If you work in the building industry you will be aware that Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of construction projects. More often than not projects are being delivered in demanding locations to tight timescales, whilst complex developments regularly involve multiple tradesmen working within close proximity onsite. This creates inevitable challenges for both domestic and commercial developments.
To better align with EU legislation, the Health & Safety Executive recently made some alterations to CDM. However, it is fair to say the new guidelines are a little ambiguous in places.
Beyond the primary aim to ‘maintain or improve worker protection’, the key updated objectives are to simplify the regulatory package, ‘discourage bureaucracy’ and focus on improving health and safety standards on small construction sites. In addition, CDM 2015 will implement the European Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD) ‘in a proportionate way,’ and ‘meet better regulation principles’.
In another significant change, the CDM-c is to be replaced by a new role, the ‘Principal Designer’, who will be appointed by the business (or individual) in control of the procurement and pre-construction phase (i.e. the client). It is this element of control and influence over the design that marks a fundamental shift from the previous CDM-c role.
Many individuals and SMEs affected by the new CDM will not necessarily have the in-house expertise needed to meet the updated requirements. If you are planning or managing a project that involves more than one contractor, you must ensure a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor are appointed. You must also guarantee that a suitable and sufficient construction phase H&S plan is in place, regardless of the size, value and duration of the project, both domestic and commercial.
Ensuring a suitable construction phase H&S plan is developed and implemented will be key to safe delivery and compliance with new CDM regulations. As CDM Co-ordinators, Principal Designers and Principal Contractors with many years of experience in this field, we understand the challenges facing many smaller businesses and we are well positioned to guide you through this period of transition.
Justin is a senior Health & Safety professional and CDM Coordinator who has extensive experience working on a number of high profile, complex projects. Justin is a Chartered H&S professional who sits on a number of technical steering groups.
To find out more about CDM 2015 and how it affects you, contact Justin on +(0) 345 204 3333 or [email protected]