On 6 April 2007 came into force in Great Britain the new Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 written by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and approved by the Secretary of State and the Parliament. These regulations update, combine and replace the former Construction Design and Management Regulations 1994 (CDM94) and the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 (CHSW) which both needed to be reviewed and updated accordingly with the recent evolutions of the considerations towards health and safety issues in construction and after consultations of the main stakeholders of the construction industry (HSC, 2007).
The CDM2007 Regulations aim to reduce construction accidents and ill health in Great Britain by encouraging the various stakeholders of the construction industry to improve in planning and managing their projects taking into consideration matters of safety and health early on in the project definition. By starting focusing on these essential points at the beginning of a project, risks can be identified and managers are able to make good decisions ahead of difficulties (Howarth & Watson, 2009). In this new version of the regulations, the HSC focuses on communication and co-ordination between all the parties involved in the construction project and set up several duties for each of the different stakeholders. It also highlights that the amount of paperwork and all the bureaucracy caused by the previous version of the regulations should be reduced and the focus put on the planning and management. (HSE Website)
The CDM set up obligations for clients and designers. The main obligation imposed to the client is to appoint the main stakeholders for the planning and the realisation of construction work (St John Holt, 2005). By ââ‚¬Ëœconstruction workââ‚¬â„¢, the CDM broadly refers to ââ‚¬Ëœthe carrying out of building, civil engineering or engineering construction wordââ‚¬â„¢ (HSC, 2007). The regulations also impose duties to the central figures then appointed which are related to health, safety and occupational safety on construction project and which will be summarised later in this paper. Among the dutyholders which participate to the carrying out of the project are the Client, the Designer, the CDM-Coordinator, the Principal Contractor and the Contractors (St John Holt, 2005).
Most of the time on large projects, several contractors work at the same time on the same site. In this case it is essential they cooperate with each other and follow the instructions of the Principal Contractor not to interact and create new hazards on site. The contractors should ask for the health and safety construction phase plan produced by the Principal Contractor to get all the information they need to ensure safety of their employees (HSE, 2006).