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

Everyone involved in a construction project has legal duties under CDM 2015. These ‘duty holders’ are defined as Client, Principal Designer, Principal Contractor, Designers, Contactors and Workers.

What are the CDM regulations?

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) are the main set of regulations for managing the health, safety, and welfare of construction projects. CDM applies to all building and construction work and includes new build, demolition, refurbishment, extensions, conversions, repair, and maintenance.

What is the purpose of the CDM regulations?

CDM aims to improve health and safety in the industry by helping you to sensibly plan the work so the risks involved are managed from start to finish and ensure you have the right information about the risks and how they are being managed.

The CDM regulations apply to every construction project, even construction work that one might not consider to be a project, like maintenance activities. It does not matter what the duration of the work is, or the size of the task, if it is construction work then CDM applies.

CDM duty holders and their duties

  1. Clients

Organisations or individuals for whom a construction project is carried out that is done as part of a business.

Main duties

Make suitable arrangements for managing a project, including making sure:

  • Other duty holders are appointed as appropriate.
  • Sufficient time and resources are allocated.
  • Relevant information is prepared and provided to other duty holders.
  • The principal designer and principal contractor carry out their duties.
  • Welfare facilities are provided.
  1. Principal designers
    Designers appointed by the client in projects involving more than one contractor. They can be an organisation or an individual with sufficient knowledge, experience, and ability to carry out the role.

Main duties

  • Plan, manage, monitor, and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project.

This includes:

  • Identifying, eliminating, or controlling foreseeable risks.
  • Ensuring designers carry out their duties.
  • Prepare and provide relevant information to other duty holders.
  • Liaise with the principal contractor to help in the planning, management, monitoring and coordination of the construction phase.
  1. Principal contractors

Contractors appointed by the client to coordinate the construction phase of a project where it involves more than one contractor.

Main duties

  • Plan, manage, monitor, and coordinate health and safety in the construction phase of a project.

This includes:

  • Liaising with the client and principal designer.
  • Preparing the construction phase plan.
  • Organising cooperation between contractors and coordinating their work.

Make sure:

    • Suitable site inductions are provided.
    • Reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access.
    • Workers are consulted and engaged in securing their health and safety.
    • Welfare facilities are provided.
  1. Designers

Organisations or individuals who as part of a business, prepare or modify designs for a building, product or system relating to construction work.

Main duties

When preparing or modifying designs, eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during:

  • Construction.
  • The maintenance and use of a building once it is built.
  • Provide information to other members of the project team to help them fulfil their duties.
  1. Contractors

Those who carry out the actual construction work, contractors can be an individual or a company.

Main duties

  • Plan, manage and monitor construction work under their control so it is carried out without risks to health and safety.
  • For projects involving more than one contractor, coordinate their activities with others in the project team – in particular, comply with directions given to them by the principal designer or principal contractor.
  • For single contractor projects, prepare a construction phase plan.
  1. Workers

Those working for or under the control of contractors on a construction site.

Workers must:

  • Be consulted about matters which affect their health, safety, and welfare.
  • Take care of their own health and safety, and of others who might be affected by their actions.
  • Report anything, they see which is likely to endanger either their own or others’ health and safety.
  • Cooperate with their employer, fellow workers, contractors, and other duty holders.