SafetyNet - Construction Design & Management: Withdrawal of the HSE Approved Code of Practice

SafetyNet - Construction Design & Management: Withdrawal of the HSE Approved Code of Practice

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In recent years the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has undertaken a review of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007). In 2014 the HSE published a Consultation Paper, which included proposals to amend CDM 2007 and withdraw the HSE Approved Code of Practice (ACOP). The consultation was based on HSE’s research which indicated that CDM 2007 did not adequately deal with bureaucracy and that the CDM co-ordination function did not lead to an integrated approach to risk management.

That consultation process is now complete and the new regulations (CDM 2015) are due to come into force on 6 April 2015 and replace CDM 2007. The changes are intended to address, inter alia, the perceived shortcomings. CDM 2015 will apply to all construction projects in Great Britain from conception to completion (including work carried out in all territorial seas and in the renewable energy zone).

This note provides some general guidance on the key amendments (which may be subject to change as CDM 2015 is still in draft and awaiting Parliamentary approval). With that in mind, this note should not be treated as a substitute for obtaining insurance and legal advice specific to your circumstances.

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Effective Date and the Transition Period

CDM 2015 will apply to all projects regardless of when those projects commenced. However, there will be a six month transitional period until 6 October 2015 for projects that have already commenced.

For projects starting before 6 April 2015, where the construction phase has not yet started and the client has not yet appointed a CDM co-coordinator, the client must appoint a Principal Designer (discussed further below) as soon as practicable. If the CDM co-ordinator has already been appointed, the client must appoint a Principal Designer to replace the CDM co-ordinator by 6 October 2015 unless the project comes to an end before then.

Information produced under CDM 2007 (such as pre-construction information or a construction phase plan) will be deemed to satisfy CDM 2015.

Key Differences

The key differences are as follows:

  1. The removal of the domestic client exemption and enhancing the role of the client;

  2. Amending the projects that are required to be notified to HSE;

  3. Changing the threshold for:

    1. appointing co-ordinators inasmuch as co-ordinators are now required where there is more than one contractor, and

    2. replacing the role of CDM co-ordinator with that of the ’Principal Designer’, and

  4. Replacing the ACOP with guidance notes aimed at particular sectors and in particular smaller projects.

According to HSE, the technical aspects contained in Part 4 (which sets out the general safety requirements for all construction sites) are essentially unchanged from CDM 2007. We have not undertaken a detailed assessment of the technical changes at this point.

If you would like to read more around this topic, please click here.

Further content includes:

  • The Client
    CDM 2015 removes the domestic client exemption so as to bring the regulations in line with Directive 92/57/EEC (the Directive)… (Read more)
  • Notification
    A project is notifiable to HSE if the construction is scheduled to last longer than “30 working days and have more than 20 workers simultaneously at any point in the project”; this compares to the previous… (Read more)
  • Replacement of CDM Co-ordinator
    Since the introduction of CDM 2007, the CDM Co-ordinator has had a pivotal role in notifiable construction projects. According to HSE however… (Read more)
  • Some Practical Considerations
    All designers are responsible for ensuring that the client is aware of its duties under CDM 2015. With this is mind, wherever you are… (Read more)
  • Further Guidance
    Further guidance on CDM 2015 can be found in the draft CDM L-Series published by HSE (which is available… (Read more)

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We have a detailed understanding of the types of PI claims that can attach from the provision of professional advice; this feeds into our inclusive contract review service, where we have a team who review over 500 contracts per month for our clients.

The value of our service lies not only in specifying and purchasing the right insurance in first class markets, but in the consistent, fully independent advice offered on the management of risk and the support provided when claims arise.

Further Advice and/or Clarifications…

If you have any questions or queries with regard to the content of this newsletter or would like to discuss your PI insurance requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Stephen Hargreaves
Griffiths & Armour Professional Risks
+44 (0)151 600 2176

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