As I have said before through this blog, the construction industry remains one of the most accident and incident-prone sectors in terms of health and safety, and in response to this continued concern the Regulations which govern the construction industry are being revised.
But what does this mean to those of us involved in one way or another with this industry, especially CDM Coordinators and those charged with any aspect of health and safety?
The CDM Regulations have been amended and updated several times since their original publication in 1994. The current and most recent Regulations were brought into force in 2007, although as early as 2009 discussions began on ways to improve these.
Next year, in 2014, we will see a new set of CDM Regulations. Why was this considered necessary? One of the main reasons is that weak areas, inconsistencies and inequalities within the industry have been identified, and it is felt that the changes which will be made will go at least some of the way towards dealing with these, with the long term goal of course being to reduce the number of health and safety incidents which occur across the construction industry.
What Are The Expected Changes To The CDM Regulations 2014?
There are three main areas which are likely to see changes, although of course at this stage nothing is finalised. The three areas likely to see changes implemented include:
- Amending the CDM Regulations to fall in line with European Commission Directives
- Including domestic clients (owner occupiers) in the definition of ‘client’
- Improve the effectiveness of the regulations relating to small sites, projects and companies
- Overall reduction in red tape and bureaucracy
It’s important to point out that the new Regulations will not be a complete re-write of the existing 2007 Regulations. Much of the existing document will still stand as there’s nothing wrong with it. But some areas will see changes, ranging from fairly minor and largely technical, to more significant changes which are likely to have a real impact on the industry.
What Will The Impact Be On The Construction Industry?
Although safety in the construction industry is generally good where large companies and projects are concerned, those of a smaller nature have a disproportionally high number of incidents. Many of the revisions in the new Regulations are likely to be focussed on this specific area of the industry, and so many of the changes are likely to be felt by smaller construction and design companies.
One of the criticisms of the 2007 Regulations has been that it is unnecessarily complicated, and despite previous efforts to reduce the red tape which existed in earlier versions, there is still too much of this.
It is hoped that the revised Regulations due to be published in 2014 will help to make the process of integrating effective health and safety a simpler and easier task, reducing or removing any perceived bureaucracy and instead making sure that the Regulations can be implemented without disrupting the construction industry, particularly where smaller companies are concerned.
This might well mean more work initially as those responsible for the implementation of health and safety, such as CDM Coordinators, will need to work through the new Regulations, but it is hoped and expected that once up to speed and familiar with the new CDM Regulations it will be an easier and more practical task.
If you would like any advice on the current CDM Regulations please call one of our professional and experienced Health and Safety Consultants free on 0800 1488 677.