Last month I had the privilege of taking a course on the Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations run by a fellow Bondholder, Kedleston Safety. With Planning & Design evolving and increasingly taking projects all the way through the entire process of development and into Construction, we are investing time and money into training and development on the Building Regulations and Construction aspects of our projects.
CDM is based on sound industry practice and will particularly help small businesses and organisations deliver building and construction projects in a way that prevents injury and ill health. The CDM Regulations were updated in 2015 but many within the construction Industry are unaware of their implications. It used to be that CDM only applied when a project was notifiable to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and this only applied to larger projects. However, with the changes in 2015, all building work must comply with the CDM Regulations. This includes new build, demolition, refurbishment, extensions, conversions, repair and maintenance.
What most people don’t know is that when you employ a builder even on a small domestic project such as a small kitchen extension or the removal of a single wall, you as the Client are liable for all Health and Safety on that site, and if anything goes wrong, you are responsible for rectifying it. CDM 2015 puts sole ownership of liability onto the Client unless an Advisor, a Principal Designer, or a Principal Contractor has been appointed in writing. What is important to know is that if you employ a contractor, unless you agree to appoint them as the Principal Contractor, they do not take ownership of the CDM responsibilities.
So my advice is clear – when you are next considering a building project don’t forget to think about who is going to take on the CDM responsibilities. If you wish to learn more about this subject please follow this link to the HSE website - http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/summary.htm
Ciaran Spalding is an Architectural Technologist at Planning & Design Practice
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