UK: CDM 2015: More Relevant And Focussed Or Just More Red Tape?

6 April 2015, Easter Monday brings another new dawn in the ongoing quest for consistent health and safety management in the construction industry. The introduction of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) is long awaited and indeed long overdue; but will it change the underlying approach to managing projects and will its wider reach result in successful application of its provisions? In this article, we will examine the increased scope of the new Regulations and whether the new roles are simply a re-labelling of the old or whether the new regime will see a fundamental shift in methodology.

What was wrong with the old regime?

CDM 2015 will entirely replace the 2007 Regulations of the same name, which have been criticised on numerous levels since their introduction.

The impetus for a CDM overhaul came from various sources. First, the UK legally had to amend the Regulations in order to ensure the original EU Directive was properly implemented. Beyond that, the 2011 Lofstedt Report, and the Coalition Government's de-regulation agenda which manifested itself in the "Red Tape Challenge" provided the real motivation for the change.

Research found that CDM 2007 encouraged an overly "bureaucratic" approach to safety management and had failed to provide a workable regulatory framework for smaller sites. Whilst large organisations were appropriately resourced to deal with the obligations of the regime, SMEs in the construction industry were failing to comply. Furthermore, "competence", the cornerstone of CDM 2007, was poorly understood and assessment of it problematic with overall health and safety co-ordination often ineffective and inconsistent.

What are the objectives of CDM 2015?

The changes introduced by CDM 2015 reveal the following key drivers:-

  • Safety management needs to be simplified and targeted to enable a wider understanding of CDM and a greater level of success in its application
  • The concept of "competence" has been poorly understood and assessment of competence difficult to administer. CDM 2015 therefore moves towards a system whereby the foundations of competence are identified (training, experience, knowledge and skills) in the hope this more specific approach will make competence checking easier to achieve
  • Clients have a huge influence on projects, from budgeting and programming to engaging the project team. Due weight is given to this vital role in CDM 2015 with all Client responsibilities now mandatory and central to effective management
  • The role of the CDM Co-ordinator ("CDMC") was not always introduced to projects early enough leading to a disjointed approach to safety management
  • Health and safety management on smaller sites is not working. Sites where fewer than 15 people are working now account for more than two thirds of fatal accidents in the construction industry; a disproportionate figure on any assessment
  • Domestic projects are to be encompassed within the ambit of CDM to ensure the UK accurately transposes the original EU Directive (92/57/EEC), which specifically included domestic work, whereas our legislation has always specifically excluded these projects. CDM will therefore apply to domestic projects where more than one contractor is to be engaged, thus recognising the huge industry in domestic construction and renovation currently largely unaffected by the specifics of CDM

Roles and responsibilities

CDM2015 places responsibilities on the following people:

  • Clients (see regulations 4 – 7)
  • Principal Designers (see regulations 8 – 12)
  • Principal Contractors (see regulations 8 and 12 – 15)
  • Designers (see regulations 8 – 10)
  • Contractors (see regulations 8 and 15)

The key roles are played by the Clients, Principal Designers and Principal Contractors with the fourth title currently in place, the CDMC, being abolished altogether and its responsibilities being placed with the new Principal Designer remit.

The removal of the CDMC addresses a perception that CDMCs were often appointed too late, missing the opportunity to embed health and safety within the ethos of the project from the outset. The HSE believes that placing these responsibilities with the Principal Designer deals with this concern, ensuring pre-construction co-ordination is incorporated from day one. However, question marks remain over the appetite and competence of Designers to fulfil this role and indeed many wonder whether they will simply resort to external advice (from current CDMCs) in discharging this role in any event.

Of real interest is the increased burden placed on Clients, whom it was felt were so influential in the life of a project that their obligations should be made mandatory. Accordingly, the drafting of CDM 2015 represents a stark contrast to its predecessor, which required Clients to, "take reasonable steps" to discharge their duties; instead, they now "must" do so.

The non-delegable tasks allocated to the Client also includes filing the F10 form notifying the HSE of the project where it is either scheduled to last longer than 30 days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously or where it will exceed 500 person days. The fact of notification is no longer a significant threshold as it has been previously as CDM 2015 applies wholesale where a project has more than one contractor and there are no increased duties imposed upon those working on a project where an F10 has been submitted.

Whilst CDM 2015 will apply to domestic projects, the Client in those situations is not required to discharge the key management duties outlined in regulation 4 or indeed to notify the project to the HSE where that threshold is met. Instead, those duties "must" be carried out by one of the professional appointees on site.

What does competence mean?

CDM 2007 placed huge emphasis on the competence of the appointees who were not to be engaged unless "competent" and who were not to accept the role unless they too agreed they were "competent". However, the concept of competence was not defined and little guidance could be discerned from the supporting Approved Code of Practice ("ACoP") leading to concerns about the real tenets of the notion of competence and countless hours of expert evidence before the Courts.

CDM 2015 looks to address this by identifying the planks of competence; skills, knowledge, training, experience and (in the case of a business) organisational capability. These must be present in those appointed to a project to enable the roles to be discharged in a manner that secures the health and safety of those involved in or affected by the project. The supporting guidance (see below) provides useful practical examples to assist with the assessment of competence, representing a significant improvement on the unsatisfactory position under CDM 2007.

Is this really a change?

On the face of it; yes! A streamlining of the appointment holders and clearer, more focussed guidance is a welcome development, which will hopefully encourage the consistent and coherent incorporation of health and safety within projects from the very outset. Whether the abolition of the CDMC will translate in reality, time will tell. As Principal Designers come to the fore, we will learn more about whether they can discharge this significant new role alone or whether those currently acting as CDMCs will end up supporting the Principal Designer on a consultancy basis.

Clearly the application of the CDM regime to the domestic setting is a considerable change and one which will require some clear and strong guidance from the regulator as SMEs get to grips with their new responsibilities.

What happens to ongoing projects?

A six month transitional period has been accounted for, during which special provisions will apply. This will run to 6 October 2015, following which CDM 2015 will apply across the board.

In summary, where projects begin before 6 April 2015 but the construction phase has not yet begun and no CDMC has been appointed, the Client must appoint a Principal Designer as soon as practicable. If the CDMC has already been appointed, a Principal Designer must be in post to replace that CDMC no later than 6 October 2015.

You can visit http://www.hse.gov. uk/construction/cdm/regulation-changes.htm for more details on the transitional arrangements.

What guidance is available?

The HSE has issued draft guidance on CDM2015 and this is freely available to download on the Executive's website (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ priced/draft-l153.pdf). Unlike previous incarnations of CDM, which were supported by an ACoP, CDM2015 is the subject of legal guidance (within the HSE's "L" series). The guidance will be finalised with the passing of CDM2015 but has been published in draft to assist organisations as they prepare for the new regime.

As part of the drive to achieve a more focussed approach, the Construction Industry Training Board has published a series of targeted guidance documents written by members of the Construction Industry Advisory Committee. This suite of documents covers:

  • Clients
  • Principal Designers
  • Principal Contractors
  • Designers
  • Contractors Workers

Each booklet provides clear summaries and bullet points relevant to the particular role in question and avoids the need for many involved with projects to navigate the Regulations themselves and the HSE's lengthy guidance.

Where can I find out more?

Clyde & Co is pleased to announce that it will be running a seminar on these new regulations on 14 April 2015 at 4:00pm. Taking place at our office in the heart of the City, our construction and health and safety specialists discuss the regulations as well the criminal enforcement ramifications of failing to comply with these new regulations. Click here to read more and register your interest in attending the seminar.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Reed Smith (Worldwide)
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Reed Smith (Worldwide)
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions