CDM Regulations Update
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) completed their review of the existing Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) in May 2011 and, following an independent review of health and safety legislation by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt, announced their intention to “simplify and rationalise the CDM 2007 regulatory package” in June 2012. The original plan was to have a 12 week public consultation in early 2013 with the new regulations coming into effect in mid 2014, however, as at their board meeting in September, the public consultation is yet to commence. This means it’s more likely that the new regulations will not be emerging until 2015.
There are a number of changes currently being suggested, but the one that is likely to have the biggest impact on us is the removal of the exemption for domestic clients. This means that if a homeowner has an extension which involves more than one contractor and lasts over 30 days then it will be captured by the new regulations. This is quite a concern because, currently, it is the clients responsibility to:
- Check competence and resources of all appointees;
- Ensure there are suitable management arrangements for the project welfare facilities;
- Allow sufficient time and resources for all stages;
- Provide pre-construction information to designers and contractors.
And on notifiable projects they are also required to:
- Appoint a CDM co-ordinator;
- Appoint a principal contractor;
- Make sure that construction work does not start unless a construction phase plan is in place and there are adequate welfare facilities on site;
- Provide information relating to the health and safety file to the CDM co-ordinator;
- Retain and provide access to the health and safety file.
The worry across the industry is that, generally, domestic clients do not have the necessary knowledge, or competence, to adequately fulfil their role in the construction project. The client can delegate their duties by appointing a project supervisor to carry out the role, but this is not well known. For this change to work, it is vital that the HSE puts some effort into raising awareness of the responsibilities before the revised CDM regulations can be enforced.
It has also been indicated that the standard Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) documents will be withdrawn in favour of non-binding guidance. This seems to be fairly counter-intuitive when you consider the breadth of knowledge contained with the ACoP. It certainly needs to be thoroughly reviewed, but to actually remove them entirely would not seem to be a beneficial course of action.
For more details on the proposed changes, please see the following article at building.co.uk :