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Watts Service Focus Bulletin - CDM

It has been almost a year since Professor Ragnar Löfstedt produced his report to the government detailing recommendations for the overhaul of health and safety legislation in England and Wales. His report identified the need to simplify, remove and amend legislation and guidance to re-focus our minds on the things that matter and to make it easier for us to understand and comply with the law.  With the plethora of different rules and regulations that have taken hold in the property and construction industry in recent years, simplification has to be a step in the right direction.

We have already seen updates to some regulations, such as the new seven- day reporting of accidents under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) and the update to the Asbestos Regulations to bring us in line with the European Directive.  This month, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has also introduced its Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme aimed at those who are responsible for breaching legislation.

In this special CDM focus bulletin, we look at some of these recent changes and provide an update on forthcoming reform.

Rebecca Fairclough, Associate, Watts Group PLC

Watts Service Focus Bulletin - CDM

Revised CDM Regulations due in 2014

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to produce revised Construction (Design and Management) Regulations by 2014, with a public consultation expected next year. However, details of the package of reforms to the 2007 CDM Regulations will not be made public until a draft package and a consultative document have been submitted and agreed by the HSE Board. According to the HSE, that is not expected to happen until December 2012.

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The HSE has been looking in detail at the existing version of the CDM Regulations since 2009. Its evaluation was completed in May 2011 but reform was delayed in order to take into account the findings of the Löfstedt Review - an independent report on health and safety legislation published in November 2011- and the government’s Red Tape Challenge initiative.  The HSE Board has now agreed that work should now start on simplifying and rationalising CDM 2007 and that reform must take into account three important aspects:

  • Work must be based on ‘copy out’ (using exactly the same wording) of the European Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD).
  • Any revision to CDM 2007 must satisfy the requirements of the European Commission to fully implement existing Directives. As it stands, CDM 2007 ‘under-implements’ TMCSD by not including owner occupiers (or ‘domestic’ clients) in the definition of ‘client’ for the purposes of the Regulations.
  • A two-tier industry has emerged as far as health and safety on building sites is concerned, with larger sites making significant progress in improving safety but smaller sites continuing to perform poorly. Small sites are disproportionately represented in the official serious and fatal accident statistics and the challenge to provide an effective regulatory framework for these sites remains substantial.

The Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) of the HSE reports that any revised regulatory package “will be prepared primarily based on the TMCSD but must avoid a reduction in standards, retain those aspects that add value or enhance them, particularly in regulating smaller projects”.

The HSE now plans to consult publicly on the revised regulations early next year. The earliest that any new CDM Regulations will come into force is April 2014.

For more information about the CDM Regulations, contact Rebecca Fairclough, Associate at Watts Group PLC, on 0161 831 6180.

Do you think the CDM Regulations need to be revised – and, if so, what changes would you like to see? Get in touch with your views on Watts’ Twitter page @Watts_Group or become a member of 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.