CDM Regs 2015, are you prepared?

The Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2015 came into force on 6 April 2015, replacing the 2007 Regs.

One of the key changes to the 2015 Regs is the abolition of the role of ‘CDM Co-Ordinator’, replaced by the ‘Principal Designer’ who will be responsible for planning, managing, monitoring and co-ordinating the health and safety matters during the pre-construction phase.

This amendment appears to be led by a desire to make health and safety a priority by placing the responsibility of designing out health and safety risks upon those actually carrying out the design as opposed to freestanding consultants.  The Principal Designer is essentially there to ensure that the project is safely-designed so that the Principal Contractor can safely build.

This amendment is therefore likely to mean an end to a single consultant engaged purely to carry out the CDM role on a project, although most consultants offering this service do so as a ‘bolt on’ service to their main practice in any event.

Before you panic as to your current arrangements, there are transitional arrangements in place within the Regs which mean, for example:

  • if a client has already appointed a CDM Co-Ordinator on a project then it must appoint a Principal Designer by 6 October 2015; but
  • if the project finishes before 6 October then the CDMC simply continues until the end of the project, albeit with slightly revised duties as set out within the 2015 Regs.

The 2015 Regs will of course need to be incorporated into project documentation and the industry standard form contracts will need to be amended accordingly; the JCT has indicated that it will be issuing an update in due course.

Further, those designers who are potentially going to be asked to undertake the role of Principal Designer, and this is likely to affect Architects the most, should seriously consider what this revised role incorporates before agreeing to carry the obligations contained within the Regs.  Designers should also be careful to ensure they notify their insurers of being asked to undertake this role and ensure that they are adequately insured to do so under their current policy.

The Health and Safety Executive has published some helpful and comprehensive guidance on the 2015 Regs on its website.

For Architect’s, the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) has summarised some of the key changes that will affect its members and sought to provide some addition guidance.

For advice in relation to your construction & engineering projects, please contact our team.

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