CDM Regulations - FAQs

Construction (Design & Management) Regulations

The Proposed Changes for 2015

Questions raised during our recent webinar – many questions have been amalgamated or consolidated. Those listed below are intended to cover the issues commonly raised.

A. Notification of Projects to the Health and Safety Executive

The draft regulations refer to the requirement for notification as follows:

7. - (1) A project is notifiable if the construction work on a construction site is scheduled to -
(a) last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project; or
(b) exceed 500 person days.

Q1. If I appoint two contractors to install a communal door to a residential block of flats and then appoint a specialist contractor to install a new door entry to connect to the new communal door, do I need to notify the HSE under CDM 2015?

This would not appear to involve more than 30 days and more than 20 workers and so would not require notification of the project to HSE, however the parties still have responsibilities under the regulations.

Q2. Is the criterion for 500 day a calendar period or does it refer to actual working days i.e. exclusive of weekends and holidays, etc.?

The calculation of days relates to actual days working on the site, this may include weekends if the site is working.

Q3. If the project starts with 20 people on site and over 30 days then drops below 20 does the project stay notifiable?

Once notified there is no process to remove that notification. Similarly if a project starts and does not appear notifiable and then it becomes apparent as works proceed that it does require notification then the F10 should be completed as soon as parties are aware that the project will exceed the limits for notification.

Q4. Can you explain term "20 people on site" and who it involves?

The 20 people relate to contractors, sub-contractors and any personnel working on site. It would not generally include visitors such as non-resident designers or building control.

Q5. If a small builder chooses to have a  team of over 20 workers on site for 29 days and then only 10 persons on the 30th day, would notification be required?

As the regulations stand, the requirement states over 30 days and over 20 workers at any point in the project. As this is the case, reducing the number on day 29 would not avoid the need for notification as over 20 workers would have been working simultaneously and the project will last more than 20 days. As with any legislation there will always be scope for different interpretations. In addition 20 workers on site for 29 days is actually 580 person days and would require notification.

Q6. If there are less than 20 workers on site but project is longer than 30 days would notification be required?

This would not require notification until the 500 person days limit is reached, which would be 20 people constantly on site for 25 days

B. Scope of Works

Q7. How will demolition be treated? 

Under the regulations Demolition is considered to be construction work and is subject to the same requirements as all other work.

Q8. Will the new legislation affect the Asbestos Regulations Duty to Manage?

At the moment notification to the HSE for the removal of certain types of asbestos is in place but not for others but both of which is removed by licensed asbestos removers. These proposals will not affect separate requirements under other Regulations.

C. Responsibilities

Q9. Is it a legal requirement that professionals will advise a client on need for notification?

In terms of designers and contractors, the regulations do state that they must not commence work in relation to a project unless they are satisfied that the client is aware of the client duties under these Regulations.

Q10. Who will now be responsible for submitting the notification F10?

The primary responsibility for submitting this notification rests with the client, although for domestic clients this duty is passed on to the Principal Contractor. The Client may appoint others to do this for them, but the legal responsibility remains theirs.

Q11. Building Control are not considered to be designers, are there any limits to this?

Building Control, in enforcing a statutory requirement and minimum standards set by the Building Act and Building Regulations are not considered as designers where carrying out that role. If they also offer advice in relation to design solutions, access audits, fire risk assessment etc. then this may fall outside of the statutory role and it is possible that they may then be considered as designers.

Q12. Where there is no notification does a H&S files still need to be maintained under the new regulations?

The proposed Regulations separate the notification requirements from the duties. As such there is still a need for a Health and Safety file, appropriate to the project regardless of the need for notification.

D. Guidance

Q13. How would the Domestic Client know if there appointed Designer is competent to be a Principal Designer?

There will hopefully be some industry produced guidance to assist domestic clients but they will have to make a judgement in the same way in which they assess the designer’s ability to design, based upon qualifications, experience and recommendations.