Construction projects must be fully compliant with the new CDM 2015 compliance regulations from 6 October 2015, which is the date when the six month transition period ends, warns health and safety compliance expert Altius.
"There's still widespread confusion in the industry about the updated CDM regulations", said Gary Plant, Managing Director of Altius. "One of the common misunderstandings is that it won't apply to projects started before April 2015 under the previous CDM 2007 regime.
Tuesday 6th October deadline
That's not the case: from 6 October all projects must adhere to new requirements, including replacing existing CDM co-ordinators with the new role of 'principal designer'."
He added: "There's a danger that domestic contracts will fall foul of the regulations. CDM 2015 applies to small domestic extension and refurbishment projects, which were previously exempt. But client responsibilities, which have increased for commercial projects, are passed to either the contractor, principal contractor or principal designer, dependent on the size of project."
CDM 2015 puts greater emphasis on the legal duties of the client, who is recognised as the head of the supply chain and expected to oversee the project. These enhanced responsibilities include:
- Appointing a principal designer, and principal contractor (in circumstances where there is more than one contractor).
- Ensuring health and safety standards when appointing a principal designer and principal contractor. The client must satisfy themselves that those who carry out the work have the necessary competencies to carry out the work safely.
- Notification of the project to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), whenever construction work will take more than 30 working days and have more than 20 works on site at any time, or where construction work will exceed 500 person days.
- Providing evidence that those appointed demonstrate appropriate information, instruction, supervision and training.
- Putting in place a construction phase plan prior to start on site.
Robust compliance process required
Gary Plant added: "With CDM 2015 the 'buck' ultimately stops with the client, so it is essential that they put in place robust compliance processes to ensure that they adhere to the more stringent responsibilities. Being able to provide evidence of the competence of suppliers is critical."
As with CDM 2007, contractors and designers can demonstrate that they meet the new standard for health and safety performance using Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) approved assessments, included within the Altius Vendor Assessment system. SSIP provides mutual recognition among its pre-qualification member schemes.
If a company has already been assessed by an SSIP member scheme, it will automatically be an accepted SSIP contractor – providing the necessary customer assurance. Altius are long term members of the SSIP Forum Management Group and host and maintain the SSIP portal.
Photo Credit: Flickr via US Army Corps of Engineers