What's New

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007

The CDM Regulations 2007 came into force on 6th April 2007. CDM 2007 places legal duties on virtually everyone involved in construction work. According to the HSE, the 3 main purposes or benefits of the new legislation are to:

  • Improve health and safety in your industry,
  • Have the right people for the right job at the right time to manage the risks on site,
  • Focus on effective planning and managing risk - manage the risk not the paperwork.

The new CDM 2007 Regulations are divided into 5 parts:

  • Part 1 deals with the application of the Regulations and definitions.
  • Part 2 covers general duties that apply to all construction projects.
  • Part 3 contains additional duties that only apply to notifiable construction projects, i.e.those lasting more that 30 days or involving more than 500 person days of construction work.
  • Part 4 contains practical requirements that apply to all construction sites.
  • Part 5 contains the transitional arrangements and revocations.

Those with legal duties under CDM 2007 are commonly known as ‘Duty Holders’. This includes Clients, CDM Co-coordinators, Designers, Principal Contractors, Contractors and Workers.

Duty Holders

Clients - A 'client' is anyone having construction or building work carried out as part of their business. This could be an individual, partnership or company and includes property developers or management companies for domestic properties.

CDM coordinators - A 'CDM coordinator' has to be appointed to advise the client on projects that last more than 30 days or involve 500 person days of construction work. The CDM coordinator's role is to advise the client on health and safety issues during the design and planning phases of construction work and to advise the HSE of a construction project.

Designers - The term 'designer' has a broad meaning and relates to the function performed, rather than the profession or job title. Designers are those who, as part of their work, prepare design drawings, specifications, bills of quantities and the specification of articles and substances. This could include architects, engineers and quantity surveyors.

Principal Contractors - A 'principal contractor' has to be appointed for projects which last more than 30 days or involve 500 person days of construction work. The principal contractor's role is to plan, manage and co-ordinate health and safety while construction work is being undertaken. The principal contractor is usually the main or managing contractor for the works.

Contractors - A 'contractor' is a business who is involved in construction, alteration, maintenance or demolition work. This could involve building, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, demolition and maintenance companies, partnerships and the self-employed.

Workers - A ’worker’ is anyone who carries out work during the construction, alteration, maintenance or demolition of a building or structure. A worker could be, for example, a plumber, electrician, scaffolder, painter, decorator, steel erector, as well as those supervising work such as foremen and charge-hands.

Project Notification

CDM 2007 requires most construction work to be notified to the HSE. This is done by completing a HSE form called an “F10”. Notification is required if the project, commonly referred to as a ‘construction project’, is likely to either last longer than 30 days or involve more than 500 persons days of construction work.

A ‘person day’ is one individual, including supervisors or specialist trades, carrying out construction work for one normal working shift. Any day on which construction work is carried out (including holidays and weekends) should be counted, even if the work on that day is of short duration.

Construction work for a domestic client is not notifiable. A domestic client is someone who lives, or will live, in the premises where the work is carried out. The premises must not relate to any trade, business or undertaking.

It is the CDM coordinator for the work that is required to send the notification to the HSE office covering the site where construction work is to take place. Notification should be submitted as soon as possible after the client has appointed the CDM coordinator.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently (June 2008) introduced an online version of the F10 (originally it was in the form of a hard copy) and has suggested that this version can be signed by the CDM Co-ordinator.

Under the old CDM regulations, the “Planning Supervisor” was required to sign the F10 but this was changed under CDM 2007 on the basis that the client should recognise the significant role they play in the construction process. There is no legal requirement for the CDM Co-ordinator to sign the F10 and this fact is accepted by the HSE.

Risk of Non-Compliance

The HSE will investigate possible serious breaches of health and safety legislation on a construction project if they deem necessary and this can result in construction work being stopped and having to take on additional work to rectify matters. In the most serious circumstances prosecution may be considered.

The ultimate aim of CDM 2007 is to try and reduce the risk of fatalities and injury in the construction industry by involving all parties and encouraging a co-operation and co-ordination mentality.

Acknowledgements: MCBH&S, RICS and HSE.