Part 2 of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM15) covers Client duties in relation to the pre-construction and the construction phases. Sufficient time and resources must be made for managing a project. Arrangements made by a Client can be considered suitable if the work on the construction site can be carried out without risk to health or safety of any person affected by the project and that the minimum welfare facilities required for construction sites (Schedule 2 of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015) are provided in respect to anyone carrying out the work. It is the client’s duty to see that these arrangements are reviewed throughout the project and that they are maintained to the recognised standard.
During the pre-construction phase, the Client must provide information to each and every designer or contractor who has been appointed or is being considered for appointment. The client must ensure that the [Principal] Contractor draws up a construction phase plan and that the Principal Designer prepares a Health and Safety file for the project appropriate to the characteristics of the project which must contain information relating to the project which is likely to be needed during any subsequent project, such as extension, refurbishment or demolition, to ensure the health and safety of any person in the future. Every time new or appropriate information becomes available, the Health and Safety file will be revised with appropriate relevancy. It is the responsibility of the Client to ensure that the Health and Safety file is kept available for inspection for any person who may require to see it to comply with any relevant legal requirements.
It is the duty of the Client to take reasonable steps to ensure that the Principal Designer complied with all Principal Designer duties and that the Principal Contractor complies with the Principal Contractor duties set out in CDM15. Should the Client not appoint a Principal Designer or Principal Contractor, the duties of these roles will automatically become the responsibility of the Client. Should the Client sell or lease the property to a third party, that is if one client disposes interest in the structure to another, it is the responsibility to provide the Health and Safety file to the person acquiring the clients interest in the structure.
Where there are many clients involved in the structure, they may agree in writing that for the purpose of the CDM Regulations one client will be responsible; the only Client for the Construction project. Only the Client(s) agreed in writing are subject to the duties owed by a client under the CDM Regulations. While a person with a duty or function under these Regulations must cooperate with any other person working on or in relation to a project, at the same or an adjoining construction site, to the extent necessary to enable any person with a duty or function to fulfil that duty or function. Any person who is required by these Regulations to provide information or instruction must ensure the information or instruction is comprehensible and provided as soon as is practicable.
Appointment Of The Principal Designer And The Principal Contractor
Where it is reasonably foreseeable that more than one contractor will be working on a project, the client must appoint in writing a Principal Designer to control the pre-construction phase and one contractor to oversee the construction; a Principal Contractor. These appointments must be made as soon as possible, and certainly must be in place before the construction phase begins, or as previously stated, the duties and responsibilities of the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor will become the responsibility of the Client.
Where a construction project is to last longer than 30 working days, have more than 20 workers at any point in the project or exceed 500 person days, then it is Notifiable. Where a project is notifiable, it is the Clients responsibility to give notice to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in writing before the construction phase begins.
The details of CDM15 Schedule 1 must be contained in the Notice:
Particulars to be notified under regulation 6 (Notification)
1. The date of forwarding the notice.
2. The address of the construction site or precise description of its location.
3. The name of the local authority where the construction site is located.
4. A brief description of the project and the construction work that it entails.
5. The following contact details of the client: name, address, telephone number and (if available) an email address.
6. The following contact details of the principal designer: name, address, telephone number and (if available) an email address.
7. The following contact details of the principal contractor: name, address, telephone number and (if available) an email address.
8. The date planned for the start of the construction phase.
9. The time allocated by the client under regulation 4(1) for the construction work.
10. The planned duration of the construction phase.
11. The estimated maximum number of people at work on the construction site.
12. The planned number of contractors on the construction site.
13. The name and address of any contractor already appointed.
14. The name and address of any designer already appointed.
15. A declaration signed by or on behalf of the client that the client is aware of the client duties under these Regulations.
This notice must be clearly displayed in construction site office in a form that can be read by any worker, any changes to the Notice must be updated as necessary.
Application To Domestic Clients
Previously left out of the CDM Regulations, Domestic Clients are now enshrined in law under CDM15. Where a client is domestic, the client’s duties must be carried out by a contractor where there is only one contractor, a Principal Contractor where there is more than one Contractor or a Principal Designer where there is a written agreement for the undertaking from the Principal Designer. If a domestic client does not make appointments of a Principal Contractor or Principal Designer, the designer in control of the pre-construction phase becomes the Principal Designer and the contractor in charge of the Construction Phase becomes the Principal Contractor. In a domestic situation, the client will not have duties under CDM15.