All change here for construction health and safety

CDM 2007 has been replaced, and CDM 2015 came into force on 6 April 2015.

Jonathan ShawBy Jonathan Shaw, partner, Anderton Gables.

Key changes are:

Clients’ responsibilities are greater

The Client is now responsible for making the arrangements by which the project will be managed and ensuring that those arrangements are maintained and reviewed throughout the life of the project.

  • The Client is responsible for taking ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure:
  • Both the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor comply with their duties
  • Pre-construction information is provided ‘as soon as is practicable’ to every Contractor and Designer appointed or considered for appointment
  • The construction phase plan and health and safety file are produced
  • The health and safety file is handed over to any new owner of the structure
The exemption for Domestic Clients has been removed

Domestic clients are in the scope of CDM 2015, but their duties as a client are normally transferred to;
  • The contractor, on a single contractor project, or
  • The Principal Contractor, on a project involving more a than one contractor
The role of CDM Coordinator has been removed

However, if the CDM Coordinator had already been appointed before 6 April 2015, the Client must appoint a Principal Designer to replace the CDM Coordinator by 6 October 2015, unless the project comes to an end before then.

The new role of Principal Designer has been introduced

This new role brings the function of planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating the design phase of the project, directly with the project team. The Principal Designer will:

  • Support the Client in bringing together and providing the pre-construction information and pass that information to the duty-holders
  • Work together with the Principal Contractor to ensure the health and safety implications of design aspects are properly considered
  • Support the Principal Contractor in preparing up the construction phase plan
  • Support the Principal Contractor in developing the health and safety file
We are seeing clients typically nervous about the changes and wanting some support – as members of the Association for Project Safety we are well placed to assist as either Principal Designers or CDM Advisor.