Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 - Are you prepared?

The CDM Regulations are a key piece of health and safety legislation affecting construction,engineering projects and property development. They have been in force for a number of years but were significantly changed earlier this year.

The main changes are as follows.

End of CDM Coordinator

Principal Designer & Principal Contractor

Domestic Clients

A Construction Phase Plan is now required for all projects, even domestic ones, before any works commence. Changed Notification Level Approved Code of Practice IITS Requirements Transitional Provision sIn the period before appointment of the Principal Designer, the appointed CDM Coordinator will be required to comply with the duties under Schedule 4 of the new CDM 2015 Regulations. These duties reflect the existing requirements under CDM 2007 for the CDM Coordinator rather than requiring that they act as principal designers which they are not likely to be qualified for.

Points to Consider

Is the Principal Designer able to fulfil its duties in relation to the pre-coordination function and is this included in the Scope of Services within their appointment? If not, this will be an additional service that will cost the Client.

If the role of Principal Designer were to be subcontracted to a sub-consultant, in the event of an accident, it would be the Principal Designer rather than a Principal Designer's sub-consultant who would be prosecuted. Could the Principal Designer then counter claim for any losses against the sub-consultant's professional indemnity insurance, on the grounds that they had taken advice from a competent person, or would the rules prohibiting insurance of criminal fines come into play?

Where a CDM Coordinator has already been appointed for a project which will require a Principal Designer at some stage, it will need to be considered whether the appointment of the CDM Coordinator can be terminated due to a change in law.

It is absolutely essential to ensure that domestic clients are made aware of their duties and that these can be discharged by the contractor or the designer - something solicitors should now point out when acting for clients who are going to have work done on their houses.

This article was first published by Solicitors Journal on 17.2.15 and is reproduced with kind permission.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.