The new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into full force on 6 October 2015.

All commercial construction projects with more than one contractor must now have a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor responsible for health and safety. Architects and others taking on the Principal Designer role for the first time must ensure that they have professional indemnity insurance (PII) which covers their responsibilities warns Brunel.

CDM 2015 came into force on 6 April 2015. It significantly extends the requirements from the role and duties of the CDM Coordinator who was responsible for health and safety under the old rules. Transitional arrangements, which allowed projects already underway to continue under the old CDM rules, came to an end at midnight on 5 October 2015.

All commercial clients who undertake construction work must appoint a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor. Failure to do so means the client retains responsibility for these functions under CDM 2015. The Principal Designer is responsible for planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating health and safety including during the pre-construction period when most design work is carried out. The Principal Contractor is responsible for health and safety when all construction work takes place. However anyone with a design responsibility also has responsibilities under CDM 2015.

“CDM 2015 is trying to engineer a significant shift in attitude and responsibility,” said James Burgoyne, Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professional Risks. “Whilst how the new legislation will operate in practice is still becoming clear, firms which adopt a “business as usual” approach may well be caught out by the changes. The legislation is very clear that the single point of responsibility on a project as represented by the CDM Coordinator is no longer acceptable, and the legislation intends multi-party input and coordination.”

Details about the CDM regulations are available on the Health and Safety Executive’s website. RICS and law firms Forsters, Davidson Chalmers and Wright Hassall have published summaries of the new regulations.