The HSE has very recently put forward a proposal to make changes to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007). Responses to the consultation began on 31st March 2014 and will end the 6th June 2014. There are many objectives under the new proposed Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015). The proposed changes will still fully include the EU Directives. It is proposed, subject to Ministerial and Parliamentary examination, that the revised Regulations will come into force in April 2015. To justify the proposed changes the HSE has done much research on the current CDM 2007. The HSE have also taken into account the Governments wider strategy on construction as included in Construction 2025. Construction 2025 is a joint strategy from government and industry for the future of the UK construction industry.
Changes will include improved coordination and efficiency. The regulatory package will be simplified with better worker protection. There will also be improved health and safety standards on small construction sites. There will be a replacement of the CDM-Coordinator role with a new role, that of the ‘Principal Designer’ (PD). The difference in the two roles will be to do with control and influence over the design, and the new appointed PD role will be more beneficial to the project as a whole. There is the view that the current role adds costs with little added value. The regulations will be structured so they are more straight forward, structured and easier to understand. There is the proposal to remove the current CDM ACoP and put in its place a clearer guidance on its interpretation. This is so everybody will understand what needs to be done to comply with the law. One approach will be to make the current CDM less bureaucratic with the aim to achieve improved standards. There will also be a focus on making clients more central to the construction project and encouraging them to take an active role in making sure that their project is managed properly to their requirements and to health and safety law.
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in and so there is the continuous need to improve the health and safety of this environment. From 2007/08 to 2011/12 there has been an average of 53 fatalities to workers from accidents. There has been, over a 3 year average, 31,000 new cases of occupational disease/ill health. Ill health can include musculoskeletal disorders, dermatitis or asbestosis. Occupational asthma is also a risk factor. Manual handling, ie lifting heavy and awkward loads can cause injury to the joints and muscles. Noise can cause hearing loss and vibration can cause e hand-arm vibration syndrome which is damage to the nerves and blood vessels. Exposure to cements and solvents can cause dermatitis. Falls from heights, entrapment or accidents from machinery are other concerns. However, these things are easily preventable if one takes precautions, reads up on the law and uses Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The key requirements on any construction site is to ensure that health and safety risks are assessed and there is responsible planning, organisation, controlling, monitoring and reviewing.