Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007
scaffold at the Grade I listed Old Court, Clare College, Cambridge.
(Photo: Robin Deaney, Buildings Manager, Clare College)
On 6 April
2007 new regulations came into force which have far-reaching implications
for the management of health and safety where construction work
is being undertaken. The Construction (Design and Management)
Regulations 2007, (CDM 2007) replace the original 1994 regulations.
Additionally, The Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations have been abolished and incorporated into CDM 2007, so rationalising
the main construction health and safety legislation.
A first and
important point is that, under the terms of the regulations, the
definition of 'construction work' is wide, and includes:
conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep,
redecoration, some types of cleaning, and demolition
work, including site clearance, exploration and investigation
(but excluding site survey work, although archaeological work
may fall within the definition)
- the assembly on site of prefabricated
elements to form a structure
- the installation, commissioning,
maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas
or other installations, which are normally fixed within or to
One of the
main aims of the new regulations is to reduce the level of bureaucracy,
often experienced in the past, and to focus attention
on the main health and safety issues. The regulations attempt
to make health and safety considerations a central part of the
development of a project, rather than an after-thought that is dealt
with late in the project programme.
Some of the main changes
to the previous regulations can be summarised as follows:
role of planning supervisor ceases to exists, and is replaced
with a new CDM coordinator role, the CDMC.
- The preparation of
a pre-construction phase health and safety plan by the planning
supervisor (now the CDMC), is no longer a requirement. Instead,
for the CDMC the emphasis is on obtaining comprehensive pre-construction
phase information to pass to the principal contractor. It is then
the responsibility of the principal contractor to prepare the
'construction-phase plan', (previously known as the construction
phase health and safety plan), with guidance and input from the
CDMC as appropriate.
- On notifiable projects, designers must not
undertake anything more than preliminary design work before a
CDMC is appointed. (Notifiable projects are those where work is
expected to last more than 30 days, or where there will be more
than 500 person days of work. In such cases, the Health and Safety
Executive must be formally notified of the project.)
- Clients can
no longer legally discharge their duties under the regulations
by appointing an agent to act on their behalf. The responsibility
for appointing competent consultants, and for ensuring that reasonable
care is taken to provide information relevant to the planning
for health and safety rests firmly with the client. Additionally
(in the case of notifiable projects), if clients do not appoint
a CDMC, they will be deemed to be such themselves by default,
and will bear the responsibilities and liabilities of the role.
- All duty holders under CDM 2007 must consider and apply the general
principles of prevention, to avoid and manage risks. The principles
are set out in Appendix 7 of the new Approved Code of Practice (ACoP), published by the Health and Safety Commission. In short,
at one extreme this approach requires risks to be avoided or 'designed
out', while at the other extreme recognising that there will be
residual risks, the management of which will need to be properly
considered at the design stage.
- The definition of 'designer' has
been widened. A designer is any person who prepares or modifies
a design, in the course of the furtherance of their business.
Thus planning and building control officers or consultants, conservation
officers, English Heritage and Historic Scotland will be deemed
to be designers for many of their decisions. Designers must now
take account of the health and safety of any person who will use
the completed structure as a place of work, as well as those building
and maintaining it. Where a structure is to be used as a workplace,
due regard must be taken of the Workplace (Health, Safety and
Welfare) Regulations 1992, which relate to the design of a structure,
or the materials used in it.
- All duty holders are to co-operate
with any other person concerned with construction work at the
site, or on any adjoining site, in order to enable them to perform
their duties, and to efficiently manage the health and safety
of all involved with or affected by the works.
TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS FROM THE 1994 REGULATIONS
5 of CDM 2007 deals with the transitional provisions of the regulations.
