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Having a domestic? How CDM has changed small building jobs forever!

Just when the construction industry thought red tape around health and safety couldn’t possibly become more burdensome, along comes new legislation with the potential to cause fresh confusion, distress and anxiety!

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force on 6th April 2015, replacing CDM 2007. As the name suggests, the regulations cover the management of health, safety and welfare when carrying out construction projects.

They set out a series of ‘duty holders’, including clients, designers and contractors. Each party in the chain has a legal responsibility of some form or another. The overarching aim is to minimise the risk of harm and improve health and safety standards in the industry.

How does CDM affect construction firms?

For small and medium-sized building companies, the CDM regulations have added another layer of complexity to the tendering process. Having the right health and safety policies in place has been vital to securing larger, public projects for decades, whether bidding for the work directly or as a sub-contractor.

The passing of CDM into law means that, for the first time, this is also the case when it comes to small domestic jobs such as extensions.

Under CDM, the responsibilities of the ‘client’ (i.e. the homeowner) are normally transferred to the contractor. This means that you, as the construction firm, will need to manage the process and ensure you comply with the regulations.

A key part of this involves completing and submitting the necessary notifications, such as an F10 form, to the Health and Safety Executive – a laborious and time-consuming process that is often fraught with problems. This has prompted a growing number of small and medium-sized building firms to seek external advice and assistance with CDM management.

CDM – what does the future hold?

The CDM regulations are such a recent development that it’s difficult to assess their long-term impact on the construction industry. One thing seems clear – the good old-fashioned house extension job just got a lot less straightforward!

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