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Construction Design and Management Regulations – Effective from 6th April 2015

Clients may not be aware of, or indeed appreciate, the implications of the new Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) which came into force on 6th April 2015.

Existing projects may continue as they are for a further 6 months (until 6th October 2015) allowing the various changes of CDM 2015 to be implemented. However, CDM 2015 introduced significant changes to the earlier Regulations and they will impact NOW on the majority of construction, alteration, renovation and maintenance projects across farms and estates.

The Regulations apply to all construction work, which is defined as “the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work”.

Construction includes the following work in relation to a “structure”:-

  1. Repair;
  2. Alteration and Conversion;
  3. Fitting out;
  4. Redecoration;
  5. Maintenance;
  6. Preparation work (site clearance, excavation, etc.);
  7. Installation, maintenance, repair and removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, telecommunications or similar services which are normally fixed within or to a structure;
  8. Assembly of on-site of pre-fabricated elements to form a structure and subsequently disassembly and removal.

The definition of a “structure” includes items such as any building, timber, masonry, metal or reinforced concrete structure, bridge, pipe or pipeline, cable, sewer, road, drainage works, earthworks, wall, underground tank, earth retaining structure and fixed plant;

CDM 2015 contains specific details in respect of the welfare facilities for a construction site. Clients, contractors and any principal contractor will all have a duty to ensure that suitable welfare arrangements are in place before construction work begins. Smaller construction sites, particularly those involving short duration work in remote locations, will need some flexibility on how welfare facilities are provided.

It is important to note that a Construction Phase Plan (more information below) is mandatory for every project and clients must ensure that a plan is in place before any works commence, including setting up the construction site. This Plan is to be prepared by the contractor but for Estate Maintenance Teams, the responsibility lies with the estate owner or agent.

There are three categories of project under the new Regulations:-

  1. Single contractor projects;
  2. Multi-contractual projects with a construction phase of thirty or fewer working days and with twenty or fewer workers simultaneously;
  3. Notifiable projects, being projects where the construction phase will last longer than thirty days and will have more than twenty workers simultaneously at any one point in the project, or where the construction phase will exceed 500 person days.

Further points to note include;

1)   Notifiable versus Non-Notifiable

As mentioned above, a project is deemed to be Notifiable when it will take more than 30 days on site AND more than 20 workers will be on site at one time at any stage of the project, or where the construction phase will exceed 500 person days.

This means that a job that takes more than 30 days but has less than 20 workers on site at one time is not Notifiable. Therefore when a house refurbishment runs over the old 30 day rule, it will no longer be Notifiable provided that more than 20 workers are never on site at any one time.

Where a project is Notifiable, the client must give notice in writing to the Health & Safety Executive as soon as is practicable before the construction phase begins.

2)   CDM-Coordinator

The role of a CDM Coordinator has been removed with the duties split between the Principal Designer (a new role) and the Principal Contractor.

3)   Domestic Clients

The CDM regulations will now apply to domestic clients. Their duties can however be passed on to the instructed contractor.

Perhaps the most onerous change is below;

4)   Construction Phase Plan (CPP)

The CPP is a document that provides background information, outlines the principal concerns in the task and identifies what action is required. It is different from a Risk Assessment (which is still required).

This is a particularly burdensome change, because a CPP has to be produced for all tasks, regardless of size (eg. redecoration or fitting a new kitchen) or if the project is Notifiable. Whilst this must be produced by the Principal Contractor, the client has a duty to ensure that it is produced. The client must not allow work on site to proceed, unless a Construction Phase Plan has been prepared, at least for the early stages of the works, and arrangements for the development of the rest of the plan has been established.

Estates with in-house maintenance teams will be seen as contractors under CDM 2015 and so a CPP must be produced for them too by the owner or agent.

To assist, The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has produced an App for a smartphone or a Tablet (search App Store for “CITB CDM Wizard”) that will produce a CPP quickly for small and simple tasks that the majority of our clients will be undertaking such as fitting new kitchens or heating systems, decorating, minor roof repairs etc.

CDM 2015 is to be monitored as the changes do have significant impacts on how Clients and their Agents operate. From recent discussions, it is clear that clients and building contractors have not taken on board the full impact of CDM 2015.

Should you require any further information regarding the impact these regulations may have on you personally, please contact:

[team-member name=”Phil Scott-Priestley”]




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