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Clarity on CDM Regulations Changes now available

We are pleased to update readers on the HSE’s progress on clarifying the changes to the new CDM Regulations, which come into force on 6 April 2015.

Whilst a consultation draft was issued in Autumn 2014, many people in our industry found that this left many questions unanswered.

With less than 3 months to go, are we any closer to clarity?

The new guidance, published on 9 January 2015 and available here includes a really helpful table summarising the main roles and duties under CDM 2015 including for clients (domestic and commercial), designers (principal and other), contractors (principal and other) and workers. It also concentrates on involvement and timescales, ensuring that the right people have input at the correct stage of each project. There is useful clarity as to who is a client (page 14 of the attached) – it’s essentially the person who ultimately decides what is to be constructed but the list at point 25 has 5 items which the drafting suggests must all be ticked – so this is not as helpful and potentially still leaves it difficult to identify the “client” on certain projects. The duty to co-operate is clarified on page 24, reminding us all again that a collaborative approach is important for far more than the practicalities and economic efficiencies of design, but also for health and safety.

The guidance we have all been waiting for is in relation to transitional and saving provisions. These are covered at Regulation 37 and explained from point 181 on page 59. The key information is that if your (the Client’s) project spans 6 April 2015 and the Client has appointed a CDM Co-ordinator before 6 April 2015, the Client then has 6 months to appoint a principal designer. In the interim, the CDM Co-ordinator is expected to comply with the 2015 regulations (Schedule 4) but they do not have to satisfy the criteria for a principal designer under regulation 5(1)(a). If the client has not appointed a CDM Co-ordinator before 6 April then two alternatives apply: if the construction phase has not started, the Client must appoint a principal designer as soon as practicable; or if the construction phase has started, appointing a principal designer is optional but if the Client chooses not to appoint a principal designer then the principal contractor takes on responsibility for the health & safety file.

This article is intended only to provide a brief overview and is no substitute for reading the HSE Guidance in full. BPE Solicitors LLP will be running a lunchtime seminar in February 2015 which will include a 20 minute overview of this guidance with an opportunity to ask questions. If you have received this mailing from BPE Solicitors LLP directly then you will receive an invitation to that event.

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of articles only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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