This paper/presentation examines the UK/EU experience of risk prevention through proactive design and management in the Construction industry.

It reviews the recent changes in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, 2015 which fully come into force on 1st October, 2015. These new CDM Regulations now reflect best practice in the industry and highlight the required core competencies of all players, including designers/architects, clients, contractors/sub-contractors and site management teams. Italso sets out the typical UK approach to contractor selection/approval and project management.


In the UK the construction industry accounts for approximately 5% of employment; however, the industry is responsible for over 25% of UK fatal injury accidents and 10% of reported major injuries. On the occupational health front, 56% of all male occupational cancer registrations are construction-related.

Whilst the total number of fatalities in construction has dropped since the introduction of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, 2007, the UK HSE's research intro their effectiveness identified issues around co-ordination and competence and also compliance with the EU's Temporary and Mobile Sites Directive.

As a result of this review, the UK HSE announced important changes to the CDM 2007 Regulations which have now been built into the 2015 Regulations, as follows:

  • significant structural simplification of the Regulations

  • a lighter Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) supported with guidance targeted at each duty holder

  • replacement of the CDM co-ordinator with a new role of Principal Designer

  • removal of explicit competence requirements; replacing these with the need for specific skills and supervision

  • addressing the application of CDM to domestic clients so as to comply with the EU Directive mentioned above

  • the threshold of notification of projects (before commencement) to HSE

The aim of these changes is to improve the overall health, safety and welfare of all those working in the construction industry.

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