CDM Advice

Whether you are a developer, principal designer, design team, client or contractor, we have a CDM advisory package to suit; ranging from a standard solution to help you fulfil your CDM duties, to an enhanced package with additional options should you need them.

One of the most important developments in the network of regulations that embrace and support the construction industry took place in April 2015 when the CDM 2007 Regulations were replaced by the CDM 2015 Regulations after a thorough and detailed review. Much of the spirit of the old regulations was maintained but there were two significant changes; the first is a clearly identifiable delineation of authority and responsibility for Health and Safety. The role of Principal Designer was pushed up front to support a strategy of shared responsibility among The Client, The Principal Contractor and The Principal Designer. This was a significant move that did far more than replace the role of CDM Coordinator, it tied the role of Principal Designer into the core of construction design and management duties. The second most significant change is less tangible and less defined but crucially important, and that is the encouragement of open dialogue between these key players and among the associated layers of Designers, Managers and Contractors.

The Client
Duties incumbent are laid out for the Client in Part 2 of the regulations; a prominent position following Part 1, which is mainly the citation and interpretation notes, and occupying that entire Part before the regulations move on to describe other roles and duties. Right at the top of Part 2 in Paragraph 4, Section 1: “A client must make suitable arrangements for managing a project, including the allocation of sufficient time and other resources.” The key element in their role as Client is to, so far as is reasonably practicable, manage a project without risks to the health or safety of any person affected by the project. Then comes then matter of appointments of the other two key players, the Principal Designer and the Principal Contractor. These roles must be appointed and filled well in advance of the Construction Phase, and where they are not filled, the Client takes on all the duties and responsibilities of the roles. The Client must decide if the project is notifiable and if so, notify the Health and Safety Executive, seek and publish an F10 Certificate for the project. Some projects, notably domestic projects, have a slightly different relationship to the regulations than most projects; for detailed information see the downloadable PERSES advisory paper on the CDM 2015 Regulations. An open and transparent network of communication and flow of information must be maintained with the Designers and Contractors.

The Principal Designer
The Principal Designer should be involved in the planning of a Project as early as possible since a key part of their role is to ensure that the Client is fully aware of their duties and responsibilities towards the Health, Safety and Welfare of all those included in or affected by the Project. All Designers and Contractors must have the skills, knowledge and experience – and if they are an organisation, the organisational capability – necessary to fulfil the role that they are appointed to undertake. The role of the Principal Designer is to engage the cooperation of the Client and Contractors to assess eliminate, reduce or control risks that are both general and site- specific in an open dialogue, and to ensure that these risks and the management of these risks is documented in the Health and Safety Files essential to the Project. This is an organic process that must be maintained throughout the duration of the Project and as such must take into account any design changes made to the Construction
Phase Plan. Any significant and reportable incidents occurring during the Construction Phase must be intimated to the Principal Designer by the Client or the Principal Contractor, so that any new risks may be managed appropriately. Site work should not commence on a Project until the Principal Designer is content that Pre- Construction information has attended to, or is attending to, the inherent risks of the works, and that a compliant Construction Phase Plan has been prepared. In some instances, the Pre-Construction Phase and the Construction Phase may overlap but it is preferable to have the Pre-Construction Phase concluded before the Construction Phase begins.

It is the duty of the Principal Designer to monitor from time to time the progress of the Project as it relates to compliance and at the end of the Project to present a completed Health and Safety File to the Client.

The Principal Contractor
The role of the Principal Contractor is to plan, manage and monitor the Construction Phase of a Project, and, as far as is reasonably practicable, ensure that the works are carried out without risk to Health and Safety. The Principal Contractor in an open dialogue with the Principal Designer and the Client during the Pre-Construction Phase must prepare a Construction Phase Plan describing the details of the Project, the anticipated duration of the works and the stages of work as they take place either simultaneously or in succession. The Construction Phase Plan must include Risk Assessments and Method Statements for all and any identified risks, and the methods produced must be applied in practice.

It is the duty of the Principal Contractor and the Client to ensure the Health, Safety and Welfare of of all those included in or affected by the Project. The Principal Contractor must ensure that all Contractors are aware of details of the Construction Phase Plan, that they are competent, and that they work in compliance with the CDM 2015 Regulations, maintaining general principles of prevention. The Principal Contractor must instigate, manage and record appropriate site inductions. Any and all significant Health and Safety related incidents must be intimated to the Principal Designer, managed in an appropriate manner, and recorded in the Health and Safety File. Where an incident is deemed ‘reportable’, all steps should be taken to report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive as quickly and in as detailed a manner as possible.

On completion of a Project the Principal Designer must pass the Health and Safety File to the Principal Designer so that they may review the documents and pass the File over to the Client.

The combined roles of these three main protagonists dominate the Regulations. Part 4 deals with the general requirements for all construction sites, including: safe access to and egress from the site; good order and site security; the stability of structures; demolition and dismantling; the use of explosives; excavations; the use of cofferdams and caissons; reports of inspections; installations for energy distribution; prevention of drowning; traffic routes; vehicles in use; fire prevention and the risk of asphyxiation or flooding; emergency procedures; fresh air; temperature and weather protection; and, lighting.

Full details of these Regulations and the particulars of the Schedules can be found in the PERSES CDM 2015 information sheet.