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Safety on construction sites, large and small: CDM15 brings more regulatory change

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, introduced in the 1990s to reduce the risk of construction site accidents, are being amended once again (following revisions in 2007).

The main changes

Every project with more than one contractor will have a Principal Designer (PD), replacing the requirement for a CDM Coordinator, who will advise the design and construction team on health and safety.

The PD will be a member of the client’s project team and manage the pre-construction phase.  As before, the Principal Contractor (PC) assumes health and safety responsibilities when construction begins.

Regulations that applied to commercial clients will now be extended to domestic clients.  The reasoning is that the majority of recorded accidents occur on small sites.

The client must notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) if more than 20 workers are operating at the same time.  As before, the client will also need inform the HSE if works on the site will last longer than 30 working days (or if the project takes more than 500 person days).

The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) will be replaced by a shorter, ‘signposting’ version.  The original plan to drop it completely was revised following industry objections that the ‘guidance’ replacing it was not very clear.

Every project of any duration, even if there is just one contractor, will have to put together a construction phase plan.  The draft regulations do not specify its contents, so clients will need to consider how it relates to their method statements.

In recent months construction professionals have been busy airing concerns about ‘CDM 2015’, querying its supposed aim of simplifying matters and cutting red tape.  Key debating points include whether architects who take on PD roles have the right health and safety knowledge, and whether the HSE will clear up a number of ambiguities before the changes come into effect in April 2015.

At Transcool Systems, in our design and project management capacity, we continue to plan ahead to ensure that we understand the implications of the changes and have a compliance strategy in place.

Contact us now on 01903 733911 or info@transcoolsystems.co.uk to discuss your requirements.