Key changes between CDM 2007 and 2015 – Part 3

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Key changes between CDM 2007 and 2015

On 6th April 2015, CDM 2015 was released and there has been a lot of discussion on the key changes between CDM 2007 and 2015.  Lets take you through what we think are the key changes and provide some pointers for further information.

The 2015 Regulations differ mainly from the 2007 Regulations in the following ways:

  • Notification threshold and requirements changes
  • A ‘principal designer’ role replacing that of the CDM coordinator
  • The domestic client exemption’s removal
  • A simplified Approved Code of Practice (with guidance for specific sectors)
  • Detailed competence requirements removed in favour of a more generic framework

The changes aim to simplify the previous regulations and bring them into line with EU Directive (EEC) 92/57 (on minimum safety and health requirements at temporary or mobile construction sites). Smaller projects – with their perceived higher risk of accidents – are also accounted for by the new rules.

Notification and threshold

Projects that are likely to involve more than 30 working days and more than 20 workers simultaneously; or 500 person days of construction work are now notifiable by the client.  Not only has the 20 workers threshold been introduced, but the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must also now be notified of the project particulars by the client, rather than the CDM coordinator or principal designer. Nor does notification now automatically trigger the principal designer and principal contractors’ appointment.

 Principal Designer & Principal Contractor

 If there is one or more contractor – including trade contractors – or it can be reasonably foreseen that more than one contractor will be working on the project at any time, the client has the duty of appointing a principal designer.

The CDM co-ordinator (CDM 2007)  has been replaced with a principal designer in order to bring health and safety management within the project, instead of outsourcing it. The principal designer will have the duty of planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating the pre-construction phase, while taking into account the general principles of prevention.  One of the fundamental changes in CDM 2015 is the requirement for the clien to appoint the principal designer and principal contractor in writing.  If not done then it is assumed that the client will carry out those roles.

There has been little change, between the 2007 and 2015 Regulations, in the duties of the principal contractor. However, there is a reciprocal responsibility for the principal contractor and principal designer to liaise for the duration of the project.

Domestic Clients

CDM 2015 now imposes duties on domestic clients in relation to construction work.    These duties however, are normally transferred to the principal contractor/contractor.  The key duty-holders within CDM 2015 for domestic clients are no different from commercial clients and they should carry out these roles accordingly .  The key effect of regulation 7 is to transfer the client duties to other duty-holders when working for domestic clients.

If you’ve missed Part 1 or Part 2 of this series click on the relevant link.

Obviously this article cannot go into every aspect of these new Regulations.  Have a look at the managing health and safety in construction page from the health and safety executive, where you can download a copy of the CDM 2015 Guidance on the Regulations.


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