CDM transitional period ends 5th October 2015

Posted on 28 September 2015

CDM transitional period ends 5th October 2015

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force on 6 April 2015 and replaces the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007).  

The CDM 2015 applies to all construction work in Great Britain and affect nearly every construction project; there is no exclusion for small projects or domestic projects.  They can also apply outside Great Britain under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (Application outside Great Britain) Order 2013 (SI 2013/240)). 

It is necessary to note that key changes have been made by the CDM 2015 which include: applying fully to small projects, further enhancement of the role of the client (now applying to domestic clients), and keeping the role of principal contractor but abolishing that of CDM co-ordinator. Furthermore, a principal designer must now be appointed in place of a CDM co-ordinator to manage health and safety matters as well as simplifying how parties assess competence.

How do these transitional provisions work?

The CDM 2015 apply to all projects, regardless of when those projects commenced. However, for projects that had already commenced on 6 April 2015 (the effective date of the CDM 2015), transitional arrangements apply. 

If a project involves more than one contractor, the client has not yet appointed a CDM co-ordinator and if the construction phase has not started, the client must appoint a principal designer as soon as practicable. If the construction phase has started, the client may appoint a principal designer, but is not required to do so. If it does not, the principal contractor must prepare the health and safety file.

If the project involves more than one contractor and the client has appointed a CDM co-ordinator, it must appoint a principal designer by 6 October 2015. Until then, the CDM co-ordinator's role will continue, primarily in the same way as under the CDM 2007, but with revised duties specified in detail and tailored to reflect the CDM 2015 arrangements regarding the health and safety file and construction phase plan. The transitional provisions allow for the CDM co-ordinator to continue until the end of the project, provided this falls before 6 October 2015.

If the project involves more than one contractor and the client has not appointed a principal contractor, it must do so in writing as soon as practicable after 6 April 2015. The principal contractor must then draw up a construction phase plan.
If the project involves only one contractor, it must draw up the construction phase plan as soon as practicable.

The transitional provisions also include saving provisions for domestic clients. A contractor working on a project with more than one contractor for a domestic client must identify who is the principal contractor with control of the works. That contractor must comply with the principal contractor's duties.

Please contact James Brownlie if you have any further queries or would like advice on these issues.