We’ve now had the first full calendar year of the updated CDM Regulations in place with some very big changes in terms of Clients duties. Some things have changed and designers, architects in the main, have begun to feel the pinch of the regulations. Contractors seem happy to proceed largely on the same basis as they were and are, by and large, relatively unaffected by the changes if they were used to CDM under the earlier regulations.
One area which has felt the pinch is the smaller contractor and the contractors and designers completing domestic projects such as new house builds for wealthy clients. There are some surprisingly large practices and contractors serving wealthy clients in the Cotswolds, Home Counties and similar spots who spend a significant sum on their new build homes / renovations. Up until the 2015 changes in CDM all of these projects fell outside of the scope of CDM and so there has been a steep learning curve for this part of the construction sector.
A second change which has hit all clients and is part of the CDM risk management process is the greater focus on health. Issues such as vibration and respirable crystalline silica have been known of for many years but contractors at all levels are really feeling the focus both from the supply chain and from HSE in terms of enforcement on these health related issues.
The missing link so far from our perspective are clients. We have seen some prosecutions but clients are hard for HSE to reach and often quite unaware of their duties under CDM 2015. The key distinction here is between commercial and domestic clients but we’re going to assume (being a business and talking in this blog to our clients) that you’re a commercial client.
That being said, did you know? [source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/commercial-clients.htm]
For all projects, commercial CDM clients duties are to:
- make suitable arrangements for managing their project, enabling those carrying it out to manage health and safety risks in a proportionate way. These arrangements include:
- appointing the contractors and designers to the project (including the principal designer and principal contractor on projects involving more than one contractor) while making sure they have the skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability
- allowing sufficient time and resources for each stage of the project
- making sure that any principal designer and principal contractor appointed carry out their duties in managing the project
- making sure suitable welfare facilities are provided for the duration of the construction work
- maintain and review the management arrangements for the duration of the project
- provide pre-construction information to every designer and contractor either bidding for the work or already appointed to the project
- ensure that the principal contractor or contractor (for single contractor projects) prepares a construction phase plan before that phase begins
- ensure that the principal designer prepares a health and safety file for the project and that it is revised as necessary and made available to anyone who needs it for subsequent work at the site
For notifiable projects (where planned construction work will last longer than 30 working days and involves more than 20 workers at any one time; or where the work exceeds 500 individual worker days), commercial clients must:
- notify HSE in writing with details of the project
- ensure a copy of the notification is displayed in the construction site office