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Changes on the Way for Construction Site Safety Regulations

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Throughout April and May 2014, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ran a consultation process on proposals to revise the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM) 2007. This is the third iteration of these regulations since their introduction in 1995.

Over this time, the fatal injuries rates in construction have dropped from 105 in 2000/01 to 71 in 2002/03. In just two years the rate went to the lowest on record which demonstrates the effectiveness of the regulations.

Since the introduction of CDM 2007, the UK has become a global leader in construction health and safety. Furthermore UK construction companies working across the globe have also taken the procedures overseas. You might then be forgiven for wondering why the HSE are making wholesale changes to the regulations.

The aim of the consultation was to reduce the bureaucratic approach taken by the industry; it received over 1,400 responses which is amongst the highest of any consultation started by the HSE.

Following the consultation, changes to the CDM Regulations have been confirmed.

Changes to the CDM Regulations for Health and Safety

The main changes to CDM regulations will take place in 2015.

The role of Construction, Design and Management (CDM) co-ordinator will be replaced with a principal designer role from April 2015. The principal will take over responsibility for ensuring that construction projects comply with the CDM Regulations.

The HSE has responded to concerns during the consultation period over scrapping of the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP); after only one in three responses supported the scrapping. Consequently a new, shorter signposting ACoP will be implemented.

CDM 2015 will almost halve the number of projects that are notifiable to the HSE. Under CDM 2007, the notification is required (a) whenever a project is expected to last more than 30 days, or (b) will involve more than 500 working days. The CDM will add to condition (a) the requirement that the project must also involve more than 20 workers simultaneously.

The CDM 2015 will also require a written construction phase for all projects; CDM 2007 limited the requirement to notifiable projects.

CDM 2015 will remove the current exemption of domestic clients from client responsibilities, with limited duties that would otherwise have been discharged by the contractor or principal contractor, or if the client agreed, the designer.

The HSE will also clarify the regulations that it consulted on.


Without a doubt the construction industry will have to make the CDM regulations work, and work better than CDM 2007; especially at the smaller end of the industry. This will require everyone in construction to be fully aware of their responsibilities, and be prepared to work as integrated teams to eliminate, reduce, inform and control all risks on construction projects.

For specialist advice regarding changes to the CDM regulations contact Peter Gourri today by email or telephone 0207 611 4848.

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