Important Changes to CDM 2015 Regulations for Domestic Clients

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has been consulting with the construction industry with its proposals to amend the Construction Design & Management Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) which will become the CDM 2015 Regulations. It has made fairly robust changes to the way that the regulations will be administered.

For the very first time Domestic Clients who were previously exempted from having to inform HSE that work was being carried out on their premises and who had exemption from all but the most basic components of the Regulations, will now be almost as responsible for compliance as a Business Client. Under the 2007 Regulations this meant that the client had to appoint a CDM Coordinator and a Principle Contractor, both with specific roles within the project.

The new Regulations have taken on board that the CDM Coordinator role was ineffective and have loaded the whole responsibility for this coordinating role onto the new Principle Designer (PD)…usually the Architect and the new Principle Contractor (PC) whose new roles are defined by whether or not there is more than one contractor working on your project.(See Attached PDF)

If there is only one contractor then that contractor is deemed to be appointed to both the PD & PC Roles and is deemed to take  responsibility for all that is required on your behalf, such as:

  • Arrangements – for managing the project so it is carried out safely and with acceptable welfare;
  • Review – maintain and review those arrangements throughout the project;
  • Information – provide Pre-Construction Information to designers and others;
  • H&S Plan – draw up a Construction Phase Plan;
  • Inform – notify larger projects to HSE If they last longer that 30 days and have more than 20 workers working together or exceeds 500 person days…7 – 8 weeks dependant on workforce.
  • And much more besides.

If you have more than one contractor – and that means even if you have a separate Electrician and Plumber on your project, you are required by law to appoint a Principle Designer (Architect) and a Principle Contractor. Both of these will have specific roles in ensuring that the CDM 2015 Regulations are adhered to. If you fail to appoint them, no matter, they must by law appoint themselves to those roles. So no savings to be made by just ignoring the Regulations!

This will inevitably increase the cost of smaller projects, as both of these roles are proactive and take a good deal of time and money to facilitate. More importantly, as projects will now have to notify themselves to HSE, there will be no hiding from snap inspections, where if any fault is found, fines and work stoppages will ensue. These fines and charges can be onerous and are meant to be both punitive and a deterrent.

I don’t know of anyone who actually wants someone to die or be injured on their project, but sometimes out of cost and time pressures health and safety can be either ignored, or at best treated in a cavalier manner. Smaller contractors are notorious for treating health and safety with derision and in the domestic construction industry I have come across workers who use bravado and stupidity almost as a badge of office when dealing with health and safety. So when a client suggests that safety be curtailed on the alter of cost, some of these guys are only too happy to oblige.

This is fine until notwithstanding snap inspections, something goes horribly wrong and an injury or death occurs and then HSE will descend on your project like the wrath of the gods. There will be no mitigation for being a Domestic Client and you will find that HSE inspectors are unbending in their interpretation of the Regulations.

The most sensible route is to appoint a Project Manager who would steer your project through to completion, including the specific HSE roles  (See Attached PDF) without any motive of profit; and yet maintain the pace of your project, without any injuries or fatalities which would stay with you both mentally and financially throughout your life.


Project Management

What is this and why should we use it for our building project?
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What should we look for?
Can we afford to do this?
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Finding out what it should all cost.
Keeping those costs under control.
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How it can really help a project.
How to do it properly.
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Tender Process

Making sure the build team is properly chosen and prepared.
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Finding the best value materials.
Making sure they stay that way.
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Site Management

Working with the whole team,
helping everyone to get it right.
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CDM 2015 Regulations

Carrying out the Principle Contractor Role For CDM 2015 Regulations
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