Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations came into effect in 2015.
At its core, it is a set of Health and Safety regulations specifically for the construction industry.
These regulations set out to limit hazards to workers during construction and places legal duties on clients, designers and contractors to ensure that risks are minimised both in the design process and in construction.
This is a legal requirement and enforceable by criminal law.
Why is CDM so important?
It ensures everyone’s safety and welfare on a project, by planning well in advance and leaving nothing to chance. Construction is high-risk work and each year more than 30 people are killed and many thousands are seriously injured*
Who are the key players?
CDM 2015 applies to small home build projects to larger commercial ones; that’s any project with more than one contractor. The Regulations define contractors as ‘those who do the actual construction work and can be either an individual or a company.’
As a ‘Client’, it is your obligation to appoint in writing a ‘Principal Designer’ as well as a ‘Principle Contractor,’ this clarifies who holds what role and who has what responsibility.
The Client – Whether you are an individual home owner or a company, you have several different responsibilities, CDM makes a distinction between the two and it’s important you know what you are responsible for.
Principal Designer – This can either be an organisation or individual (on smaller projects) who takes control of the pre-construction phase.
Principle Contractor – This role controls the construction phase of the project.
Don’t let CDM scare you!
There is a lot to take in but there is plenty of support available.
If you are reading this article, you may be considering appointing an architect for your project, we can also act as Principle Designers, providing the necessary documentation and submit them to the relevant bodies.
You may also be considering hiring a Project Manager to oversee the build stage, this role can be considered the Principle Contractor. They not only manage who is on site when, in what order, but also who is the right qualified person for the job- all aspects that can affect risks on site.
What do you need when preparing for CDM?
The key things to consider are:
- Plan the work so the risks involved are managed from start to finish
- Have the right information about the risks and how they are being managed
- Have the right people for the right job at the right time – ensuring the right qualified people are on hand at the right time, there are no unnecessary people on site that don’t need to be there, minimising the risk of accidents.
- Cooperate and coordinate your work with others- communication is key, ensuring everyone involved knows their role and their responsibilities.
- Consult and engage with workers about the risks and how they are being managed
Document all of these decisions and keep them safe for review as the project progresses. Once written, this document is a changing body of work that will evolve as the project does.
Don’t forget Welfare!
Part of the regulation includes the welfare of workers on site, so don’t forget to consider:
- Are there toilets available?
- Is there a staff rest area? Somewhere to make a cup of tea?
- Will staff be issued with PPE? (Hard hats, high-vis etc)
Looking for more information on CDM?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) government website has a full breakdown of all areas of CDM, follow this Link