The CDM Regulations (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:
The simple answer is Yes! But, you’ll need to read on…
The CDM 2007 guidelines were updated on the 6th April 2015 to bring greater attention to the management of Health and Safety in smaller domestic building sites, shifting more responsibility to the homeowner.
A useful guide for Clients can be found on the HSE website here and the video above is a great introduction to the CDM Regulations (2015).
There are two types of Client:
Commercial Client – Organisations or individuals for whom a construction project is carried out as part of a business.
Domestic Clients – People who have construction work carried out on their own home (or the home of a family member) that is not as part of a business.
Note: If the householder carries out the work themselves, it is classed as DIY and CDM 2015 does not apply
For the purpose of this article we are focusing on what you need to know as a Domestic Client.
The clients’ role is to:
However, the only responsibility a domestic client has under CDM 2015 is to appoint a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor in writing if more than one contractor will be involved. (We’ll define these roles later).
Sound easy? It get’s better…
If you do not do this (as is common practice for small domestic scale building work) your duties as a Domestic Client are automatically transferred to the Contractor or Principal Contractor.
This will depend on how your project is set up:
You will also need to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) using an F10 form before commencing construction IF your work is scheduled to:
In our experience projects with a construction value below £200,000 (ex. VAT) seldom fall in to the above description.
“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.”
Company’s like Aura Architecture can perform these services but by Law there will need to be a written appointment to say that we are providing these services on your behalf.
Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project. This includes:
Note: Where the appointment of the Principal Designer concludes before the end of the project the responsibility for preparation of the Health and Safety File, and subsequent handover to the Client, will pass onto the Principal Contractor. This frequently happens on smaller projects and where your Principal Designer (e.g. Architect) are not employed to carry out site monitoring during the building works.
“A Contractor appointed by the client to coordinate the construction phase of a project where it involves more than one contractor or trade”
For house extensions, conversions, refurbishments and new-build houses the construction work carried out will involve many building trades such as bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians…the list goes on. The contractor coordinating these trades should be the Principal Contractor.
Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the construction phase of a project. This includes:
“Organisations or individuals can carry out the role of more than one dutyholder, provided they have the skills, knowledge, experience and (if an organisation) the organisational capability necessary to carry out those roles in a way that secures health and safety.”
In this scenario a loft conversion specialist providing ‘Design and Build’ services for example, may be both the Principal Designer and the Principal Contractor.
Lets break this down in to simple steps….
A record of relevant health and safety information relating to the completed building works so that subsequent repair, maintenance and other building works can be carried out safely with known risks. The file should be “appropriate to the characteristics of the project”.
The following information should be included in the Health and Safety File:
The Health and Safety File should only contain information that would be relevant when planning FUTURE construction works. The file can be delivered in electronic format.
It is the Principal Contractors responsibility to plan and organise your building project, and work together with others involved to make sure that the work is carried out without risks to health and safety. The Construction Phase Plan is a record of how they will do this.
The plan should contain: