What are the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations?

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) are the primary regulations for managing the health, safety and welfare of construction projects. In April 2015, the CDM Regulations 2015 replaced the regulations set out in 2007.

About the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations

The CDM aims to improve health and safety for every person involved in a construction project, reducing accident at work claims.

The regulations have been put together to help workers sensibly plan the work to better manage the risks involved in a project from start to finish.

The regulations set out guidelines to ensure that the right people are working on the right jobs at the right time. This ensures that workers cooperate and coordinate with others, and that every worker has access to the right information about the risks, and how they are being managed at each stage of the construction process.

I work in construction - what do I need to do?

Health and safety breach claims for construction site accidents often relate breaches under the CDM regulations.

If you work in the construction industry, no matter what role, it is highly likely that you will have legal duties under the CDM 2015. These ?duty holders' are as follows:

Client

Anyone who has construction work carried out for them is known as a client under the CDM 2015. The client's main duty under CDM is to ensure that their project is suitably managed. This includes ensuring the health and safety of all who may be affected by the construction work, including members of the public. There are two types of client recognised under CDM 2015:

  1. Commercial clients have construction work carried out as a part of their business. Commercial clients could be an individual, a partnership of a company, including property developers and companies managing domestic property construction.
  2. Domestic clients are those who have construction work carried out for them which is not in connection with any business. This is usually work carried out on the home or the home of a family member. CDM 2015 does not require domestic clients to carry out client duties, as these usually pass to other duty holders under the regulations.

Designer

A designer can be an organisation or individual whose work in the construction process involves preparing or modifying designs, drawings, specifications, bills of quantity or design calculations for a construction project. Designers can be:

  • Architects
  • Consulting engineers
  • Quantity surveyors
  • Anyone who specifies and alters designs as part of their work

The designer's main duty under CDM 2015 is to reduce, eliminate or control any foreseeable risks that may arise during construction work, or in the use and maintenance of the building once completed.

A principal designer can be assigned to projects with more than one contractor. The principal designer is appointed by the client and plans, manages, monitors and coordinates health and safety during the pre-construction phase when most design work is carried out.

Contractor

A contractor is an individual or business in charge of carrying out construction work. This could be building, altering, maintaining or demolishing. Anyone who manages this work or directly employs or engages construction workers is classed as a contractor under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The contractor's main duty is to plan, manage and monitor the work under their control. This includes ensuring the health and safety of anyone it may affect - including members of the public.

On projects with more than one contractor, the principal contractor manages, monitors and coordinates health and safety while all construction work takes place.

Worker

A worker is defined by the CDM as an individual who carries out the work involved in building, altering, maintaining or demolishing buildings or structures. Workers include:

  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Scaffolders
  • Painters
  • Decorators
  • Steel erectors
  • Labourers
  • Supervisors such as foremen and chargehands

Worker's duties include cooperating with the employer and other dutyholders. They are also required to report anything that could endanger the health and safety of themselves and others. Workers must be informed of matters that affect their health, safety and welfare.

Read more on building site accident claims and building contractor accident  claims.