Home Hammond PI Blogs Big Changes to CDM for Construction Projects
Big Changes to CDM for Construction Projects
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Written by Dave Hedgecock   
Thursday, 19 February 2015 16:31

If you’re in construction, bear in mind that from April of this year, the new Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2015 will abolish the former independent CDM Co-ordinator role and replace it with that of a ‘Principal Designer’ (PD).  

This will apply to all projects except those that appointed a CDM Co-ordinator and started the construction phase prior to April 6, 2015. Under the new regulations, the PD must be appointed in writing at the pre-construction phase by the client, and then takes on the health and safety co-ordination role that would previously have fallen to the CDM Co-ordinator. So far, so straightforward, but take note that under the regulations, the PD must be a designer - i.e a person or an organisation who prepares or modifies a design for a construction project, or arranges or instructs someone else to do so. This means that new liabilities will need to be taken on by design professionals. Why? Because the vast majority of CDM co-ordinators won’t qualify as PDs due to them having no prior responsibilities around design. This surely means that the role will fall to the lead designer and in most cases, this will be architects – even though they are extremely unlikely to have the skills needed to cover the health and safety duties that the role includes. Inevitably this has major implications for the professionals in question should any claim be made for breach of obligations under a PD appointment.

One way of dealing with a lack of health and safety knowledge on the part of the new PD is to sub-contract the work, but even in this situation, any liability will be borne by the designer in the first instance, and then it will pass to the sub-contractor. All of this will not only involve legal costs, but will carry with it the likelihood of a shortfall when trying to recover costs.  This article is attributable to an article by Kennedy’s Solicitors one of our favored providers of PI associated services.   To read Kennedy’s article follow the link


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