CDM Regulations (Construction Design and Management)

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cdm regulationsWhat is CDM?

Following its initial introduction in 1994, the Construction Design and Management Regulations (commonly known as the CDM Regulations) were re-introduced in April 2007, the revised Regulations are intended to make it easier for those involved in construction projects to comply with their health and safety duties.

The CDM Regulations are aimed at improving the overall management and co-ordination of health, safety and welfare throughout all stages of a construction project to reduce the large number of serious and fatal accidents and cases of ill health which happen every year in the construction industry. The HSE says that the new regulations emphasise planning and management to secure a safe project, rather than paperwork.

The Regulations place duties on all those who can contribute to the health and safety of a construction project. Duties are placed upon clients, designers and contractors with more power given to the CDM Coordinator in what is considered a more authorative and policing role.

The new regulations combine the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (1996) and CDM 1994 into one single set of regulations.  However, they also introduce some important changes to the safety regime. 

These include:

A CDM Co-ordinator, like a Planning Supervisor, has to be appointed by the client if a project lasts more than 30 days or involves more than 500 person days of work.  But, unlike the Planning Supervisor, is required to advise and assist the client on how to fulfill their duties, especially on whether other duty-holders’ arrangements are adequate.  At the most, only the initial design work for the job should have been completed before the position is filled.

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What CDM Applies To

The CDM 2007 Regulations apply to most common building, civil engineering and engineering construction work.

Construction work means the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work and includes:

(a) The construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance (including cleaning which involves the use of water or an abrasive at high pressure or the use of corrosive or toxic substances), de-commissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure;

(b) The preparation for an intended structure, including site clearance, exploration, investigation (but not site survey) and excavation, and the clearance or preparation of the site or structure for use or occupation at its conclusion;

(c) The assembly on site of prefabricated elements to form a structure or the disassembly on site of prefabricated elements which, immediately before such disassembly, formed a structure;

(d) The removal of a structure or of any product or waste resulting from demolition or dismantling of a structure or from disassembly of prefabricated elements which immediately before such disassembly formed such a structure; and

(e) The installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer or similar services which are normally fixed within or to a structure.

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What CDM Does Not Apply To:

(a) Putting up and taking down marquees and similar tents designed to be re-erected at various locations.

(b) General maintenance of fixed plant, except when this is done as part of other construction work, or it involves substantial dismantling or alteration of fixed plant which is large enough to be a structure in its own right, for, example structural alteration of a large silo; complex chemical plant; power station generator or large boiler.

(c) Tree planting and general horticultural work.

(d) Positioning and removal of lightweight movable partitions, such as those used to divide open-plan offices or to create exhibition stands and displays.

(e) Surveying - this includes taking levels, making measurements and examining a structure for faults.

(f) Work to or on vessels such as ships and mobile offshore installations.

(g) Off-site manufacture of items for later use in construction work (for example roof trusses, pre-cast concrete panels, bathroom pods and similar prefabricated elements and components).

(h) fabrication of elements which will form parts of offshore installations.

(i) The construction of fixed offshore oil and gas installations at the place where they will be used.

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What extra responsibilities do the CDM 2007 regulations place on clients?

While there are no new client duties; pre-existing ones have been strengthened, the HSE says:

Clients already had duties under HSWA 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to ensure construction projects were carried out safely.  However under the new CDM 2007, clients are explicitly instructed to take reasonable steps to ensure that:

An accompanying ‘Approved Code of Practice’ ACoP, due to be published some time from February 2007, gives simple advice on how to fulfil these duties, says the HSE.

However, a client will no longer be able to appoint a ‘client’s agent’ to take on their legal duties and criminal liabilities under CDM.

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What other significant changes do the CDM regulations of 2007 bring in?

The Executive believes that this provision of CDM 1994 was confusing.  Even if the client appointed an agent, they continued to have duties and criminal liabilities under the HSWA 1974 and the MHSWR 1999.

A client can still appoint a professional to carry out their duties but the legal responsibility to comply with CDM stays with the client.
Other changes to the regulatory regime include:

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How can I ensure my business is CDM Compliant?

