CDM is out, so what now?

The CDM Regulations 2015 are officially in place. But what effect will they really have on the industry? We ask an expert panel.

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Peter Spruce, managing director, De Boer UK

CDM 2015 provides a ‘structured’ approach to
the way construction projects are planned and managed, with duty-holders accountable for both the impact their decisions will have on health and safety, and the manner in which they discharge their responsibilities.

There is a clear distinction between the planning (or Pre-Construction Phase) and the actual execution (Construction Phase) of a project, and CDM 2015 calls for clear documentation and actions to be addressed at these different stages. Although the guidance allows for a degree of proportionality, depending on the nature of the project, there will be no exceptions – all projects will be classed as construction.

De Boer is already well-versed in working within the existing CDM regime.  However, all relevant personnel have now been trained in readiness for CDM 2015 and our clients can rest assured that their projects will be compliant.

It has been suggested that the measures required under CDM could lengthen the already tight delivery times of some events. However given that rigorous health and safety planning and CDM compliance have long been in place across our entire construction business, I cannot see that this will be the case for us. It’s really only companies now forced to play ‘catch-up’ who may experience such delays.

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Chris Hannam, founder, Stagesafe

By the time Access readers read this, the CDM Regulations 2015 will be with us.

I have very mixed feelings about the new regulations. The majority of the industry do not believe they are required for a number of very good reasons, but there could be a positive side in that they will ensure various duties will be fulfilled by the duty holders, such as clients, designers and contractors. One of the problems we have been trying to deal with is exactly who are the duty holders – this has meant discussions with the HSE to establish and to prepare specific guidance to the CDM for the entertainment industry. The regulations are already in force now, and we have no lead-in time and no specific guidance to date.

I do not believe that many, particularly clients (in most cases this will be promoters and event organisers), have any idea of their new duties and responsibilities and I suspect that a large number of them will not carry out their duties even if they are aware of them, thus putting suppliers and contractors at risk. My immediate advice is for everyone to get to know their responsibilities and duties.

There are no quick fixes or safety consultants with magic wands despite what they may claim. CDM could herald one of the biggest changes we have seen in this industry…or it could be a very damp squib.

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Roger Barrett, founder, Star Events Group

The revised CDM Regulations 2015 could have a significant impact on the events industry, especially for organisers, who have new responsibilities as soon as they decide to hire a temporary structure.

For me, the biggest change sees organisers being made responsible for ensuring (and documenting) that their contractors have taken suitable and sufficient steps to design Work at Height and have adequate mitigation measures ready for any remaining risks.

As that is a statutory legal duty, suppliers will have to get the process in place very quickly just to survive.

It seems as though there will be hardly any exemptions, with the possible exception of small soft wall marquees.

The revisions are being brought in allegedly to make the UK compliant with an EU Directive, although no other members of the EU seem to be adopting the same position.

However, the HSE believes the events industry isn’t as safe as everyone thinks and the new measures are essential.

We have a guidance document for event organisers about how we are dealing with this, available from our website.