How safe is your contractor? CDM regulations explained

cdm regulations


The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM Regulations 2007) place legal duties on virtually everyone involved in construction work, explains Simon Toseland, Head of Safety at Workplace Law.

Dutyholders under CDM 2007 comprise:
• Client: i.e. anyone having construction or building work carried out as part of their business, an individual, partnership or company including property developers or management companies for domestic properties.
• CDM coordinator: must be appointed to advise the client on projects that last more than 30 days or involve 500 person days of construction work. Their role is to advise the client on health and safety issues during the design and planning phases of construction work.
• Designer: i.e. those who prepare design drawings, specifications, bills of quantities and the specification of articles and substances, including architects, engineers and quantity surveyors.
• Principal contractor: must be appointed for projects which last more than 30 days or involve 500 person days of construction work. Role is to plan, manage and coordinate health and safety while construction work is being undertaken and is usually the main or managing contractor for the work.
• Contractor: A business involved in construction, alteration, maintenance or demolition work, involving building, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, demolition and maintenance companies, partnerships and the self-employed.
• Worker: Anyone who carries out work during the construction, alteration, maintenance or demolition of a building or structure. A worker could be, for example, a plumber, electrician, scaffolder, painter, decorator, steel erector, as well as those supervising the work, such as foremen and chargehands.

Clients can help protect the health and safety of construction workers by: 

• Appointing competent designers and, where the project is notifiable, appointing a CDM coordinator and a principal contractor.

• Sharing information about possible health risks on the site (e.g. asbestos contaminated land) with designers, the CDM coordinator and the principal contractor. Follow their advice about how to eliminate and control health risks.
• Allowing enough time and money for each stage of the project, from concept through to completion.

• Before site work starts, ensuring that the principal contractor has made reasonable arrangements to work safely and without risks to health, and carry out periodic checks to confirm that their arrangements are effective.

Further information
HSE: L144 – Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 Approved Code of Practice (HSE Books, 2007) ISBN: 978 0 7176 6223 4.

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