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Information on the CDM Regs. 2015

What are the Construction (Design & Management) (CDM) Regulations 2015?

The CDM Regulations 2015

The CDM Regulations were updated by the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015. 

The changes to the Regulations placed increased responsibilities on the three main parties in a building project – the Client, the Designer, and the Builder. Importantly for the first time, the domestic market was brought into the mix by the changes. This is because statistically there were more injuries and fatalities on smaller, previously unregulated projects than on the larger ones. So the HSE addressed this issue by requiring all projects to have someone overseeing health, safety and welfare in both the pre-start and construction phases.

The Principal Designer

In accordance with CDM Regulations 2015 the role of Principal Designer (PD) was created. This role replaced the CDM Coordinator (CDMC) from the old Regulations. This was not just a name change; instead the role of the PD was intended to be a pivotal one in every building project from the smallest alterations to the largest new build. Every project, whether it is creating a new doorway into a domestic garage, a speculative developer building houses on a garden plot or a company expanding into a new factory unit, needs to have a Principal Designer appointed by the Client.

A suitable PD must “be a designer on the project and be in a position to have control over the design and planning stage”.

The PD will usually be an organisation or, on smaller projects, an individual with:

• a technical knowledge of the construction industry, relevant to the project

• an understanding of how health and safety is managed through the design process

• the skills to be able to oversee health and safety during the pre-construction phase of the project and the ongoing design

The PD must plan, manage and monitor the co-ordination of the pre-construction phase, including any preparatory work carried out for the project. The PD must:

• assist the client in identifying, obtaining and collating the pre-construction information

• provide pre-construction information to designers, principal contractor and contractors

• ensure that designers comply with their duties and co-operate with each other

• liaise with the principal contractor for the duration of the appointment

• prepare the health and safety file or work with the principal contractor to do so

In common with other duty holders under CDM 2015 the PD may find it useful to bring a former CDMC into the team to help with compliance, and to make sure that the client is doing what they need to do.

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