Construction (Design and Management) Regulations

An extract from the Contract Journal, Radical changes & CDM2007

The new CDM regulations come into effect in April. They are "the most radical change to construction health and safety legislation since 1994, the year when the existing CDM regulations came into effect," according to John Malins, associate at law firm Davies Arnold Cooper.

The new regs make those with the greatest control and influence over a project, namely the project team, responsible for health and safety. They also introduce a new role of co-ordinator in place of the planning supervisor who will be appointed by the client. "The co-ordinator will be required to 'identify and extract' all information required to secure the health and safety of anyone engaged in construction work," says Malins.

The other big change is that ultimate responsibility - and consequently, liability for health and safety - rests with the client for all construction projects. While the client can delegate the duties under the regulations, for example to the co-ordinator, it nonetheless retains liability for complying with the regulations.

"Contractors, employers and designers would be wise to review their obligations now," warns Malins. "Any projects straddling the April 2007 effective date will be subject to the new regulations, which apply to all construction projects lasting more than 30 days or involving more than 500 person days of construction work."

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