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Without a doubt, the new CDM 2015 regulations have caused quite a stir in the construction industry and even 'small' contractors' have had to sit up, take note and make changes!

CDM 2015 - what's new?
The CDM (Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 aim to reduce the risks on constructions sites and make them safer for everyone. CDM2015 is effective from 6 April 2015. For projects that started before then, transitional arrangements apply for six months.
 
What is CDM 2015 about?
CDM 2015 applies to all construction work. The Regulations set out the requirements for managing health and safety on construction PROJECTS. A project is more than a construction site – and can apply to anything from a kitchen cupboard, tree planting and marquee erection to new-builds, demolition and even the HS2 rail project.
 
What stays broadly the same as the old CDM 2007 Regulations?
• Application to all projects
• Role of the Principal Contractor
• Part 4 technical standards for construction sites – only minor tweaks
• Schedule 2 – welfare requirements
• Co-ordinators for H&S in the pre- and construction phases.
 
The provisions from 2007 that have worked well, are embedded and understood by industry, have remained in place. HSE will also maintain their proportionate enforcement on site, tracking back to clients and designers where standards on site are consistently failing. The regulations make it clearer for duty holders to understand their roles and duties, and for all duty holders to be held accountable for the conditions on site.
 
Outline of Main changes:
• Simplified structure
• Client – greater responsibility
• Domestic client exemption – removed
• CDM co-ordinator role - removed
• Principal Designer role (PD) – introduced
• ‘Competence’ – removed in its current form
• Construction phase plan now required for all projects
• Threshold for appointments – where there is more than 1 contractor
• Notification is a stand-alone requirement – not trigger point for additional duties
 
Duty holders – Clients:
Clients are the head of the procurement chain and the major influence on project standards and culture. As the project is for the benefit of the client, it is only right that they are involved. The client is not expected to take an active role in managing the work, but must make arrangements for managing the project such as:
 
• assembling the project team, ensuring those appointed have the right skills, knowledge and experience for the job depending on the complexity of the project, ensuring their roles, functions and responsibilities are clear
• ensuring sufficient resources and time are allocated
• ensuring mechanisms are in place for the project team to communicate and co-operate
• taking reasonable steps to ensure the Principal Designer (PD) and Principal Contractor (PC) comply with their duties
• providing pre-construction information
 
If the client fails to make the relevant appointments the duties must be undertaken by the client.
 
The Client’s Principals:
The client’s principals are the Principal Designer and the Principal Contractor, and co-ordination between them all is key to a successful project. The PD and PC have equivalent and related roles for liaison and exchange of information during both the design and build stages of a project. The PD is responsible for all the pre-construction phase and any design work wherever it happens throughout the life of the project, which could overlap into the construction phase as well.
 
Duty holders – Principal Designer (PD):
The CDM Co-ordinator role has been removed and the role of Principal Designer has been created. This is not a direct replacement for the role, although the PD will carry out many of the functions previously carried out by a CDM-c. The key role of the PD is to act as a conduit for information flow. The PD has to:
 
• plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate the pre-construction phase – gathering information such as ground surveys, structural surveys, asbestos surveys etc.
• ensure designers comply with their duties
• co-operate with and support the client in providing Pre-Construction Information
 
Duty holders – Principal Contractor (PC):
The PC should:
 
• manage and co-ordinate the construction side of the project
• liaise with the PD throughout the construction phase on matters such as changes to the designs and the implications those changes may have for managing the health and safety risks
• provide information to the PD relevant to the Health and Safety file.
• effectively engage and communicate with the workforce by means of toolbox talks, meetings etc., to show leadership
• have a strong grasp of what is needed in any given situation.
 
Pro-activity rather than re-activity is crucial to identifying issues early and resolving them quickly. Leaders should go out to site, look for the issues, seek information and search for ways to improve the business.
 
Duty holders – Designer
Designer duties remain similar to those in CDM 2007. Additional requirements include:
 
• Reduce or control risks through the design process and provide risk information with design drawings
• Refer risks that cannot be reduced or controlled through design to the PD
• Clear hierarchy for design risk management
 
Designers will now be expected to consider health and safety at the design stage.
 
Duty holders – Contractor
Their responsibilities are very similar to before. The PC is a contractor first and then a principal contractor after that. The Contractor has a duty to:
 
• look for corporate bodies with organisational capability, relevant policies, structures and safe systems in place
• comply with the directions given by the PD and PC
• draw up the Construction Phase Plan, even if they are the only contractor on site, and should appoint individuals who have - or are in the process of obtaining - the necessary skills, knowledge, training and education.
 
This is not about card schemes, but about getting the right people, with the right skills for the job. One of the biggest downfalls of CDM 2007 has been the proliferation of card schemes which consisted of short multiple choice tests rather than full instruction and training. In this regard, an NVQ is preferable to card schemes as it demonstrates workplace learning.
 
CDM Construction Phase Plan
These will now be expected for all reasonably sized projects, and will apply to smaller sites. A draft template CPP has been produced for use by small contractors when working for domestic clients. It covers the basic requirements for a CPP, including information about who is involved in the work, and how the main risks will be managed. The aim is to get small contractors to think about the work and potential hazards before the job commences. This template is available via www.hse.gov.uk and a phone application.
 
Summing Up
• CDM 2015 changes focus onto management of risk by duty holders
• Technical standards unchanged
• Strengthen client role
• Domestic clients – duties taken by PD and PC
• CPP required for all projects
• Embed better standard of involvement with workforce
• Changes to notifications
• Working with industry to get the message out

• Clearer and easier to hold all duty holders to account