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April 9, 2015

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CDM and the construction industry

ConstructionThe new Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations 2015 came into force on 6 April, following a five-year evaluation of the CDM regulations 2007.

James Ritchie, Association of Project Safety, will be presenting a panel debate on CDM at the Safety & Health Expo in June. He spoke to the show organisers about the challenges of CDM within the construction industry and what visitors can expect from the session in June.

What will be the biggest challenges with the introduction of CDM 2015?

By far the biggest challenge to the construction industry will be around implementation of CDM and coordinating health and safety on the smaller projects where this has not been required up until now.

The next biggest problem will be around ensuring that designers who take on the principal designer role have no only good technical ability but also sufficient skills, knowledge and ability in terms of design and construction health and safety risk management. I am not sure how many of them have ‘clocked’ that when the new CDM Regulations ask for skills, knowledge and experience, it means health and safety skills, knowledge and experience not just technical design.

How can safety and health practitioners and the health and safety industry assist with the implementation of CDM 2015?

By taking a proportionate but considered approach to construction health and safety risk management. Small, simple projects should only require the production of short, simple, construction phase plans and provision of clear information from designers on only the significant residual design risk issues in their designs.

This approach relies on those construction health and safety practitioners who advise clients, contractors and designers, to ensure that they are not creating unnecessary bureaucracy in order to ‘cover backsides’. There is, and will be, a need for good clear risk management advice on larger or more complex projects and health and safety practitioners, who have a good understanding of the design and construction process and how to coordinate health and safety, will have an important part to play in the delivery of CDM2015.

What can visitors to Safety & Health Expo expect to get out of attending your session around CDM?

Hopefully clear advice and guidance on the new CDM Regulations and how they should be implemented.

We would like to see agreement from all sides of the industry on a common, proportionate approach to implementation. We have been given the CDM Regulations – the industry now needs to get on and deal with them.

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Alastair Brown
Alastair Brown
6 years ago

I was present at a recent IOSH discussion about CDM and found it rather frustrating – it seemed the bulk of concern was over contractural obligations and liabilities, and not Safety, which should be the primary concern- reducing incidents and injury. Once again, discussion about CDM2015 relates to responsibilities – CDM is about management, yes, but shouldn’t the focus be on highlighting that the same causes of injury remain unchanged? The risks in construction remain exactly as they were under CDM ’07, and in fact the original CDM regs in ’94, and by and large, each of these sets of… Read more »

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