CDM is concerned with the health and safety on building sites so as to reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities to workers and the general public during the construction and maintenance of buildings. Detailed guidelines for all the roles and their responsibilities can be found via the HSE website, however here is a brief overview of the clients responsibilities:
Clients Responsibility – Domestic
As a client for a domestic project undertaking building work your responsibilities are much reduced than for a commercial project. The only responsibility you would have is to appoint a “Principal Designer” and a “Principal Contractor”, when there is more than one contractor involved with the project. However, if you do not do this, your duties are automatically transferred to the contractor or principal contractor.
Clients Responsibility – Commercial
As a client for a commercial project undertaking building work the key responsibility you have is that you will need to appoint, in writing, a principal designer and a principal contractor.
Other responsibilities you would have as a commercial client are:
- Ensure there are arrangements in place for managing and organising the project and the people appointed have the appropriate skills for the project.
- Allow adequate time for the work to be completed properly.
- Provide information to your designer and contractor to allow them to properly plan the design and build of the project.
- Communicate with your designer and building contractor to ensure the work progresses as planned.
- Ensure adequate welfare facilities are on site, provided by the Principal Contractor if they are not already available on site.
- Ensure a construction phase plan is in place, provided by the Principal Contractor and proportionate to the scale of the works.
- Keep the health and safety file, provided by the Principal Contractor and Principal Designer. This must be made accessible to anyone undertaking future work or maintenance and updated accordingly.
Notifying Construction Projects
If your construction project (commercial or domestic) is to last more than 30 days with more than 20 workers at the same time or if it involves 500 person days of work, you need to notify the HSE before construction starts. You can request this to be done by someone else on your behalf (this is often done by the principal contractor).
Failing to Comply
If you do not comply with the CDM 2015 regulations you run the risk of not only putting people at risk of harm but you could also face construction being stopped, fees for intervention from the HSE and possible prosecution.
Full details of CDM 215 regulations can be found government legislation website.