To clarify requirements of the CDM Regulations the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) published an Approved Code of Practice and Guidance on the CDM Regulations in late 2001 called ‘Managing Health and Safety in Construction’ (HSG 224) which came into force on 1 February 2002. Although it made no changes to the regulations, it set out in clearer terms the legal responsibilities imposed by CDM than a previous, earlier version of the Code.
The revised Code sets out Directions which are printed in bold type and have special legal status. If a person prosecuted for breach of health and safety she will need to demonstrate compliance with the law by other means, or a court may find him or her at fault. The ‘Guidance’ in HSG 224 (put in normal type) has a different legal status and is not compulsory. However, if its provisions are followed this should normally be enough to achieve compliance with the law. Both clients and designers need to appreciate the implications of the new Code of Practice because of its legal status, and its extension of their duties beyond those given in the CDM Regulations.
The new Code also emphasizes the need for the management of health and safety throughout the life of a project, and therefore HSG 224 includes key elements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.