The Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 1994 came into force on March 31st, 1995 and were in place for 2 years until CDM 2007 replaced them, which was then in turn replaced in 2015 by The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
The CDM Regs 1994 came into force primarily to protect the health and safety of those working in the construction, design and management sectors and ensure effective communication throughout, including risk management and ensuring that the right people were doing the right jobs at the right time.
CDM Regulations 2015
Since the CDM 1994 Regulations came into force, they have evolved considerably and in April 2015 the current CDM Regulations 2015 were introduced.
There were some considerable changes to this set of Regulations, including:
- Workers with the right skills, knowledge, training and experience must be present on all projects
- Contractors must be present on all projects providing appropriate instruction, information and supervision
For projects that involve more than one contractor, there must be:
- A health and safety file
- A Principal Designer and Principal Contractor
Projects must be notified to HSE if
- work will last longer than 30 days and more than 20 workers will be simultaneously working on the project at any point
- the project is scheduled to exceed 500 person days.
In addition, the role of CDM Co-Ordinator was replaced with the role of Principal Designer, a role which must be appointed by the client and will be in control of the preconstruction phase of the project.
Why were these changes necessary?
The CDM 2007 Regulations were seen to be burdensome and in need of simplification and updating. A lack of coordination at the preconstruction phase of projects was cited as a particular problem, as this is the stage were risk hazards can be identified and designed out of the further stages, but was not necessarily happening due to legal interpretation and levels of bureaucracy. Lack of resources, late appointment and the fact that the CDM Coordinators were not fully embedded in the design team were inherent issues that CDM 2015 has worked to eliminate.
Prosecutions under CDM 2007/2015
2015 – A provider of rehabilitation and nursing facilities was fined in 2015 for multiple failures to comply with CDM 2007. Unsafe working practices were discovered by HSE inspectors, which included asbestos materials still present in buildings before demolition work was to commence, and in some areas on the site, had partially commenced.
Total fine: £35,000
Total costs: £1,321
2016 – A construction company was prosecuted and fined in 2015 for failing to appoint a Principal Contractor on the site of a hotel construction, and then further refused to cooperate with the HSE investigation and enforcement actions subsequently put in place, which led to a further prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The role of the Principal Contractor would be responsible for assessing and controlling risks on the site including those from falling from height, fire and asbestos. As no such person was employed in this role, these risk assessments had not been undertaken and could have resulted in serious injury to workers on the site.
Total fine: £50,000
Total costs: £5,478