Commenting on the release of draft guidance on the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, Paul Reeve, ECA director of business services, says, ‘There are some significant additions to the outgoing 2007 version including extra duties on many contractors which will come as a surprise to thousands of companies.
‘Two practical challenges will be to explain what’s new to both clients and smaller contractors and then help them to comply.’
Over the last 20 years, many clients and contractors have embraced the myth that the CDM only applies when a construction job is big enough to be ‘notifiable’ to the HSE. But in CDM 2015 the Regulations apply no matter how small the job and notification is not required before contractors and others need to comply. The new Regulations and guidance also underline that ‘construction’ covers all sorts of work (e.g. building fit-out, commissioning and maintenance) no matter how small.
‘Even now, the general requirements of CDM apply to small jobs but this has always presented a communication problem for the HSE,’ Reeve continues. ‘With CDM 2015 the situation will be more acute because from April virtually all of the duties will apply even for smaller jobs.’
Reeve cites the new requirement for both a principal contractor and a principal designer as soon as there is ‘more than one contractor’. Currently, a principal contractor is only needed if the project is big enough to be notifiable. ‘Both these roles carry additional duties under CDM 2015,’ says Reeve. ‘Many more contractors – of all types and sizes – will need to step up and be the principal contractor at some time. One challenge will be to help them get there.’