Prepare for changes to Construction (Design & Management) regulations

Paul Boughton

Process sector companies should prepare for the changes in the Construction (Design & Management) regulations which came into effect on Monday 6 April, with potentially far–reaching consequences for the sector, say process engineering consultants Haden Freeman.

Haden Freeman’s Business Development Manager, Joe Gunton-Jones, explained: “CDM is a Legal requirement under the CDM regulations 2015 for construction, demolition  or refurbishment of many  process engineering projects. The new regulations, in essence makes three important changes to the original 2007 regulations whilst also extending their coverage to domestic construction and Facilities Management.

"Probably the most important of these changes replace the CDM Coordinator, a role often previously seen as more bureaucratic than design-driven, with a Principal Designer who will be responsible for all aspects of the design stage. Safety is therefore designed into any project with this integral member of the team advising on not only all aspects of the project but also co-ordinating with client.”

The second change recognises the influence and importance of the client as final decision maker and places the responsibility of these decisions firmly back with the client while the third change introduces a new definition of competence which is described as skills, knowledge, training and experience and, if it relates to an organisation, organisational capability.

Mr Gunton-Jones continued: “The chemical and other process engineering industries will be affected by these changes by having to introduce a suitably qualified and competent Principal Designer right at the start of any project.

“Clients now have the ultimate CDM responsibility for the safety of their project, irrelevant of whether their chosen design or construction team have this capability or experience and can provide this service. As a result, it is THEIR responsibility to source and appoint a suitably qualified Principal Designer to perform this legal requirement.

“We are now being contacted by many clients to fulfil this role as we have a sound track record of working on CDM notifiable projects in Principle Contractor, Designer and CDM Co-ordinator roles. Some are for in-house projects where we will be working with the client’s in-house team whilst others involve taking the role and working with other design and construction teams. At the end of the day, as long as there is a suitably qualified and competent Principal Designer, the legal requirement will be satisfied.”