Joanna Mulgrew, head of development at HBXL explains why housebuilders and developers need to be ready for the new Construction Design Management (CDM) 2015 regulations.
The implementation of the new Construction Design Management (CDM) 2015 regulations means that all property developers and house builders, no matter how big or small, will have to adhere to the new laws being introduced from 6 April.
They are now being advised to swot up to ensure they know what their minimum obligations are when it comes to site health and safety so that when the date comes, they don’t fall foul of the law.
For many, the introduction of CDM 2015 might seem like an irritating distraction to an already busy workload but developers and house builders have a legal obligation to demonstrate that they take their responsibilities seriously and that they have done as much as is reasonably practicable to safe guard their employees, subcontractors and general public.
The revised scheme will, it is hoped, reduce the regulatory burden on the construction industry and improve the level of health and safety.
The new rules
Firstly, following concerns about a perceived lack of flexibility in the transitional phase, there will be transitional arrangements which running for six months from 6 April 2015 to 6 October 2015.
So for projects starting before 6 April 2015, where the construction phase has not yet started and the client has not yet appointed a CDM co-ordinator (CDMC), the client must appoint a principal designer as soon as it is practicable. If the CDM co-ordinator has already been appointed, a principal designer must be appointed to replace the CDM co-ordinator by 6 October 2015, unless the project comes to an end before then.
Other changes will see the CDMC being replaced by a Principal designer role and there will be no exemption for domestic client in notification. The new Regulations also require the duties of a domestic client to be undertaken by either the Contractor or Principal Contractor.
The notification threshold will be 30 working days and 20 persons on site or 500 person days and the duty to notify will now rest with the client.
There will be an abolition of written competence in favour of demonstration of good management and training and finally Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) will be re-written in a more targeted way.
Currently there seems to be a general lack of awareness amongst developers of the new regulations. Many smaller building firms think the new regulations won’t affect them but it is imperative they take these new laws seriously as it could result in hefty fines, closure of a site or worse still a jail term. The lack of understanding highlights the urgent need to make sure they’re ready.
Those worried about what looks like a minefield of rules and regulations can rest easy by making the most of tools designed specifically for them which keeps them right up to date with all things related to health and safety and in particular HBXL’s Health & Safety Xpert software.
The key objective of the new CDM Regulations (2015) is to simplify and clarify the regulations but whether this objective will be achieved only time will tell. It is often very difficult for building businesses to know where to start on health and safety, so it’s imperative if they haven’t already put plans in place to do so immediately and not get caught out.
Health & Safety Xpert software has been designed specifically to help developers and house builders comply with all health and safety paperwork, allowing them to stay right up to date with their obligations on all health and safety issues.
It includes an updated user guide to reflect CDM 2015 regulations and explains them in layman’s terms. It interprets the ACOP (Approved Code of Practice) and will produce all the necessary paperwork at the click of a button.
Making the most of software packages like Health & Safety Xpert will enable developers to keep pace with ever stricter compliance requirements and it’s infinitely cheaper than a fine and more importantly helps prevent those working on site getting injured.
For further information on CDM 2015 or Health & Safety Xpert Version 5 visit www.hbxl.co.uk