our initial thoughts are that some designers will not have the knowledge, training or experience to take on the responsibilities of the PD role, as defined in the new regulation 9.

In addition, it is unlikely that a designer will have either the resources or the time to properly carry out this role alongside other design work being done.

We can foresee that there will be a role as ‘Principal Design Co-ordinator’ for an experienced and competent CDM co-ordinator to undertake, appointed either directly by the client or by the design practice.

In our next bulletin we will discuss the potential implications of the proposed changes in more detail.