Summary of duties under Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)

Summary of duties for CDM dutyholders
CDM Dutyholders* – Who are they? Main duties – What they need to do
Commercial clients – Organisations or individuals for whom a construction project is carried out that is done as part of a business.

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

  • other dutyholders are appointed as appropriate
  • sufficient time and resources are allocated

Make sure:

  • relevant information is prepared and provided to other dutyholders
  • the principal designer and principal contractor carry out their duties
  • welfare facilities are provided
Domestic clients – People who have construction work carried out on their own home (or the home of a family member) that is not done as part of a business.**

Though in scope of CDM 2015, their client duties are normally transferred to:

  • the contractor for single contractor projects
  • the principal contractor for projects with more than one contractor
However, the domestic client can instead choose to have a written agreement with the principal designer to carry out the client duties.  
Designers - Organisations or individuals who as part of a business, prepare or modify designs for a building, product or system relating to construction work.

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.

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.

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 dutyholders.

Liaise with the principal contractor to help in the planning, management, monitoring and coordination of the construction phase.

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

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

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.  

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 dutyholders

* 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.

** CDM 2015 applies if the work is carried out by someone else on the domestic client's behalf. If the householder carries out the work themselves, it is classed as DIY and CDM 2015 does not apply.

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Updated 2020-06-09