Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) 2015

The Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force in Great Britain on 6 April 2015, and sets out what people involved in construction work need to do to protect themselves from harm and anyone the work affects.

Whatever your role in construction, be it client, designer or contractor, CDM aims to improve health and safety in the industry by helping you to:

  • sensibly plan the works so the risks involved are managed from start to finish
  • have the right people for the right job at the right time
  • cooperate and coordinate your work with others
  • have the right information about the risks and how they are being managed
  • communicate this information effectively to those who need to know
  • consult and engage with workers about the risk and how they are being managed

Virtually everyone involved in a construction project has legal duties under CDM 2015 of some description. These ‘duty holders’ are defined as follows:

  • Client – Anyone who has construction work carried out for them. The main duty for clients is to make sure their project is suitably managed, ensuring the health and safety of all who might be affected by the work, including members of the public. CDM 2015 recognises two types of clients:
    1. Commercial Clients have construction work carried out as part of their business. This could be an individual, partnership or company and includes property developers and companies managing domestic properties.
    2. Domestic client have construction work carried out for them but not in connection with any business – usually work done on their own home or the home of a family member. CDM 2015 does not require domestic clients to carry out client duties as these normally pass to other duty holders.
  • Designer – An organisation or individual whose work involves preparing or modifying designs, drawings, specification, bills of quantity or design calculations. Designers can be architects, consulting engineers and quantity surveyors, or anyone who specifies and alters designs as part of their work. They can also include tradespeople if they carry out design work. The designer’s main duty is to eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during construction work, or in the use and maintenance of the building once built. Designers work under the control of a principal designer on projects with more than one contractor.
  • Principal Designer – A designer appointed by the client to control the pre-construction phase on projects with more than one contractor. The principal designer’s main duty is to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety during this phase, when most design work is carried out.
  • Principal Contractor – A contractor appointed by the client to manage the construction phase on projects with more than one contractor. The principal contractor’s main duty is to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety during this phase, when all construction work takes place.
  • Contractor – An individual or business in charge of carrying out construction work (e.g. building, altering, maintaining or demolishing). Anyone who manages this work or directly employs or engages construction workers is a contractor. Their main duty is to plan, manage and monitor the work under their control in a way that ensures the health and safety of anyone it might affect (including members of the public). Contractors work under the control of the principal contractor on projects with more than one contractor.
  • Worker – An individual who actually carries out the work involved in building, altering, maintaining or demolishing buildings or structures. Workers include: plumbers, electricians, scaffolders, painters, decorators, steel erectors and labourers, as well as supervisors like foreman and chargehands. Their duties include cooperating with their employer and other duty holders, reporting anything they see that might endanger the health and safety of themselves or others. Workers must be consulted on matters affecting their health, safety and welfare.

Derisk is an organisation that has the necessary knowledge and expertise to undertake the new principal designer role and will be offering its services to clients, project-managers, architects and designers should they not have internal resources in which to fulfil the role.

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