The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 came into force earlier this month, bringing a series of changes to the way in which construction clients, consultants and contractors conduct health and safety procedures across the construction industry.
Under the new legislation, clients both domestic and commercial will have greater responsibility for overseeing health and safety management procedures and how these are conducted by the people they employ. Should a client fail to adhere to the expected standards, they face increased liability and risk of legal action.
CDM 2015 replaces the previous 2007 version and is intended to make it easier for domestic and commercial construction clients to manage individual health and safety standards. To ensure they meet the latest requirements, construction clients must adhere to the following laws in order to meet the new health and safety standards:
The new legislation also states that clients must appoint a principal designer, whose responsibilities will include planning and managing the pre-construction phase, and co-ordinating on-going health and safety procedures. Given the demands of the latest legislation, existing CDM co-ordinators may no longer be suitable for the role, and firms must ensure they handle the shift from CDM co-ordinator to principal designer correctly.
Almost everyone involved in a construction project will be affected by CDM 2015, though the legislation does recognise that the client is the person best placed to monitor standards throughout. Other duty holders with legal obligations under the new legislation include the principal designer, principal contractor and construction workers. It is the responsibility of the client to ensure all the above parties are skilled professionals capable of safeguarding and upholding the relevant health and safety procedures in line with the new CDM regulations.
Charles Brien, construction lawyer at HBJ Gateley: While the new legislation is designed to simplify health and safety requirements, the onus is now on clients to understand the subtle shift in liability and to change their policies and practices accordingly.
Firms with a poor or substandard health and safety record will be closely monitored during the transition to ensure they are putting plans in place to meet the standards set by the latest CDM regulations.
Construction clients must appoint a professional team or contractor to manage health and safety practices and provide sufficient resources and safety equipment to ensure that work can be undertaken safely on site. Health and safety suppliers can provide firms with the appropriate safety equipment required to complete their construction project safely and in accordance with the new CDM legislation.
A spokesperson from Manchester Safety Services: Any revision of the health and safety standards which makes working practices safer is a positive step. Its important that construction clients understand the changes and take appropriate measures.
Health and safety bosses have proposed that all projects started before the 6th April will have until 6th October to appoint a principal designer, whilst all new projects must adhere to the CDM 2015 legislation from the outset.
Manchester Safety Services Ltd is a leading distributor in Road Safety Equipment, Contractors Tools and Site Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment.
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