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Clients

Understanding a Client’s role under CDM2015 Regulations

Work Safety Solutions can advise you in all the design and construction phases.

Clients: Roles and Responsibilities

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)

 

Client – Anyone who has construction work carried out for them. The main duty for clients is to make sure their project is suitably managed, ensuring the health and safety of all who might be affected by the work, including members of the public. CDM 2015 recognises two types of client:

  • commercial clients have construction work carried out as part of their business. This could be an individual, partnership or company and includes property developers and companies managing domestic properties
  • domestic clients have construction work carried out for them but not in connection with any business – usually work done on their own home or the home of a family member. CDM 2015 does not require domestic clients to carry out client duties as these normally pass to other duty holders.

Commercial clients have a crucial influence over how projects are run, including the management of health and safety risks. Whatever the project size, the commercial client has contractual control, appoints designers and contractors, and determines the money, time and other resources for the project.

          For all projects, commercial clients must:

  • make suitable arrangements for managing their project,
  • Including:
    • 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
    • allowing sufficient time and resources for each stage of the project
    • making sure that any principal designer and principal contractor appointed carry out their duties in managing the project
    • making sure suitable welfare facilities are provided
  • maintain and review the management arrangements
  • provide pre-construction information to all designers and contractors either bidding for the work or already appointed
  • ensure that the principal contractor or contractor prepares a construction phase plan before that phase begins
  • ensure that the principal designer prepares a health and safety file
  • for notifiable projects (where planned construction work will last longer than 30 working days and involves more than 20 workers at any one time; or where the work exceeds 500 individual worker days), commercial clients must:
  • notify HSE in writing with details of the project
  • ensure a copy of the notification is displayed in the construction site office

Domestic client is any individual who has construction work carried out on their home, or the home of a family member, that is not done as part of any business.

        While CDM 2015 place client duties on commercial clients in full, such duties for domestic clients normally pass to:

  • the contractor, if it is a single contractor project, who must take on the legal duties of the client in addition to their own as contractor. In practice, this should involve little more than what they normally do in managing health and safety risks
  • the principal contractor, for projects with more than one contractor, who must take on the legal duties of the client in addition to their own as principal contractor. If the domestic client has not appointed a principal contractor, the client duties must be carried out by the contractor in control of the construction work, any designer in charge of coordinating and managing a project is assumed to be the principal designer. However, if they do not have a written agreement with the domestic client to confirm they are taking on the client duties, those duties automatically pass to the principal contractor.

If a domestic client has appointed an architect (or other designer) on a project involving more than one contractor, they can ask them to manage the project and take on the client duties  instead of the principal contractor. The designer then takes on the responsibilities of principal designer and must have a written agreement with the domestic client, confirming they have agreed (as principal designer) to take on the client duties as well as their own responsibilities.

Any designer in charge of coordinating and managing a project is assumed to be the principal designer. However, if they do not have a written agreement with the domestic client to confirm they are taking on the client duties, those duties automatically pass to the principal contractor.

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Designers

Understanding a Designers role under CDM2015 Regulations

Work Safety Solutions can advise you in all the design and construction phases.

Designers and Principal Designers Roles and Responsibilities

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)

 

Designers: Roles and Responsibilities:

A designer is an organisation or individual whose business involves preparing or modifying designs for construction projects, or arranging for, or instructing, others to do this. Designs include drawings, design details, specifications, bills of quantity and design calculations.

Designers can be architects, consulting engineers, quantity surveyors and interior designers, or anyone who specifies and alters designs as part of their work. They can also be principal contractors, specialist contractors, tradespeople or even commercial clients, if they get actively involved in design work for their project.

A designer’s decisions can affect the health and safety of all those involved in constructing a building and those who use, maintain, refurbish and eventually demolish it.

Designers must:

make sure the client is aware of the client duties under CDM 2015 before starting any design work

when preparing or modifying designs:

  • take account of any pre-construction information provided by the client (and principal designer, if one is involved)
  • eliminate foreseeable health and safety risks to anyone affected by the project (if possible)
  • take steps to reduce or control any risks that cannot be eliminated

provide design information to:

  • the principal designer (if involved), for inclusion in the pre-construction information and the health and safety file
  • the client and principal contractor (or the contractor for single contractor projects) to help them comply with their duties, such as ensuring a construction phase plan is prepared

communicate, cooperate and coordinate with:

  • any other designers (including the principal designer) so that all designs are compatible and ensure health and safety, both during the project and beyond
  • all contractors (including the principal contractor), to take account of their knowledge and experience of building designs

Working as a designer for a domestic client is no different to working for a commercial client. However, the domestic client’s legal duties are normally taken on by the contractor (or the principal contractor on projects involving more than one contractor) and the designer must work to them as ‘client’ under CDM 2015. Alternatively, the domestic client can ask the principal designer to take on the client duties, although this must be confirmed in a written agreement. Where the project involves more than one contractor and the domestic client does not appoint a principal designer, the role of the principal designer must be carried out by the designer in control of the pre-construction phase.