Anyone appointed as a planning supervisor before the new regulations
came into force will be deemed to be a CDMC in accordance with
the new regulations. Similarly, principal contractors appointed
under the old regulations will be required to comply with their
new responsibilities under the new regulations. Importantly, clients
will have 12 months from 6 April 2007 to verify that a planning
supervisor or principal contractor appointed under the old regulations
is sufficiently competent to act under the new regulations. However,
there will clearly be some urgency in the responsibility to do
this; for instance, where work is already progressing towards
the construction phase. Similarly, both CDMCs and principal contractors
will have until 6 April 2008 to ensure that they are competent
under the terms of the new regulations. However, in the interim,
all parties will be required to take reasonable steps to comply
with the requirements of the new regulations.
new regulations place much emphasis on the need for allowing adequate
time for the proper planning of projects. This is considered fundamental
and is why the regulations now require a CDMC to be appointed
before significant detailed design work begins. The ACoP states
that 'significant detailed design work' includes preparation of
the initial concept design and implementation of any strategic
In the past there has been a tendency for short lead-in
periods between the appointment of a contractor and the commencement
of work on site. This often leads to work commencing without full
information being available, and with proper investigation works
only being undertaken at this stage. The greater
responsibility for the client to take reasonable steps to ensure
that proper information is provided to the principal contractor,
and the responsibility of the CDMC to advise on such, is likely
to result in more detailed investigative works being undertaken
at an early stage, but not necessarily prior to the appointment
of a contractor. Although it is possible that such investigations
could be undertaken after the appointment of a contractor, subject
to the nature of the project, contractors should be provided with
comprehensive information at the tender stage to allow them to
properly assess the risks associated with the work, and therefore
the planning and cost implications of such. At the same time,
it is recommended that a principal contractor is appointed as
soon as this is practical, to allow them to advise on buildability
and maintainability. Additionally, the earlier the principal contractor
is involved, the more time there will be for the joint planning
of the project, and the development of a proper construction phase
plan. Those managing projects would therefore be well advised
to build in additional time in the programme for planning and
investigative works. Further, it is recommended that consideration
be given to appointing a contractor well in advance of the proposed
start on site date.
On projects where design work continues into
the construction phase of the project, adequate pre-construction
information will need to be provided to designers before work
starts on each new element of the design.
The new regulations
also require CDMCs to be more involved throughout the course of
projects, and to provide ongoing advice and direction regarding
health and safety-related issues. This may include, for instance,
recommending the use of anti-slip floor coverings in certain areas,
and considering the maintenance implications of a particular building
element. As a result of this wider remit for the CDMC, it is inevitable
that the cost of engaging a CDMC will be higher than that previously
applicable to the role of planning supervisor.
forms of appointment and standard forms of contract, care should
be taken to ensure that the new regulations and their requirements
are referred to and taken into account. The Joint Contracts Tribunal
has already published amendments to its contracts to reflect the
changes. Standard forms of appointment for CDMCs are available
from organisations such as the Association for Project Safety.
Clients would also be well advised to check that their appointed
consultants have professional indemnity insurance cover which
specifically refers to CDM 2007.
PROVISION OF PRE-CONSTRUCTION INFORMATION
compilation and provision of appropriate information is fundamental
to the regulations. The pre-construction phase health and safety
plan required under the old regulations is no longer needed and
is replaced by the provision of pre-construction information.
The ACoP summarises the requirement as 'the right information
for the right people at the right time'.
The sort of information
that should be provided includes:
- any existing health and safety
- an asbestos register
- a site investigation report
concerning mains services obtained from the appropriate utility
However, in the provision of such information it will
not be acceptable for clients to make generalised comments such
as: 'asbestos may be present in the building'. Instead there is
a requirement for an appropriate survey to be undertaken to identify
and safety is still often not taken seriously, and it seems that
there are many who still have the view that it is someone else's
concern, and not something that they need to get involved in.
However, the construction industry still has the worst accident
and death rates of any UK industry. The value of designing and
managing construction work with health and safety firmly in mind
is immeasurable. Additionally, the importance of site conditions
should not be underestimated: a tidy and efficiently operating
site is most likely to be a safe site (and vice versa).
by the Health and Safety Executive, the poor management of health
and safety is likely to result in unnecessary additional costs
as a result of injuries, staff absences, programme delays, poor
morale, and poor communications. If reducing the number of deaths
and serious accidents in the industry is not reason enough to
take an interest in health and safety, then hopefully reducing
costs and increasing efficiencies is.
Everyone involved with a
project has a responsibility for health and safety. This is the
fundamental ethos of the new regulations. When this is combined
with greater communication and co-operation between the parties
involved in a project (together with reduced bureaucracy), wide
ranging benefits must surely result.
article is reproduced from The Building Conservation Directory, 2007
MaPS is a chartered surveyor and director of Sutherland
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