Construction design and management (CDM)

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On 6 April 2015, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 replaced the 2007 CDM regulations.

Regardless of project scale, complexity, and level of risks and number of contractors involved, your path project will need to comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 - referred to as CDM or CDM 2015.

CDM 2015 is the main set of regulations for manging health, safety and welfare on all small or large construction projects (this includes path, bridge or boardwalk projects), and applies to all construction work as well as maintainance.

The main point of CDM 2015 is to integrate health, safety and welfare into designing, planning, and management of construction projects, but also to:

  • Make sure that health and safety issues are properly considered during a project's development so the risk of harm or ill health to those who have to build, maintain, use the structure is removed or reduced to acceptable level

  • Make sure that the people involved in a project team are working together to deliver a successful and safe project - the individuals (or organisations) in the project team should treat health and safety as a normal part of a project's development - not an afterthought or bolt on extra.

CDM 2015 requires individuals or organisations to be appointed (in writing) at the right time to carry out the roles and responsibilities of 'duty holders' in the project team.  The organisations or individuals you appoint can carry out the role of more than one duty holder, provided they have suitable skills, knowledge, training, and experience, and (if an organisation) the organisational capability, necessary to carry out the roles in a way that secures health and safety.

The five main duty holder roles are:

  • Client (non-domestic) - an individual or organisation who has a construction project carried out for them, or does it themselves.  A client, generally the project initiator, could be community volunteer group, community council, development trust, local or national park authority, access or countryside trust, or a partnership of more than one organisation or individual.  For more information about clients and their CDM responsibilities, have a look here.

  • Designer - an individual or organisation whose work involves preparing or modifying designs (drawings, specifications, bill of quantities, or calculations, for a structure, e.g. path, bridge or boardwalk, or a product, e.g. type of anti-slip surfacing material to go on decking boards on a bridge or boardwalk) relation to construction work.  For more information about designers and their CDM responsibilities, have a look here.

  • Principal designer - an individual or organisation who plans, manages, monitors, and coordinates heath and safety at pre-construction stages of a project (when most design work is carried out).  They are a designer, generally a 'lead designer', appointed by the client of a project with more than one contractor.  This duty holder is a new role replacing the CDM co-ordinator (a former role under the CDM Regulations 2007).  For more information about principal designers and their CDM responsibilities, have a look here.

  • Contractor - an organisation or business in charge of carrying out the actual construction work - anyone who carries out their own work, directly employs, or engages workers to do the work is a contractor.  A contractor (on a project only with one contractor) has a responsiblity to plan, manage, monitor, and coordinate and control their own work, as well as health, safety and welfare on site.  On the other hand, if working on a construction site, where more than one contractor involved, they will be under the control of principal contractor, whilst doing the work.  For more information about contractors and their CDM responsibilities, have a look here.

  • Principal contractor - an organisation or contractor appointed by the client of a project with more than one contractor on site at any one time.  A principal contractor plans, manages, monitors, and coordinates the construction work and health, safety and welfare of own workers but also of other contractors on site.  For more information about principal contractor and their CDM responsibilities, have a look here.

The sixth role but not a main duty holder role is the 'Worker' - an individual working for a contractor on a construction site, or organisation doing their own practical work.  For more information about workers and their CDM responsibilities, have a look here.

Don't ignore CDM...

The time and effort from the above duty holders invested at the start of, and throughout a path construction project will pay dividends not only in health and safety, but also in:

  • Reduced project delays

  • More reliable project costs and completion date

  • Improved communication, cooperation and coordination between everyone involved in the project

  • Improved quality of finished path, and any other structures, e.g. a bridge, at the end of the project.

So, integrate CDM into a path project (or bridge, or boardwalk project) from the beginining and throughout to the end.

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