Principal Designers: Roles and Responsibilities

A principal designer is a designer who is an organisation or individual (on smaller projects) appointed by the client to take control of the pre-construction phase of any project involving more than one contractor.

Principal designers have an important role in influencing how risks to health and safety are managed throughout a project.

Principal designers must:

  • plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase.
  • help and advise the client in bringing together pre-construction information, and provide the information designers and contractors need to carry out their duties
  • work with all designers on the project to eliminate foreseeable health and safety risks to anyone affected by the work and, where that is not possible, take steps to reduce or control those risks
  • ensure that everyone involved in the pre-construction phase communicates and cooperates, coordinating their work wherever required
  • liaise with the principal contractor, keeping them informed of any risks that need to be controlled during the construction phase on a domestic client project, where the domestic client does not appoint a principal designer, the role of the principal designer must be carried out by the designer in control of the pre-construction phase. When working for a domestic client, the client duties will normally be taken on by another duty holder (often the principal contractor on projects involving more than one contractor). However, the principal designer can enter into a written agreement with the domestic client to take on the client duties in addition to their own.

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Contractors

Principal Contractors / Contractors / Construction workers

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

Work Safety Solutions can assist you in the design and construction phases.

Principal Contractors: Roles and Responsibilities

A principal contractor is appointed by the client to control the construction phase of any project involving more than one contractor.

Principal contractors have an important role in managing health and safety risks during the construction phase, so they must have the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, organisational capability to carry out this work.

The principal contractor must:

    • plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the entire construction phase
    • take account of the health and safety risks to everyone affected by the work
    • liaise with the client and principal designer for the duration of the project
    • prepare a written construction phase plan before the construction phase begins
    • have ongoing arrangements in place for managing health and safety throughout the construction phase
    • consult and engage with workers about their health, safety and welfare
    • ensure suitable welfare facilities are provided from the start
    • check that anyone they appoint has the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, the organisational capability to carry out their work safely and without risk to health
    • ensure all workers have site-specific inductions, and relevant information and training
    • take steps to prevent unauthorised access to the site
    • liaise with the principal designer to share any information relevant to the planning, management, monitoring and coordination of the pre-construction phase

When working for a domestic client, the principal contractor will normally take on the client duties as well as their own as principal contractor. If a domestic client does not appoint a principal contractor, the role of the principal contractor must be carried out by the contractor in control of the construction phase. Alternatively, the domestic client can ask the principal designer to take on the client duties (although this must be confirmed in a written agreement) and the principal contractor must work to them as ‘client’ under CDM 2015

Contractors: Roles and Responsibilities

A contractor is anyone who directly employs or engages construction workers or manages construction work. Contractors include sub-contractors, any individual self-employed worker or business that carries out, manages or controls construction work.  They must have the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, the organisational capability to carry out the work safely and without risk to health.

Contractors and the workers under their control are most at risk of injury and ill health from construction work. Contractors therefore have an important role in planning, managing and monitoring their work to ensure any risks are controlled.

Contractors on all projects must:

    • make sure the client is aware of the client duties under CDM 2015 before any work starts
    • plan, manage and monitor all work carried out by themselves and their workers, 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
    • check that all workers they employ or appoint have the skills, knowledge, training and experience to carry out the work, or are in the process of obtaining them
    • make sure that all workers under their control have a suitable, site-specific induction, unless this has already been provided by the principal contractor
    • provide appropriate  supervision, information and instructions to workers under their control
    • ensure they do not start work on site unless reasonable steps have been taken to prevent unauthorised access
    • ensure suitable welfare facilities are provided from the start

In addition to the above responsibilities, contractors working on projects involving more than one contractor must:

  • coordinate their work with the work of others in the project team
  • comply with directions given by the principal designer or principal contractor
  • comply with parts of the construction phase plan  relevant to their work

Where a contractor is the only contractor working on a project, they must ensure a construction phase plan  is drawn up before setting up the site.

When working as the only contractor for a domestic client, the contractor takes on the client duties, as well as their own as contractor. However, this should involve them doing no more than they will normally do to comply with health and safety law.

Where a domestic project involves more than one contractor, the principal contractor normally takes on the client duties and the contractor will work to the principal contractor as ‘client’. If the domestic client does not appoint a principal contractor, the role of the principal contractor must be carried out by the contractor as principal contractor and the client duties must be carried out by the contractor in control of the construction phase and the client duties must be carried out by the contractor as principal contractor. Alternatively, the domestic client can ask the principal designer to take on the client duties (although this must be confirmed in a written agreement) and the contractor must work to them as ‘client’ under CDM 2015.

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