Proposed New CDM Regulations set the stage for new responsibilities

The Association for Project Safety (APS) today announces its response to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) final proposals for the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015.

As an organisation representing good practice delivery by its members involved in construction health and safety risk management, APS have welcomed the revisions to the CDM Regulations following the HSE’s consultation period. The HSE’s L-Series Guidance document has been eagerly awaited by the industry and their publication on 9th January gives the construction industry a mere 12 weeks to come to terms with the content and make necessary adjustments to their training, procedures and working arrangements.

Speaking about the final draft regulations and guidance, APS President, Richard Wilks, said:

“When the HSE issued their consultation proposals in April last year the Association raised a number of concerns with the HSE regarding the draft regulations. We are pleased to see that the HSE have taken on board the majority of our concerns and made material changes to the CDM Regulations that should help improve worker protection and improved standards in construction health and safety risk management. Whilst the proposed regulations will remove the role of the CDM Coordinator (CDMC), the CDMC’s duties have been distributed between the client and the new Principal Designer. It is clear that, for the majority of commercial projects, the Principal Designer will need to have the skills, knowledge and experience of a CDM Coordinator at their disposal if they are to discharge the role effectively and in accordance with the new regulations.”

Some of the changes made to the draft regulations from the consultation proposals include:

  • greater emphasis on the Principal Designer being in control of the pre-construction phase
  • clarification of default appointments on domestic projects and the contractor having to undertake the client duties
  • introduction of a requirement for designers and principal designers having suitable skills, knowledge and experience
  • clarification of the client’s duty to provide pre-construction information
  • the explicit requirement for Principal Designers to advise and assist clients with the preparation of pre-construction information and management arrangements for health and safety
  • inclusion of transitional arrangements to allow existing project appointments to ‘run off’ before 6th October 2015.

The draft regulations will now be laid before parliament and come into force on 6th April 2015, provided that government do not object to the contents.