A guide to meeting CDM 2015

CDM 2015, the second major revision of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, has now been with us over a year.  LSI is embracing the new legislation which aims to realise the intention of the original regulations to bring safety and health considerations to the fore at an early stage in the design process.

As designers and frequently as lead designers LSI has recognised that it is best placed to carry out the role of Principal Designer and has been doing so for many of its projects since the introduction of the new regulations. This has been possible with the help of advisors who carry out invaluable support to us for the Principal Designer role. As a Practice, we are now taking this a stage further where appropriate and Associate James Macdonald will be leading to ensure the Principal Designer role is carried out effectively in house. Below, James discusses CDM and highlights what clients should do to meet the CDM 2015 regulations.

In CDM 2015 the three key roles are those of the Client, the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor. The 2015 Regulations seek to embed the client at the head of the project team and thus take the lead in ensuring construction work is managed properly and risk is minimised. For this to happen most effectively the Principal Designer should be an integral part of the design team.

Many clients, particularly those who only occasionally have construction work done, are not experts in construction work. Although they are not expected to actively manage or supervise the work themselves, they have a big influence over the way the work is carried out. Whatever the size of the project, they decide which designer and contractor will carry out the work and how much money, time and resource is available. The decisions they make have an impact on the health, safety and welfare of workers and others affected by the work.

CDM 2015 is not about creating unnecessary and unhelpful processes and paperwork. It is about choosing the right team and helping them to work together to ensure health and safety.

Clients should do the following:-


Appoint the right people at the right time

If more than one contractor will be involved, they will need to appoint a principal designer and a principal contractor.

A principal designer is required to plan, manage and coordinate the pre-construction planning and design work. They should be appointed as early as possible so they can help gather information about the project and ensure that the designers have done all they can to check that it can be built safely.

A principal contractor is required to plan, manage and coordinate the construction work. They should be appointed as early as possible so they are involved in discussions with the principal designer about the work.


Ensure there are arrangements in place for managing and organising the project

The work is more likely to be completed without harming anyone and on time if it is properly planned and managed.


Allow adequate time

Enough time should be allowed for the design, planning and construction work to be undertaken properly.


Provide information to your designer and contractor

The designers and contractors will need information about the proposed project, the site and existing structures or hazards that may be present.


Communicate with your designer and building contractor

The project will only run efficiently if everyone involved in the work communicates, cooperates and coordinates with each other.


Ensure adequate welfare facilities on site

Make sure that the contractor has made arrangements for adequate welfare facilities for their workers before the work starts.


Ensure a construction phase plan is in place

The principal contractor (or contractor if there is only one contractor) has to draw up a plan explaining how health and safety risks will be managed. This should be proportionate to the scale of the work and associated risks and work should only be allowed to start on site when there is a plan.


Keep the health and safety file

At the end of the build the principal designer should provide a health and safety file. If the principal designer commission has concluded before the end of the project, the principal contractor should do this.


Protecting members of the public, including your employees

If a client is an employer, or members of the public visit their premises, they need to be sure that both are protected from the risks of construction work.


Ensure workplaces are designed correctly

If the project is for a new workplace or alterations to an existing workplace (eg a factory or office), it must meet the standards set out in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.