You must appoint a CDM co-ordinator

A CDM co-ordinator will advise and assist you with your CDM duties on notifiable jobs. They will:

  • advise you about selecting competent designers and contractors;
  • help identify what information will be needed by designers and contractors;
  • co-ordinate the arrangements for health and safety during the planning phase;
  • ensure that HSE is notified of the project;
  • tell you if the initial construction phase plan is suitable; and
  • prepare a health and safety file for you (this contains useful information you need to enable future cleaning, maintenance and alterations to be carried out safely).

You should appoint the CDM co-ordinator as soon as possible, but no later than the initial design/preparation stage. CDM 2007 does not require the CDM co-ordinator to supervise or monitor work on site.

If you fail to appoint a CDM co-ordinator on a notifiable project then you will be deemed to be the CDM co-ordinator. This means you will be legally liable if the things they should have done aren't actually done.

If you plan to take on this role yourself then you must comply with the CDM Co-ordinator duties in addition to your Client duties. You need to have the necessary competence and resources. One of the CDM Co-ordinator’s duties is to notify the HSE.

You must appoint a principal contractor

A principal contractor is needed to plan, manage and co-ordinate work while construction work is being carried out on notifiable jobs. Principal contractors are usually the main or managing contractor for the work.

You should appoint the principal contractor at the earliest opportunity. This is so they can be involved in discussions about buildability, usability and maintainability and so they can have time to plan the work properly.

If you fail to appoint a principal contractor on a notifiable project then you will be deemed to be the principal contractor . This means you will be legally liable if the things they should have done aren't actually done.

If you plan to take on this role yourself then you must comply with the Principal Contractor duties in addition to your Client duties. You need to have the necessary competence and resources.

Make sure a health and safety plan is in place

The principal contractor has to produce a construction phase health and safety plan outlining the key arrangements to ensure that work is carried out safely. You should not allow work to start on site until there is an adequate plan.

Keep the health and safety file

At the end of the project, the CDM co-ordinator will give you the health and safety file. The file is a record of useful health and safety information and will help you manage health and safety risks during any future maintenance, repair, construction work or demolition. The file needs to be kept safe, made available to anyone who needs to alter or maintain the building and updated if circumstances change.