To ensure that your company meets the CDM regulations, is recommended to have a CDM audit carried out by a third party. A CDM compliance audit provides an objective third party view of your company strengths and weaknesses in this area. The CDM compliance audit takes part in two separate stages. The initial approach is to gather information; this is followed by a detailed evaluation which will be presented in a formal report. If changes and alterations are noted in relation to CDM regulations, an objective project management company can assist with new implementation measures

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Will CDM help with demolition?

CDM regulations play an invaluable role in the life cycle of development and demolition that occurs in process plants and manufacturing sites. The safe demolition of disused facilities is crucial and the CDM regulations provide a structured base from which to work. Many companies are understandably nervous of undertaking the demolition work that may be required at a site, especially when they consider the CDM regulations they have to adhere to. There is often a belief that costs will be prohibitive and the risks difficult to manage. In this instance, an impartial project management company can offer an important support service in this situation and provide services to assist with the adherence of CDM regulations:

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CDM Training for business

As well as understanding the ways in which CDM regulations affect your business, there is also the need for a constant monitoring or to ensure a safety-driven business culture. Training staff to be aware of and monitor CDM regulations can enable CDM safety to become part of everyday life. A project management/training company can support your CDM learning programme by a number of different techniques:

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Who can help me ensure I comply and improve in line with CDM regulations?

Since the inception of the 1994 CDM regulations and the new regulations which came in force in April 2007, PROjEN have supported many clients to ensure compliance with the legislation. PROjEN's involvement with clients is flexible and multi-faceted. We can provide CDM support as a stand alone role, such as CDM Coordinator on internal projects. Alternatively the role of principal contractor,  CDM Coordinator and designer can be represented within a turnkey project or alliance scenario.

In addition to working alongside our clients, PROjEN have been active in the interpretation and development of the legislation via our role as a member of the CDM Duty Holders Support Group and our involvement in many safety initiatives. This means that our advice on procedural and documentation issues is comprehensive and well developed. This covers areas such as:

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Specialist consultants in CDM Support and Training

PROjEN PLC are a well established project management company recognised as being leaders in the delivery of industrial projects on a stand alone/turnkey basis or working alongside client companies.

As part of our service offering, PROjEN deliver a number of Business Improvement Products and Services which have been carefully selected to add real benefits. These products/services have their foundation in the successful implementation of projects over the last three decades, a statement given credence through the recognition of the 2005 Bentley BE Award for Excellence of New Technology Adoption, ECI Contractor of the Year in 2003, ECI ACTIVE Project of the Year Awards in 2004, 2006 and 2008 as well as another ‘Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) Gold Medal in 2009 – the eighth consecutive Gold Award the Company has received. PROjEN have also been awarded Vale Royal Business of the year 2006, the High Sheriff of Cheshire award for Enterprise in 2007 and received Carbon Trust Accreditation in 2007.

PROjEN can work independently or alongside the client project owners, providing expert advice from day one. We supply crucial resource when it is needed, control budgets and programmes and ultimately deliver the project as the client originally intended. Our core business is the successful delivery of projects from feasibility, capital justification, front-end engineering, detailed design, through to full turnkey project completion, providing the client with single point responsibility.

In an age of specialisation, PROjEN can also offer a full design responsibility across all disciplines (Process, Control & Instrumentation, Mechanical, Electrical, Civil & Structural) in addition to Construction Supervision, Health and Safety, Procurement and Commissioning. Our extensive experience across a wide range of industries encourages cross fertilisation of ideas and adoption of best practice techniques. Our up to date knowledge and translation of current legislation and CDM regulations which allows PROjEN to provide practical help and advice at costs sufficient to satisfy current regulations.

Contact PROjEN plc

Head Office: PROjEN PLC, PROjEN House, Wellfield Road, Preston Brook, Cheshire, WA7 3FR
Telephone: 01928 752500
Fax: 01928 752555

Contact a Consultant

For more information about CDM Regulations and Compliance services please PROjEN on 01928 752500 or visit their website at