4 ways CDM 2015 benefits contractors in the commercial industry
Two years on since the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 was announced, it is proving to have a highly positive effect on health and safety in the commercial industry. Updated in April 2015, the legislation applies to designers, contractors and clients alike with the aim of integrating health and safety practices to construction projects in order to reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents and onsite illness. With CDM 2015, the organizations or individuals responsible for the various duties have to be formally agreed in writing at the beginning of a project. This may include holding one duty holder accountable for the role of many, provided they hold the necessary skills, training and experience to do so.
Two key objectives of CDM 2015 include:
- Ensuring all relevant health and safety practices are considered at the development phase of the construction project so those employees involved in the building process are protected from harm from the outset.
- Ensuring that all project team members are cooperating closely and value the importance of health and safety as a standard element of their project delivery, not as a forgotten aspect considered half way through.
As well as the improved health and safety management brought about by the improved regulations, CDM 15 brings added benefits to various areas of your commercial construction project.
▹ Reduced costs
While CDM 15 may seem expensive to implement at the beginning, the long term advantages are certainly worth the added investment. With CDM requiring project team members to cooperate closely on the design, planning and management of the construction project, there is decreased chance of costly issues arising and workplace accidents occurring, both which hinder project development and increase costs.
▹ Improved coordination between all parties involved
The updated CDM legislation requires all those appointed with responsibility to work closely with contractors, the design team and clients to ensure all health and safety regulations are adhered to. The need for cooperation increases project communication early on, improving working relations between the various members and ensuring compliance with all project specifications. Working together enables project members to share their valuable knowledge and gain insights from each other that they may not have otherwise learned. For instance, when a designer is faced with a difficulty in their design, having the contractor and PD (Principal designer) assigned from the beginning makes it easier to solve the problem with each project member offering their outlook on the issue.
▹ Improve design
Sharing valuable skills among project team members is not only useful when it comes to solving problems. Professional knowledge should be used to improve the overall construction project. Each project member will hold specialist experience from their previous work and there should be an effort to share these best practices to facilitate each project. There is also a focus on improving the health and safety aspect of a building’s design, not just the construction phase of the project.
▹ Prevent delays
CDM encourages open communication among the principal contractor and principal designer, giving the opportunity to both sides to make suggestions and offer their perspectives early on in the design stage. Prior to this, it had often been the case that project members weren’t appointed at the beginning of the project, leaving them no opportunity to voice their opinion until after the design stage. With construction work already begun, it was left too late for a member’s expertise to be integrated in the project. CDM requires efficient planning and management at all project stages from the various project members. This ensures timely project completion, within budget and meeting all necessary specifications.
CDM 2015 creates an efficient workforce and workplace, requiring project members to cooperate closely to focus on quality, the environment and health and safety management. Contractors in the commercial industry can benefit greatly from successful implementation of CDM with reduced delays, improved designs, greater coordination between parties and lower project costs.