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What are the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015?

What is CDM?

The CDM (Construction, Design & Management) Regulations aim to improve and better manage the health, safety, and welfare of those working in, or affected by, construction projects. They do this by helping key duty holders:

  • Cooperate and coordinate their work, and the work of the people they are responsible for, with other duty holders and workers on a construction site
  • Employ the right people for the right job at the right time
  • Plan the work that will be carried out so that risks are managed and controlled from start to finish
  • Engage and consult with workers about risks and how they are being managed
  • Know what the risks are and how they are being managed
  • Communicate any information about risks effectively to those who need to know

These regulations apply to the construction process and help keep everyone safe from concept to completion. They also describe the role of a duty holder and what they must do to comply with the law and make sure that any projects are carried out while maintaining the correct Health & Safety standards.  

All Construction project must have:

  • Workers who are correctly trained for the job with the right skills, training, and experience
  • Contractors who provide the appropriate supervision, information, and instruction
  • A Client’s Brief
  • Pre-Construction Information
  • A Construction Phase Plan

Projects where there is more than one contractor involved should have:

  • A lead designer and contractor (known as the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor), and
  • A Health & Safety file

For more information on the different dutyholders during a construction project, see the HSE guidance. This includes the different types of Client who might begin a construction project.

Organisations or individuals can perform the roles of more than one duty holder if they are equipped with the skills, training, and resources to carry out the role safely.

Key Phases of a Project under the Act

The CDM states which activities should be carried out and what information should be supplied at which phases of the project. This is so that risks can be reduced and controlled.

If this information is not available, there is an obligation on the client to make sure that the information is located and passed to the relevant duty holders. They can seek help from the Principal Designer if they need it.

Key roles under the Act

The CDM makes sure that dutyholder roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. All projects should state who the Duty Holders are so that the roles are filled by people with the right knowledge, training and, experience. There are generally 3 core roles, the client, the designer and the contractor. If there are multiple contractors, then a ‘principal’ should be appointed for both designers and contractors. The list of dutyholders looks like this:

  1. Client
  2. Principal Designer (if necessary) - Designers
  3. Principal Contractor (if necessary) - Contractors
  4. Workers

Other Legislation

Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

This legislation defines manual handling (of an object, person or animal) as:

"...any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force".

The Act also brought clear “ranking measures” for dealing with risks associated with manual handling.

Working at Height Regulations 2005

This legislation ensures that employers plan any activities performed at height and that they are supervised and carried out by competent people.

If you would like to learn more, we also have a CDM Whitepaper on offer free of charge.

Our CDM Training

Our CDM Training helps works towards compliance with CDM Regulations. This course covers, what the Regulations are, planning and safe work sites.

CDM Regulations Training