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Draft L series and industry guidance supporting CDM 2015 published

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Draft L series guidance that will support the incoming Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 has been published by HSE to help dutyholders prepare for the wide-ranging changes.


Industry training board CITB simultaneously published a suite of draft guidance for each of the five dutyholders under the regulations – principal designers, designers, principal contractors, contractors and clients – and workers, produced by groups set up by the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) and bearing the committee’s name.

Subject to parliamentary approval CDM 2015 will come into force on 6 April 2015, replacing the existing 2007 regulations. At the same time HSE published the draft regulations, which contain wide-ranging and sometimes controversial changes, including the abolition of the CDM coordinator role and removal of explicit competence requirements.

There will be a transitional period of six months after the new regulations come into force, HSE has explained, which will run until 6 October. Projects started before 6 April 2015, where the construction phase has not yet started and the client has not yet appointed a CDM co-ordinator, must appoint a principal designer as soon as it is practicable.

If the CDM co-ordinator has already been appointed, a principal designer must be appointed to replace the CDM co-ordinator by 6 October 2015, unless the project comes to an end before then.

In the period it takes to appoint the principal designer, the appointed CDM co-ordinator should comply with the duties contained in CDM 2015’s schedule 4. These duties reflect the existing requirements under CDM 2007 for the CDM coordinator rather than requiring them to act as principal designers, a role for which they may not be equipped.

After the consultation on the draft regulations was completed last year, HSE reversed its decision to do away with the Approved Code of Practice that supports the regulations. This will necessarily be withdrawn when the 2007 regulations are disapplied, but the document will remain available on HSE’s website.

HSE currently has no date for the publication of the new ACOP. A spokesperson said the regulator will be informally seeking industry views over the coming months, with a view to launching a formal consultation later in the year.

Major changes to the CDM regime include the reorganisation of the 2007 regulations to mirror a structure’s life; replacement of the CDM coordinator role with a principal designer that sits within the project team, an attempt to make health and safety risk management an “integral business function rather than a separate and in many cases an externalised add on”; an end to the exemption from client duties currently enjoyed by domestic clients, but effectively in name only; and removal of explicit competence requirements, which will be split into its component parts of skills, knowledge, training and experience, and – if it relates to an organisation – organisational capability.

The technical standards set out in part 4 of the new regulations will remain essentially unchanged from those in guidance related to CDM 2007 as will HSE’s targeting and enforcement policy.

The chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) health and safety panel, Margaret Sackey, said: “ICE welcomes the publication of the draft CDM regulation package, and the consideration given to points the Institution and its members raised during the consultation – ­in particular, issues surrounding clarity, competence, the principal designer and application of the guidance to SMEs.

“This package represents the third attempt to ensure that health and safety risk management is well embedded in a project throughout the design and construction process, and it is essential that it is fit for purpose in all regards.

 “We will now review the draft package closely and respond accordingly with the aim of ensuring the final regulations and guidance are as effective and workable as possible, reflecting the concerns of the industry.”

Philip White, the chief inspector of construction at HSE said: “The guidance may be subject to change while the regulations are awaiting parliamentary approval but we want dutyholders to have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the main requirements before they come into force.

“In addition we have worked with the industry to produce guidance to assist small businesses. Both sets of guidance complement each other and will help anyone affected by CDM 2015 to prepare for the changes in the law.”

 

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