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VIEWPOINT 22 CDM 2015 HAS LANDED Nearly all design practices will find that clients expect them to undertake the role of ‘principal designer’, with all the legal and commercial implications that are implied. “Put aside your old ACoP for the 2007 Regulations and download a copy of HSE’s ‘legal series’ publication L153 (Managing health and safety in construction) – which includes the Regulations themselves. So far there is no ACoP (and there may never be one) for the 2015 CDM Regulations, so L153 is the boss. It’s quite readable and fills out areas which the Regulations are silent upon". Why CDM 2015? Some designers are asking: after CDM 1994 (with ‘planning supervisors’) and CDM 2007 (with ‘CDM co-ordinators’) what is CDM 2015 – now with ‘principal designers’? The new CDM legislation aims to get designers to work as a team to address health and safety risks through the design process. This activity will now be managed by a principal designer (PD), who should be a person or organisation ‘in control’ of design. This will normally mean the architect or (for infrastructure work) the lead engineer. This means that designers will certainly be involved with PD face-to-face, rather than via email or telephone. It also means that design practices will have to get up to speed fast about the new PD role, because the Regulations have already been brought in (April 2015). What else is there? ‘What else’ is a major re-think of CDM, and it is not simply a case of reading the odd article. All construction professionals would be well-advised to read the HSE’s companion guidance (L153). Things to be aware of now: 1 The client role has been greatly expanded upon. 2 All clients are now included – there is no exemption for ‘domestic’ clients (although their duties can be passed on to others). 3 The new PD role has been created to try to energise designers to share information more actively and make better decisions as a team. The duties of principal contractors, together with designers and contractors generally remain the same. Is that all? No, there are many minor changes spread through the new regulations – do not assume that anything is exactly as it used to be. There are also changes in terminology that need to be recognised: 1 The word ‘hazard’ has largely disappeared, leaving the word ‘risk’ to encompass both hazard and risk – possibly following general parlance, but also reflecting the Management Regulations. 2 The word ’control’ has appeared in the parlance about what designers have to do. This will confuse some, who believe that (strictly) only contractors making workplace risk assessments can be involved in applying controls to risks. By using the word ‘control’ in a more general sense, designers can (and do) clearly provide controls to guard against residual risks. Alan Gilbertson, CIRIA Consultant, outlines the latest changes to the CDM regulations, reflecting on his own personal involvement in CDM since its arrival over 20 years ago


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