CDM 2015 introduced new duties and responsibilities onto Clients.

The CDM Regulations aim to make health and safety an essential and integral part of the planning and management of construction projects

They place statutory responsibilities on the project duty holders to consider their approach to health and safety, and then to co-ordinate and manage the health and safety requirements effectively throughout all stages of a construction project i.e. from the initial concept design through to the completion of works on site.

The current version of the Regulations, CDM 2015, came into force on the 6th April 2015, replacing CDM 2007. The principal changes from the 2007 Regulations were:

  • Strengthening of Client duties
  • Introduction of Domestic Clients
  • Removal of the CDM Coordinator role – under CDM 2007 the Client had a key advisor via the statutory framework of the Regulations, the CDM Coordinator (CDMC)
  • Creation of the new role of Principal Designer who is responsible for the planning, managing, monitoring and co-ordination of health and safety during the pre-construction phase
  • Requirement for a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor on all projects where there will be more than one contractor working on the project
  • Replacement of explicit requirement for duty holder competence with the need for appropriate skills, knowledge, experience and training
  • Change to the HSE’s notification threshold

Because CDM 2015 removed the role of CDM Coordinator Clients no longer have a statutory advisor on matters relating to construction health and safety risk management, and with the exception of assisting Clients provide Pre-Construction Information none of the Client’s CDM 2015 duties fall onto the Principal Designer. Under CDM 2015 Clients have a legal responsibility to:

  • Ensure that construction work is carried out, so far as is reasonably practicable, without risk to the Health and Safety of workers or anyone else that may be affected by the works.
  • Ensure that the HSE are notified about the project in accordance with CDM Regulation 6 by way of an F10 notification.
  • Ensure that the Principal Contractor and Principal Contractor comply with their respective duties.
  • Provide Pre-Construction Information; the Principal Designer has a duty to assist the Client provide PCI, but this is the only duty they have in respect of assisting the Client discharge their duties.
  • Prepare a Client Brief which is a new requirement under CDM 2015; in accordance with the published CDM 2015 guidance this a statement of the Client’s requirements for the project e.g. design aspirations, budget, quality of workmanship, site considerations and management requirements etc. The Client Brief can be incorporated into a Summary Reference Document (or similar) prepared by the Client or Principal Designer to cross-reference the information contained in the Pre-Construction Information.
  • Ensure that prior to the construction phase commencing the Principal Contractor has prepared a Construction Phase Plan.
  • Ensure that there are suitable welfare facilities available on-site throughout the construction phase.
  • Ensure that health and safety management arrangements are maintained and reviewed throughout the project.
  • Ensure that the Principal Designer prepares a Health and Safety File.
  • Take reasonable steps to be satisfied that Designers and Contractors have the skills, knowledge and experience and, if they are an organisation the organisational capability, necessary to fulfil the role that they are appointed to undertake.

CDM 2015 has now been in force for several years, and one of the key issues is the increased health and safety responsibilities on Clients, which potentially places them with a greater burden of time, risk and cost. The Regulations recognize the influence and importance of the Client as head of the project supply chain and as the party best placed to set standards throughout a project. Many Clients do not have the resources or the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to discharge their duties under CDM 2015, and over the last three years this has created a new role within construction project teams, the CDM Advisor (CDMA). In the capacity of CDM Advisor, RJD Associates (North West) Limited will undertake health and safety duties on behalf of the Client during both the pre-construction and construction phases of a project and liaise with the other relevant duty holders throughout a project to help to ensure that health and safety is planned, managed and monitored accordingly, and help influence culture when it comes to health and safety risk management. Ultimately our view is that health and safety risk management the collective responsibility of everyone involved in a project, and that irrespective of the make-up of the project team the planning, managing, monitoring and co-ordination of health and safety matters during both the pre-construction and construction phases needs to be a collaborative process from the outset of the project, a process which RJD have the skills, knowledge and experience to lead on behalf the Client, or support the Client with advice, resources and health & safety risk management expertise.

View all clients