The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 are set to come into force on 6th April 2015. They will apply to all construction work carried out in Great Britain, and in some cases outside it, such as offshore wind farms. There is no modification or exemption for charities, volunteers or other non-profit organisations, and for the first time, domestic construction clients (homeowners) will be affected.

The 2015 regulations are wider in scope than the previous 2007 regulations. The changes broadly reflect the general trends in health and safety legislation and compel the construction client’s obligations and duties to take a fundamental role. In brief, some of the main changes are as follows:

  • Competence requirement – this is one of the general duties contained in Regulation 8 applicable to everyone involved in a construction project, along with providing information and instruction, reporting danger and co-operation. Designers or contractors, whether individuals or organisations, must have the capability to perform their roles, and reasonable steps must be taken by the person appointing them to ensure that this requirement is satisfied.
  • Principal Designer – a role which replaces the previous CDM Co-ordinator. The Principal Designer will be part of the project team and not outsourced. This applies to all projects with more than one contractor.
  • Notification to the Health and Safety Executive – to be made by the client for all projects which last for more than 30 days and involve more than 20 workers on site simultaneously, or exceed 500 person days.
  • Domestic clients – the CDM Regulations will apply to homeowners for the first time, although in practice their duties will be transferred to the contractor or designer.

Anyone undertaking construction work or having any construction work done should be aware of the requirements imposed by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

For more information, please see the HSE guidance here.

Eleanor Rattay, Solicitor

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