Service Focus Banner

Watts Articles

Watts Service Focus Bulletin - CDM

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has obviously been hard at work reviewing, updating - and in some instances revoking - regulations and approved codes of practice but only time will tell if the industry sees any real benefits as a result of this exercise.

The construction sector has seen focussed inspections of late but despite a reduction in fatalities during 2013 when compared to previous years, the HSE has noted that half of those construction sites inspected revealed unsafe working practices. We continue to wait for the draft CDM Regulations which are ‘still on target’ for October 2014 but it has been made clear that these regulations have been given a major re-write.

In this bulletin we look at some recent changes and provide information on the CDM proposals. We hope you find the content both informative and useful. Check out our website and Twitter page for more information.

Rebecca Fairclough
Manchester Associate, Watts Group PLC

Watts Service Focus Bulletin - CDM

CDM revisions on target for October 2014, despite delays

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is expected to publish its draft revised CDM Regulations 2014 this autumn. Publication will be followed by a public consultation period, giving the construction industry and other stakeholders their say in framing the new regulations.

CDM focus_main

There is a general assumption in the construction industry that the revised version of the CDM Regulations will be based on a ‘copy out’ of EC Directive 92/57/EEC. This calls for the client to appoint a coordinator for safety and health matters during the “project preparation stage”. The coordinator is responsible for managing implementation of the provisions of Article 4, which requires the client to take account of health and safety issues during the various design and project preparation stages.

The HSE is expected to propose:

  • Removal of the Approved Code of Practice which is to be replaced with a suite of guidance notes.
  • removal of the independent CDM Co-ordinator role;
  • design phase health and safety co-ordination duties to be placed with the principal designer;
  • construction phase health and safety co-ordination duties to be placed with the principal contractor;
  • removal of the Appendix 4 Competence Assessment criteria; and
  • CDM Regulations to be applied to all projects with more than one contractor on site.

A Construction Industry Council (CIC) working group has been reviewing the potential implications of the proposed revisions. The group has concluded that a simple ‘copy out’ of the EC directive is not enough “to ensure that revised regulations are clear, adequately define requirements and are more precise” because  the directive was published more than 20 years ago, “is very broad and is open to a wide range of interpretation”. As a result the broad brush implications of the proposed revisions have been considered, together with the more detailed implications relating to design, coordination and competence. The implications relating to contractors and the construction phase have not been examined in detail. To read the report in full, go to

According to the Association for Project Safety, the HSE are still planning to hold a three- month industry consultation period prior to issuing the revised Regulations. “However as the delay increases so does the likelihood that the consultation period will be reduced in order to still meet an October 2014 introduction of any new regulations,” said the Association earlier this autumn.

For more information about CDM revisions please contact Rebecca Fairclough, in Watts’ Manchester office, on 0161 831 6180.

What are your thoughts about the CDM revisions? Have your input with the debate on Watts’ Twitter page or join the Watts Bulletin group on LinkedIn.

The Watts Bulletin is the technical companion to the Watts Pocket Handbook, the essential guide to property and construction, as used by professionals since 1983.

Watts Bulletin editor: Trevor Rushton.