Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007

Link to Health and Safety CDM Regulations web page

In 1994, the Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM Regulations) were introduced, dealing with Health and Safety in construction.  The regulations were revised in April 2007, intended to make it easier for those involved in construction projects to comply with their health and safety responsibilities.

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. The aim was to reduce the large number of serious and fatal accidents and cases of ill health which occur every year in the construction industry. The new regulations are aimed at emphasising planning and management to secure a safe project, rather than just generate 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.

Anyone having construction or building work carried out has legal duties under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007), unless they are a domestic client.  A domestic client is someone who lives, or will live, in the premises where the work is carried out. The premises must not relate to any trade, business or other undertaking.

See the section: ‘Summary of duties under the CDM regulations under CDM 2007’ 0n the HSE web site -

Work notifiable under the CDM regulations are:

(a) Work that lasts more than 30 working days; or

(b) Work involving more than 500 person days, for example 50 people working for over 10 days.

Under the old CDM regulations all demolition work was notifiable but this is not the case with the latest regulations however the following guidance is given by the HSE:

"Although there is no requirement for the formal appointment of a CDM coordinator or principal contractor and for a construction phase plan for non-notifiable projects, regulations 5 and 6 do require co-operation and co-ordination between all members of the project team. For low risk projects, a low-key approach will be sufficient. In higher risk projects, for example those involving demolition, a more rigorous approach to co-ordination, co-operation and planning will be needed.

When to appoint a CDM Coordinator
For notifiable projects, the client must appoint "a competent, adequately resourced CDM coordinator".

The Regulations require the appointment to take place as soon as is practicable after initial design work or other preparation for construction work has begun. This allows the client to appraise their project needs and objectives. This includes the business case and any possible constraints on development to enable them to decide whether or not to proceed with the project before appointing the CDM coordinator.

The CDM coordinator needs to be able to coordinate design work and advise on the suitability and compatibility of designs. The bottom line is they should be appointed before significant detailed design work begins which includes preparation of the initial concept design and implementation of any strategic brief.

The role of CDM coordinator is to provide the client with a key project advisor on construction health and safety risk management matters. They should assist and advise the client on the appointment of competent contractors and the adequacy of management arrangements; ensure proper co-ordination of the health and safety aspects of the design process; facilitate good communication and co-operation between project team members and prepare the health and safety file.

Managing health and safety in construction

What happens if a client fails to appoint a CDM Coordinator
For notifiable projects, if a client does not make these appointments they become liable for the work that the CDM coordinator and principal contractor should do. Serious breaches of health and safety legislation on a construction project could result in construction work bring stopped by HSE or your local authority and additional work maybe needed to rectify matters.

In the most serious circumstances the Client may be prosecuted. In the event of a prosecution the Lower Courts can impose a fine of up to £20,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment and the Higher Courts an unlimited fine and/or 2 years imprisonment.

Where can I appoint a CDM Coordinator?
David French Partnership no longer offer the services of a CDM Coordinator but can advise you on suitable companies to contact. The links below will guide you to possible CDM Co-ordinators: