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Construction industry could be caught out by CDM regulations

26 January 2015

A Lancashire health and safety company is warning construction industry firms of significant regulatory changes which will impact businesses during 2015.

Adam Kaley, commercial director at health and safety consultancy Aegis, is urging businesses not to be caught out by amendments to the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2015 which will come into force from April 6 this year.

The changes will bring the UK in line with the European Union Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD) and change the way health and safety on construction and engineering projects is managed.

Adam explains: "2015 brings major changes to an already complex set of regulations, which will affect the planning, management and coordination of construction and engineering projects. It’s vital that businesses know their responsibilities, whether they are clients, contractors, or designers, particularly as there is only a six-month transition period from the old to the new regulations. It’s also relevant to the wider public as, for the first time, the CDM Regulations will apply fully to domestic projects, such as when people are building an extension or new garage at home.

"The most significant change to consider is the replacement of the CDM coordinator role with the new role of ‘principal designer’. The ‘principal designer’ must have the understanding and skills to manage and coordinate the design phase of a project as well as a strong technical knowledge of the construction industry. It’s not clear how many designers have this combination of knowledge and skills, or whether they will need to outsource this role.

"The updated regulations will also see the current Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) replaced with more targeted guidance. However, it isn’t clear whether this will be published before October, when the new regulations are to be fully implemented. We anticipate that the next few months will be busy as we work with our clients and construction colleagues to get them up to speed and compliant with the changes.”

Aegis was formed in 1995 specifically to provide services required by the introduction of the CDM Regulations in 1994. The new draft regulations were published on January 9 2015 and subject to parliamentary approval will come into force on April 6, 2015, with a six month transition period running up to October 6, 2015.