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The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into effect on 6 April 2015. They superceded the CDM Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) and place emphasis on Client responsibility for the life of a construction project. They apply to most building, civil engineering and engineering construction work. They now apply to domestic house projects.

What is CDM

The CDM Regulations aim to improve the overall management and co-ordination of health and safety and welfare throughout the life of a construction project to reduce the annual number of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. There are duties placed on clients, designers and contractors. CDM 2015 places liability for the project on the Client, Principal Designer and Principal Contractor.

Where does CDM 2015 Apply?

In summary, to all projects. However, projects of more than 30 days duration employing twenty or more simultaneously on site, or 500 man days must be notified to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  The F10 form, notifying the HSE of the project, must now be completed and sent to the HSE, by the Client.

If there is only one contractor on the project a Health and Safety Plan is not required.  The responsibility for production of the health and safety file on larger projects rests with the Principal Designer.  The Client must ensure that the Principal Designer prepares the file in co-operation with the Principal Contractor.  The Principal Designer must ensure that the file is reviewed, updated and revised as required.  At the end of the project the Project Designer must pass the file to the Client.  The Client must retain the Health and Safety file and ensure it is available for any subsequent construction work on the building.  If the Client disposes of their interest in the building they must provide the file to anyone who takes on the client duties.

Risk must be managed (and designed out if it all possible) on any size project and other health and safety legislation must not be ignored. This includes “Work at Height Regulations” 2005, “The Control of Asbestos Regulations” 2012, “Control of Substances Hazardous to Health” COSHH, “The Control of Lead at Work Regulations” 2002, and the “Health and Safety at Work Regulations” 1974 under which subsequent health and safety legislation was made.

CDM 2015 is part of the planning and management of the project from design and specification stage, the compilation of the construction phase plan, health and safety file, the appointment of a suitable principal contractor, the work on site and completion of the project.  The Client must work with the Principal Designer first on the pre-construction information.  This will include the Client checking what documents are already in their possession that will be relevant to the project.  For example, an existing health and safety plan from an earlier project, or, an asbestos survey.  There must be an agreement to fill in any ‘gaps’ or missing information so that sufficient information can be provided to designers and contractors.

CDM 2015 applies to domestic projects where the work is carried out on the client’s behalf.  If the client carries out the work it is classed as DIY and CDM 2015 does not apply.   If the work only involves one contractor then the contractor takes on the client’s duties as well as their own.