Legal requirements for the construction industry have been revised and updated.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015), which came into force on 6 April, place greater responsibility on the shoulders of construction clients, consultants and contractors.
It means those with poor health and safety standards face increased liability and risk of legal action.
Clients are now responsible for the conduct and decisions of the people they employ to oversee health and safety.
- put together a competent professional team and ensure that the roles of team members are clear
- make sure sufficient time and resources are allocated at appropriate stages of the project to adequately and appropriately deal with health and safety issues
- guarantee that there are effective mechanisms in place for project team communication and that they work
- provide suitable welfare facilities for the duration of the construction work
If delegating these responsibilities to a professional team or contractor, the client needs to make sure they have the necessary skill, training, expertise and capacity needed to carry them out to the letter.
Failure to do so could see responsibility fall on the client if the wrong firm is appointed. The aim is to make construction sites safer places to work, as they are still a setting where accidents are commonplace.
The role of CDM coordinator has also been abolished under CDM 2015. It has been replaced with a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor, who will split the duties rather than placing everything on one person.
But health and safety chiefs have given the industry six months grace to switch over to the new CDM regulations on existing projects.
Any projects that started before 6 April will therefore have until 6 October to appoint a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor, while any pre-construction information pack or construction phase plan provided to the requirements of CDM 2007 will satisfy the new requirements of CDM 2015 during the grace period.
Projects starting from now will work under the new structure from the outset.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: April 9, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown