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Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM)

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM)

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM)

What Are They?

The construction (design and management) regulations (CDM) were introduced in 2015 and are the main set of regulations for managing the health, safety and welfare of construction projects and spell out the legal duties of everyone involved.

Who Do They Affect?

Well, they affect everyone involved on a construction project, no matter the size or type of work being undertaken, with all concerned having legal duties under CDM 2015.  Even a simple domestic job being carried out in your own home, where you have employed someone to carry out the work for you, falls under the CDM Regs!

The CDM Regulations define responsibilities for particular roles.  The main roles are:

  • Client
  • Designers
  • Contractors

If there are more than one contractor involved on the project then there are additional roles of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor.

Okay, So What Do I Need To Do?

If you are a client, you have a legal responsibility to make sure suitable arrangements for managing a project are in place.  This includes:

  • Providing pre-construction information to every designer and contractor either bidding for the work or already appointed to the project
  • Appointing the contractors and designers to the project (including the principal designer and principal contractor on projects involving more than one contractor) while making sure they have the skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability
  • Ensuring other duty holders are appointed as appropriate and that they carry out their duties correctly:
    • The principal contractor or contractor (for single contractor projects) prepares a construction phase plan before that phase begins
    • the principal designer prepares a health and safety file for the project and that it is revised as necessary and made available to anyone who needs it for subsequent work at the site
  • Allocating sufficient time and resources for each stage of the project
  • Making sure relevant information is prepared and provided to other duty holders
  • Maintaining and reviewing the management arrangements for the duration of the project
  • Providing welfare facilities for the duration of the construction works
  • Notify the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) on projects lasting longer than 30 days with more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point or exceeds 500 person days

The only exception to this is on small domestic projects where client’s responsibilities are normally transferred to the contractor.


This Sounds a Bit Complicated! What Can I Do To Make Things Simpler?

Things only get complicated for the client when more than one contractor is involved on a project as that is when a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor must be appointed.  You also need to produce a Health & Safety file for the works.

So, if you have a project that involves more than one trade, appoint a Main Contractor to take care of the majority of your legal responsibilities.  For example, when we get appointed we:

  • Assist with the initial design and specification
  • Produce a Construction Phase Plan before works commence
  • Plan, manage and monitor all work carried out, taking into account the risks to anyone who might be affected by it (including members of the public) and the measures needed to protect them
  • Ensure all workers have the right skills, knowledge, training & experience
  • Provide appropriate supervision, instruction and information
  • Have ongoing arrangements in place for managing health and safety throughout the construction phase
  • Liaise with the client for the duration of the project to ensure that all risks are effectively managed
  • Ensure the site is safe & secure with adequate welfare facilities
  • Where required, produce a Health & Safety file
  • Advise on when the HSE need to be notified and assist in filling in the relevant forms

However, we would suggest that on larger, more complicated projects a Principal Designer is appointed as there may be more Health & safety issues to be considered during the planning phase of a project.  You may also want to appoint someone to oversee the works on your behalf to ensure all your legal responsibilities are being met.


If you would like more information then please do not hesitate to contact me on 07973-21644 or email .  Alternatively, contact Mark Holdsworth, our Business Development Manager on 07805-977651 or to discuss any future projects you are considering.

Kind Regards

Steve Waller

Managing Director


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