Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Courses Available Online, Virtually and Classroom
Fully Certified NEBOSH, IOSH, IEMA Accredited
7-Day Customer Service
David Bryan BSc, CMIOSH, CMAPS

CDM 2015: Three Years On

January 2018

So, coming to the end of the first three years of CDM 2015, we might ask what has changed?

The Injury and Ill-Health Picture

Headline health and safety statistics published by the HSE in 2017 for the construction sector in Great Britain suggest that not a lot of change has happened, in terms of the overall industry picture.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the rate of self-reported work-related ill health (musculoskeletal disorders, stress, depression and anxiety) has been broadly flat in recent years. The incidence rate of all self-reported workplace injury (per 100,000 workers) continues to be statistically significantly higher than the rate for workers across all industries (each year around 2.9% of workers in the Construction sector in GB are injured at work).

Construction Stats

If there is any good news, the rate of fatal injury is now less than a quarter of what it was in 2000/01, however, the rate of change is getting slower as the number of fatalities falls. Perhaps the 2017/18 figures might show an improvement in the overall figures, or are these numbers set to continue for the foreseeable future?

Fines Are Getting Bigger

Change has undoubtedly come to the regulatory process during the first three years of CDM 2015.  Enforcement data from the HSE suggests that the introduction of the sentencing guidelines in 2016 appears to be having an effect on the level of fines being awarded by the courts. The average fine per conviction in construction prosecutions during 2016/17 was £77,000, which is more than double what it was in the previous year. This is despite there being a 17% reduction in the number of HSE and Procurator Fiscal prosecutions completed.  We seem to be getting used to seeing the courts awarding large fines for a range of breaches of CDM 2015, based on company turnover.

The Regulator’s Perspective

The bedding in process for CDM 2015 appears to be continuing. For example, in a recent interview published by the Association for Project Safety (APS), Gavin Bull (HM Inspector in HSE’s Construction Division) provided a current regulator’s perspective on the principal designer (PD) role.

One point stressed was that the PD function is envisioned to be delivered, in the main, by organisations, emphasising that the HSE would not consider the principal contractor (PC) role to be an individual, so the PD should not be any different. In fact, CDM 2015 sets out identical duties for the PD and PC to ‘plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate matters relating to health and safety’ with the only difference being the reference to ‘pre-construction phase’ at Regulation 11(1) rather than ‘construction phase’ at Regulation 13(1).

Challenging Perceptions

The HSE also consider that there are still many perceptions and behaviours to be challenged in the construction industry. These include the perception that designers and other duty holders under CDM 2015 can delegate the accountability for health and safety in their projects to a consultant, and that different standards apply for notifiable and non-notifiable projects. Given that CDM 2015 has been in place for almost three years now, it might be tempting to criticize organisations who have failed to fully understand or apply the regulations.  However, the HSE appear also to appreciate that, like many things in life, change takes time and may not be so easily achieved.

For example, in using a model (see Figure 1) to illustrate the emerging nature of the PD role from pre-2015 to 2020 and beyond, the HSE expect that the PD role will eventually and ‘automatically’ be undertaken by lead designers with no support from other advisors.

CDM 3 years on

Clearly, the importance of designers fulfilling their health and safety role in construction projects cannot be overstated. The construction industry, therefore, might expect that lead designers, alongside the other duty holders, will take the lead and play a significant part in reducing the health and safety risks arising from their projects.

The Grenfell Tragedy

Tragically, alongside the continuing bedding in and application of CDM 2015, we have witnessed the terrible loss of life and continuing suffering from the Grenfell Tower fire. The public enquiry is now getting underway and will hopefully provide direction as to how, from a multi-level perspective, that what went so disastrously wrong can be prevented in the future.

An independent review is also examining the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety, and related compliance and enforcement issues.

The requirements of CDM 2015 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 are central to the present regulatory system. As such, we might anticipate the outcome of the review will provide recommendations for change aimed at ensuring the regulatory system for the construction industry is fit for purpose.

Step Up To the Mark

The construction lawmakers and regulators can only do so much. Fundamentally, it would appear that greater efforts are required from all duty holders (clients, designers and contractors) to work together to ensure the annual toll of death, disease and misery is reduced.

