CDM (Construction Design & Management Regulations 2015) came into force in Great Britain on 6th April 2015.  These regulations set out what people involved in construction work need to do in order to protect themselves from a health and safety perspective.

The Purpose of CDM

The CDM regulations 2007 and 2015 aim to assist the planning and mitigation of any risks associated from the start of construction to the completion of construction. CDM regulations ensure that the correct people are engaged for the particular duties required within the project. In addition risks are identified and suitably managed in order to protect any future parties that may be exposed to the construction works undertaken.  

The following reflects a sample of some of the main identified parties that have legal duties under CDM 2015.

The Client has to ensure that that the project is suitably managed, ensuring  robust health and safety provisions are implemented on all whom might be affected by the work, including members of the public.

The Designer whose work involves preparing and modifying designs, drawings, bills of quantity and design calculations.  Typically designers are architects, consulting engineers and quantity surveyors.  The designer's main duty is to eliminate, reduce or control risks that may arise during the construction phase of work, the designers work under the control of principal designer on projects with more than one contractor.

The Principal Designer role has been introduced under CDM regulations 2015. The coordinator role is dropped from the CDM 2007 regulations.  The principal designer is responsible for coordinating the preconstruction phase of the project and the main duties of the principal designer are to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety during this phase where most design work is carried out.  

Both the Principal Contractor and Contractors are appointed by the client who manages the construction phases of the project.  Principal contractors have a duty of care in respect of planning, managing and monitoring the respective work under their control.

The importance of understanding the basics of CDM.

The CDM regulations can impose criminal as well as civil liabilities on parties that act without due regard due to the regulations. It is important therefore to identify the necessary parties at an early stage of the proposed construction project in order to ensure that health and safety matters under CDM 2015 are considered at each stage in the construction process.  For example, a Principal Contractor is solely responsible, once the works have commenced on site.