HSE responds to industry feedback with new CDM regulations

hseThe Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published draft guidance on the legal requirements in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015).

Assuming the new regulations receive parliamentary approval, CDM 2015 will come into force on April 6 2015 to replace the existing CDM 2007 rules. HSE says the guidance is designed to help anyone who has duties under the regulations to prepare in advance and can be found on HSE’s website.

Among the changes is the decision that the CDM co-ordinator role will be replaced by the principal designer. This means that the responsibility for coordination of the pre-construction phase – which the HSE says is crucial to the management of any successful construction project – will rest with an existing member of the design team.

The new Regulations also recognise the influence and importance of the client as the head of the supply chain, able to set the standards throughout a project. This means clients are expected to make arrangements for management of a project, including appointing other dutyholders, allocating sufficient time and resources, and ensuring it runs smoothly.

Competence will be split into its component parts of skills, knowledge, training and experience, and organisational capability if applicable. HSE says this will provide clarity and help the industry to both assess and demonstrate that construction project teams have the right attributes to deliver a healthy and safe project.

The technical standards set out in Part 4 of the new Regulations will remain essentially unchanged from those in guidance related to CDM 2007. HSE’s targeting and enforcement policy, as a proportionate and modern regulator, also remains unchanged.

To view a draft of the entire CDM 2015 Regulations, click here

Philip White, chief inspector of construction at HSE, said:

“The guidance may be subject to change while the regulations are awaiting parliamentary approval, but we want duty holders to have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the main requirements before they come into force.

“In addition we have worked with the industry to produce guidance to assist small businesses. Both sets of guidance complement each other and will help anyone affected by CDM 2015 to prepare for the changes in the law.”

Assuming the new rules come into place in April, tradespeople will have a transitional period of six months to get in line with CDM 2015.

The new rules are to be established following a consultation period, which – according to Kevin Fear, health and safety strategy lead for the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) – suggested that CDM 2007 was viewed as ?too bureaucratic, having a heavy burdensome approach to the competence issue, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).’

Mr. Fear also claimed

“the pre-construction phase, in particular the ?client adviser’ role of the CDM co-ordinators, is not working as well as many had hoped.”

The effort to address these issues has been met with approval from representatives of the construction industry. David Lambert, head of health and safety at the UK Contractors Group, said in a statement:

“UKCG is pleased that several of the concerns raised by members during the consultation period have been addressed; and that the L series guidance is clearly designed to provide clarity and reflect the desire for proporti