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Written by
on 16 March 2015


On April 6th 2015 the revised Construction (Design & Management) regulations come into force. Along with a host of other changes is the decision to apply the CDM 2015 framework to construction activities that fall outside the traditional building industry.

From April 6th, events management and entertainment businesses will be bound by the CDM regulations for the first time. Any form of construction associated with these industries, such as building stages or stands at exhibitions, must be compliant or managers, directors could face criminal prosecution.

A consultation period was convened last year, intended to allow businesses and trade bodies to have their say on CDM regulations in anticipation of the 2015 update. Many within the entertainment industry feel that their representations were not properly heard – particularly as the HSE dismissed a third of the concerns as ‘irrelevant’ and ‘a campaign.’

What do you have to do?

In order to avoid problems with HSE inspectors, event organisers must be able to demonstrate that they have taken a ‘sensible and proportional approach to both regulation and compliance’ for every construction activity they undertake. Beyond this basic advice, however, the HSE has not issued any other guidance.

This means that businesses and individuals organising events will have to be fully compliant from the April 6th. The HSE has promised to publish full guidelines on that date but has chosen not to provide a transition period for businesses to adapt their operations for compliance.

Unsurprisingly, this leaves many event organisers in a state of confusion.

Clarity on CDM in the Events Industry

For Clients and Business owners in the Events Industry without any experience of CDM, the new regulations will come as a shock. At the most basic level, the Construction (Design and Management) framework is intended to build health and safety considerations into the very early stages of project planning to protect employees and the general public once work actually begins.

However, the CDM regulations call for the Client who is responsible for:

  • Appointing a “Principal Designer” in writing*
  • Appointing a “Principal Contractor” in writing*
  • Ensuring that arrangements for all construction work is implemented in line with statutory welfare requirements and that health and safety risks are minimised.
  • Drawing up and distributing the pre-construction information (PCI) to every contractor, designer involved in the project.
  • Ensuring that a suitable Construction Phase Plan (CPP) has been drawn up before work starts.
  • Notifying the HSE if the project is likely to last more than 30 days, will have 20 or more workers on site simultaneously, or the duration is expected to exceed 500 working days.

*if one or more contractors are on site at any one time

The Client is also responsible for ensuring that construction workers and contractors are properly trained to work safely on site and to liaise with other parties to enable them to perform their duties.

If Clients are unable to balance all of these responsibilities, any construction exercise could be in breach of the CDM 2015 regulations, leaving your business at risk of prosecution.

Simplifying the transition

Without any previous experience of CDM regulations and compliance, many event organisers could find themselves having problems next month. Although lessons can be learned from the experiences of the construction industry, time is not on the side of Clients and Business Owners responsible for events and entertainment.

At this late stage in the process, Clients, events and entertainment businesses will find that their best chance of avoiding non-compliance is through the use of a third-party health and safety consultancy service like that offered by Veritas Consulting. Our team will work with yours at every stage of a project to assess compliance, ensure applicable standards are being upheld and to help your employees adjust to the new practices demanded by CDM 2015.

And there’s more

Members of the Joint Advisory Committee for Entertainment (JACE) estimate that the application of CDM 2015 will cost the entertainment industry an extra £150 million each year. Increases in bureaucracy and paperwork were cited as the main concerns, draining time and resources from other activities. The outline of duties above shows how much more complicated projects become under CDM 2015 for the uninitiated. Again Veritas Consulting can help by providing a cost-effective support service, completing Health and Safety Inspections and Audits and assisting with paperwork to reduce the impact on productivity.

Experience where it counts

Our consultants are fully trained in health and safety compliance and will walk your team step-by-step through the process of design and executing projects that comply with the CDM 2015 regulations. And as Chartered Construction Health and Safety Advisers, you can be sure that our consultants have the skills, knowledge and experience required to support the role of Principal Designer if required.

The one thing that Clients and businesses in the exhibition and entertainment arena cannot do is to take no action at all. The CDM 2015 regulations make no provisions for ignorance, so Industry Clients and Business owners need to act now, or risk prosecution for post-April projects that do not meet the required standards.

A chartered (fellow) safety and risk management practitioner with 20+ years of experience. David provides a healthy dose of how-to articles, advice and guidance to make compliance easier for construction professionals, Architects and the built environment. Get social with David on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

  • Jimmy says:

    I wonder how many businesses were oblivious to the CDM changes. I hope everyone managed to get compliant in time!

    • David Cant says:

      Many people are unaware of the changes, in particular the domestic projects and your small builders. The CDM Regs should be far publicised in builders merchants and other mediums but its not

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