CDM 2015 – your questions answered

The basis of this consultation was firstly to implement EU Directive requirements on the domestic client but secondly, to remove bureaucratic excess that many had come to associate with CDM.

The outcome was deemed prosperous by many however as with any introduction of new regulation, this prompted questions.  Below you will find a number of these questions and answers that have come from safety professionals all over the UK since the announcement of the changes.

Are domestic clients expected to carry out the roles themselves now that they have duties under the new regulations?

No. Although CDM 2015 applies to domestic clients now, their duties are normally transferred to the contractor (in single contractor cases) or the principal contractor (where there are multiple contractors on site).  The principal designer can also take on these duties if there is a written agreement for them to do so.   

Are there any changes to the requirement to carry out a construction phase plan?

Previously a construction phase plan was not required for projects that are not notifiable however Regulation 4 of CDM 2015 requires clients to ensure a construction phase plan is prepared for every project.  The responsibility to prepare this will be down to the contractor or the principal contractor (depending on the number of contractors involved in the project). 

Does a project have to be 30 working days AND 20 workers for it to be notifiable? 

Yes. Regulation 6 of CDM 2015 states that a project is notifiable if it is scheduled to last longer than 30 working days AND has more than 20 workers working simultaneously. – Or exceeds 500 person days.  For example, a commercial project with 19 workers will only be reportable if it reaches the 500 person days or an additional worker is employed and the length of the project lasts 30 days.

What happens if my project starts before the 6th April 2015?

The HSE have provided transitional arrangements regarding projects that span 6th April 2015.  Projects that have started before the 6th April and have more than one contractor, must appoint a principal designer only if the construction phase has not started and they haven’t already appointed a CDM co-ordinator.  If the construction phase has started, you do not need to appoint a principal designer however the principal contractor will then have responsibility of the H&S file. If you have appointed a CDM-co-ordinator before the 6th of April, you will be given 6 months to appoint a principal designer.  CDM co-ordinators do not have to complete the principal designer duties during the transition period.

What happens if I don’t appoint a principle contractor?

If clients fail to appoint a principal contractor, the duties of the principal contractor fall to the client.  This is the same expectation if the client also fails to appoint a principal designer.

Where can I find guidance on the new regulations?

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have published guidance documents on each individual role with CDM to help you understand how to comply. Currently, there is no approved code of practice alongside the new legislation. The final version of the Legal series guidance to support CDM 2015 will be available on 6 April 2015.

If you would like to find out more on the changes to CDM, take a look at Santia’s CDM update training course by clicking here


Post date: 19 Mar 2015

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