A new era for CDM Regulations

Colin Dixon, Head of Property, Genus Law

24th September, 2015

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 came into force on 6 April 2015 substantially updating the 2007 CDM Regulations. They can affect all parties involved in construction and development in Great Britain whether commercial or domestic. Colin Dixon, Head of Property at Genus Law gives a brief snapshot of the changes and how they impact on the different parties to a typical transaction.

What are the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015?

The regulations set out what the parties involved in construction need to do to protect themselves and anyone working on the site from harm.

The regulations impose the following obligations on a client:

• Providing pre-construction information to every contractor and designer;

• To ensure that the principal contractor prepares a pre – construction phase plan prior to construction works;

• The principal designer must prepare a health and safety file. This must then be shared with any end users.

• Notify HSE if the project will last more than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers at any point or will exceed 500 “person” days.

Key changes from the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007

• The role of the CDM co-ordinator has now been abolished and has been replaced by a principal designer who must now co-ordinate the pre-construction phase;

• The role of the client has been further enhanced, meaning the gradual shift of placing key health and safety responsibility on the client continues;

• If the project uses more than one contractor the client must appoint a principal designer.

• They apply to the majority of domestic projects

• It imposes specific new duties on a principal contractor on health and safety issues

How will this affect property transactions and the parties involved?

• As a landlord, when negotiating the terms of a lease, agreement for lease or licence for alterations, you need to consider who has the responsibility for maintaining the health and safety file and any obligations you may have as a client and or a designer

• As a tenant carrying out works under licence the landlord will normally want to pass over its obligations to carry out the clients duties

• If purchasing a building and as part of the due diligence you need to check if any construction work has been carried out and check the health and safety file and place an obligation in the contract to hand the same over on completion with all copyright licences in place for the buyer.

Failure to comply with the regulations could result in a substantial fine or criminal sanctions. Therefore, at Genus Law, we can help advise you on the implications of the regulations in respect of any property transactions where they impact.

If you would like advice in terms of how the new CDM regulations affect your business or for any other commercial property matter, please contact colin.dixon@genuslaw.co.uk or call us on 0113 320 4540