At Ai Solutions we hope you and your families, friends and colleagues have had a good Christmas and New Year.
Are you ready for the challenges of 2015? We start off the new year with CDM 2015. Asbestos is going to have it's own feature next newsletter and keep looking out for new blogs!
With CDM 2015 around the corner, 2014 has been a year of anticipation and speculation about the future of CDM. Many organisations are already going through organisational changes in preparation for the new regulations and others are waiting for the eventual outcome. We are all sitting on the seats of uncertainty, which is challenging for even the most resilient of beings.
2015 will be a landscape of opportunities for many and the year where "thinking outside the box" will be en vogue for CDM-Cs. This year training will be essential to keep up to date with the changes / news and dynamism will be important to maintain the visual importance of the CDM-C role and duties within an organisation; to show there is a need for such a role.
There has been an acknowledged skills shortage, construction is on the government's radar and housing has been the engine behind the construction industry's recovery. What we have in 2015 is the pressure to contain costs and an unpredictability that can see companies go into administration or public sector equivalent overnight. This is challenging and unfortunately it shows how we must not take anything for granted. Judging by what the construction pundits say; 2015 could be the year of the "contractor".
We now have confirmation from the HSE that the CDM (Construction [Design and Management]) regulation changes are planned to go live in April 2015. The picture is changing within health and safety; in the UK there are over 3 million people employed within the construction industry (Contracting, Services and Products) and we are considered by Europe to have the best health and safety record - this is no mean feat. Over decades of hardening legislation we have achieved a continuous reduction in construction related deaths since legislation to protect workers within industry was first introduced.
Nevertheless, the current political movement within Europe expects the United Kingdom (UK) to demonstrate that they are adhering to the European Union (EU) requirements, hence the 3rd round of changes for the CDM regulations.
But is this good? There are parties that think not, in fact there are concerns that health and safety standards will decline as there is an expectation of less onus on competence checking. This could happen, but from Ai Solutions' perspective we are doubtful of a dip in working standards. In fact we believe that it may well continue to improve as the changes in roles and responsibilities will open up more opportunities to raise awareness about Health and Safety; sometimes change can be a catalyst for improvement.
The latest information indicates that by April 2015 we will have the latest regulations in place. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in January 2015 we should start having industry guidance available to us on their website. We are yet to hear about the results from the consultation feedback by the HSE regarding a smaller more "targeted guidance"- not an ACoP. We are hoping to know more about this in January.
The HSE will also be focusing on the Small to Medium Sized Business for improvements in the pre-construction phase with the new regulations. Many have thought the burden of the current bureaucratic jungle has held smaller businesses back from their true potential. It is hoped that less bureaucracy and a review of the client's role will help with a collective understanding of expectations and roles. Thus making compliance easier to achieve and making UK construction sites even safer. However, this does not take the onus off the larger businesses in industry acting responsibly and within the law.
CDM2007 does not fully implement the Mobile and Temporary Works Directive (this is one of the reasons for changing the CDM regulations). This will be a major issue as the Directive lays down minimum safety and health requirements for domestic clients. Any construction site at which building or civil engineering works are carried out, there has to be the evidence to show intention to prevent risks by establishing a chain of responsibility linking all the parties involved.
Ai Solutions have been on this path before and are in a good position to provide consultancy to help you with the transition from CDM 2007 to CDM 2015.
The CDM-C and the Principal Designer
What does this all this mean for CDM-C professionals? The "CDM Co-ordinator" role is being removed under the new regulations. This provides us with an opportunity to reassess our roles and the services we all provide. For the most part CDM-C's are highly qualified, knowledgeable professionals who are well placed to provide support to Clients in their increased duties to satisfy current and future legislation.
Whatever the names of the roles within specific organisations, there will be a place for those who are currently CDM-C's; after all, their skill sets and knowledge will be invaluable, particularly in the transition from CDM2007 to CDM2015. Let us not forget that it was the introduction of the Planning Supervisor back in 1995 and the subsequent change to CDM-C in 2007 that contributed to less construction related deaths, promoted 'good practice' and better on site Health and Safety.
The new role of Principal Designer (PD) in CDM 2015 requires a greater level of understanding of the regulatory requirements. They will have to manage, monitor and co-ordinate the pre-construction phase. The people who assume this role in April 2015 also have their existing work to do on top of their current responsibilities. It will be interesting to see how this work is delegated or contracted out to people who were previously CDM-C's. The pressures of the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme, training for this new role, and time, will test the current and new systems of working in most organisations; especially in smaller business.
There are also concerns about insurances for the PD role to cover financial liability and the consideration of criminal liability. The CDM-C role required liability insurance cover; presumably PD's will need to look into this to protect themselves in the future? This could add a cost to change.
Then we have the Client role; with additional responsibilities some Clients will struggle or be totally 'unaware'. This will be made even more interesting by the introduction of "specific" and "absolute" duties under CDM 2015. It is possible that CDM could fall by the wayside, the situation could be used as a money making opportunity, or spur people within the Client role to be more educated.
We think we will all have to wait to see the full details of what this role will entail before passing judgement on this part of CDM 2015. In particular the responsibilities, expectations and liability issues; we are anxious to see how the HSE handles these as there will be a significant number of vulnerable clients who will need honest, transparent guidance to help them through the process.
Ai Solutions are updating ToolKit CS™ in line with the new regulations, so that we can continue to provide our customers with high quality compliance and management software.
We will be holding workshops and on-line seminars in the coming weeks, so watch this space! We want to provide our customers with as much help as possible before, during and after the regulation changes.
As always the team at Ai Solutions is here to support and inform you in regards to compliant CDM management. Please do not hesitate in calling us 01525 850 080 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.