At this point in time, three years on, it appears essential that all CDM 2015 duty holders step up to the mark, ensure that everyone involved in construction projects take both health and safety matters seriously, understand their statutory responsibilities, and challenge those who pay lip service to this most basic of project management issues. Moving from simple compliance to a proactive and natural approach to CDM 2015 might well be a focus for all duty holders over the next few years, not just another good idea.

David Bryan is a Certified Member of the Association of Project Safety having taken specialist examinations in construction communication, health, fire, and asbestos management.

*A review of CDM 2015 was also conducted one year after its launch*

Please click below to see our CDM courses!

Related Blogs

  • 23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part Two Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part Two

    Complete your understanding of the 23 reasons why we are the industry-standard health, safety and environmental training provider in 2023. Read more here!
     
    28.01.23
  • IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #3 Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #3

    Read the final instalment in the trilogy of blogs that document a successful venture into the IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management course. Read more here.
    12.01.23
  • 23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part One Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part One

    In this first instalment, we unpack why you should choose to train with Astutis in 2023. We detail 23 reasons, because, well it's 2023! Discover the first eleven reasons here! Read more now. 
    11.01.23
  • IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #2 Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #2

    Toby's IEMA Foundation Certificate Learner Diary returns with Part Two. In this instalment he covers Elements 4-6, sharing how he managed to pass first time. Read more here. 
    05.01.23
  • A Year In-Review: 2022 and Its Effects on Astutis and the Health, Safety and Environmental Industry Image
    Steve Terry

    A Year In-Review: 2022 and Its Effects on Astutis and the Health, Safety and Environmental Industry

    Astutis, Managing Director, Steve Terry looks back on the events of 2022 and invites us all to be optimistic as we head towards 2023. Read more here.
    23.12.22
  • How To Maximise Your Virtual Training Experience Image
    Brenig Moore MCIEH CEnvH CMIOSH

    How To Maximise Your Virtual Training Experience

    Astutis Technical Director, Brenig Moore investigates the world of virtual training, using research and studies to underline the very best practices afforded by virtual training. Read more here. 
    12.12.22
Section Curve
Case Studies

Real Life Stories

Find out how learners look back on their training with Astutis. Our case studies give our learners, both individual and corporate, a platform to share their Astutis experience. Discover how training with Astutis has helped past learners and delegates make the world a safer place, one course at a time.
More Image
Bottom Curve
What People Say

Hear What Our Learners Have To Say

We're always there for our customers. 98% of our learners rated their overall experience as good or outstanding. We will always pride ourselves on our customer service. But don’t take our word for it, here is what our customers have to say
  • "From start to finish the service Astutis have provided has been 5 star. Following the amazing experience I have referred multiple colleagues to complete training with Astutis. Great course, great support and great customer service"

    Stuart
    03.02.2023
  • "I really enjoyed studying Nebosh with Astutis. I had tried to complete the Nebosh Qualification previously but Astutis made it easier to learn and provided great training resources and support."

    Stuart
    03.02.2023
  • "Great customer focus, as usual!"

    Gary
    01.02.2023
  • "Excellent course, thank you"

    Gary
    01.02.2023
  • "Ever since I started with Astitus in 2018 I have completed two qualifications with them and they have always been quick to respond to queries, they have convenient payment options since I'm based in south Africa, I don't always afford to pay cash due to exchange rates. Hilary is super helpful she will communicate new courses and assist with information and enrolment. If it were possible to do my MSc with them, I would have enrolled with them"

    Philiswa Sister
    01.02.2023
  • "The course is very informative and outlines useful information that i will apply on my everyday duties"

    Philiswa Sister
    01.02.2023
  • "Course content was good though the on boarding was an issue with sone to and fro to sort wasting time."

    26.01.2023
  • "Content aligned to all learning styles and relevant to risk professionals especially h and s a worthwhile bit of cpd"

    26.01.2023
  • "Astutis advisor training course enrolled me quickly on my course. The course was well detailed, well organised and easy access to the platform for my study."

    Saito
    26.01.2023
  • "Good course and well presented. The content is easy to understand with options to listen or read. Videos and flowcharts describe well the content for a better understanding."

    Saito
    26.01.2023