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Changes in CDM Regulation

Jim Bentley - Thursday, August 22, 2013
Previous CDM Regulation CDM regulations (Construction Design and Management) have been through 4 changes since their introduction in 1994. These regulations were put in place to reduce deaths, injuries and ill health in construction areas and help manage health and safety responsibilities and procedures through the construction phase for main candidates such as principal contractor, clients, designers etc. However, in May 2012 HSE announced the change to the current CDM regs and be implemented by 2014, but why another change? 

The 2011 LOFSTEDT Report was released, concerned about how the current CDM 2007 regs worked in practice. The HSE also believe that a 2 tier industry has emerged between larger and smaller companies. Factors that have created this split are centred on money. It has led to inadequately trained staffs which have resulted in basic health and safety practice has been missed. HSE also believe that the smaller construction companies have little understanding of the current CDM regs because for smaller jobs little CDM regs apply. But when these smaller companies get used for bigger contracts, a confusion of responsibility and health and safety procedures is created. Another reason for the change is due to the implementation of the EU Temporary Mobile Construction Sites directive (TMCS) who believe there is poor health and safety coordination within organisations and procedures are not being followed. 

What They’re Changing To Changes are being made to: 

  • Reduce red tape
  • Create a better understanding of responsibility and procedures 
  • And clear Health and Safety rules 

No changes are definite until the release in 2014 however speculation is saying a 140 page ACoP will be removed and replaced with a 20 page directive of regulations. By definition of the word ‘client’, current CDM regulations under implement the Directive by excluding owner occupiers, or domestic clients who are planning to carry out construction work. Full implementation of this Directive will see the inclusion of this audience.

How it Effects Construction Firms Because of the split of construction companies the new “simpler” regulation will aim to help smaller firms understand their responsibilities so I would recommend speaking to a health and safety adviser or consultant to get a step ahead of the competition and be able to have a system in place ready for the new regs in 2014. 

Other changes include a possible renewal of roles and responsibilities for the CDM coordinator. In the past a client would nominate a person or persons to be CDM coordinator who would take care of health and safety issues on the planning and pre construction phase, however, this role was mainly taken by an independent body. Changes made will include the lead designer (architect) co-ordinating health and safety at the pre-construction phase then the principal contractor taking over on site. 

Topics of Discussion 

First off all do construction firms believe they need simpler regulations, will they help smaller firms become more health and safety responsible? Do architects or designers have the competency or knowledge to take over health and safety needs? 

Will a new set of CDM regulations really make construction processes simpler, or will it simply annoy business owners who will have to make legal changes to a topic they already dislike? 

Author: Alex McHugh – RIS Group Health and Safety Consultancy