Understanding the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations
The Health & Safety Regulations relevant to construction, known as the CDM Regulations, can seem daunting and confusing.
In this article we’ve tried to provide a simple explanation of the requirements to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and successful build.
All Potton customers benefit from a comprehensive support package of information and advice to build upon the information provided here.
The CDM regulations are intended to ensure health and safety issues are properly considered through the life of a project so the risk of harm to those who have to build, use and maintain structures is reduced.
They first came into force in March 1995 and the previous, 2007 version of the CDM Regulations exempted domestic clients from most obligations. The 2015 Regulations removed this exemption, but transferred the client’s obligations to the contractor or principal contractor on a project involving more than one contractor.
Most self build projects will be notifiable as they will last longer than 500 person days. The link here provides a simple online form for notifying the HSE.
The notification for construction work is normally made by the client. The exception to this is where the client is a domestic client. Here, the responsibility for notification is passed to the contractor (or Principal Contractor).
If there is more than one contractor and you as client do not appoint a Principal Contractor and Principal Designer, those duties fall automatically to the designer and contractor in control of the pre-construction and construction phases.
Where Potton is providing an architectural service we automatically assume the responsibilities of the Principal Designer.
The 2015 CDM Regulations define domestic clients as, ‘…people who have construction work carried out on their own home, or the home of a family member that is not done as part of a business, whether for profit or not.’
The CDM regulations do not seek to prevent self builders from managing their own projects, rather, the intention is to ensure that projects proceed in a safe and organised manner.
The support and services Potton provide are intended to ensure that Self Builders can manage their own builds in a safe and effective manner. If the self builder acts as their own project manager, employing individual trades at different times then the HSE expects individual contractors to be able to advise the self builder on any specialist matters within their own work activities.
The expectation on a self builder in this position is on co-ordination rather than direct supervision of contractors on site. The self builder is entitled to expect contractors to plan, manage and monitor their own work.
The Regulations set out a number of requirements for work carried out on a construction site (not all are listed below) that contractors must comply with and includes provisions relating them. Not all of these will be applicable on every self build project and several are very easy to address being part of general good practice.
• An appropriate level of site welfare
• Safe places of construction work
• Good order and site security
• Stability of structures
• Demolition or dismantling
• Reports of inspections
• Traffic routes
• Prevention of risk from fire, flooding or asphyxiation
• Emergency procedures
• Emergency routes and exits
• Fire detection and fire-fighting
• Temperature and weather protection
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