CDM Regulations

The Construction, Design and Management (CDM) Regulations exist to keep every single person on a construction project safe, whilst ensuring the right people are appointed for the planning and safe implementation of procedures throughout the project.

Pretty much everyone on a construction project will have a legal duty – that you may already know. But who has what duty? What exactly do the responsibilities include? And how do you ensure you’re operating within the law? That bit might not be so clear.

To prevent illness, injuries and, worst case, deaths, it’s critical that you keep up with what’s required of you – and that means following procedures and having designated individuals responsible for ensuring all goes to plan.

We understand that it can be hard to know where to start. And we get that you don’t always have the time to effectively communicate and manage risks on all your jobs. But that’s where we come in.

Our Health & Safety experts will help you fill out any relevant forms, make the relevant bodies aware (when thresholds are met) and decide who’s responsible for what. And if ever you have any questions, they’ll be at the other end of the phone – 24/7.

To get a feel for how we can make your life easier, get in touch with the team today.


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What are the CDM Regulations?

The current CDM Regulations came into force back in April 2015 and have six core objectives, which are to help people involved with construction projects to:

1. Work safely by carefully planning projects so that are all risks are identified at the very start, and managed until the very end.

2. Ensure that the right person, is doing the right job, at the right time.

3. Effectively co-operate and co-ordinate tasks with relevant people.

4. Make sure that the right information about the risks and how they’re being managed is made available.

5. Clearly communicate relevant information with everyone who needs to know it.

6. Effectively consult and engage with workers about any risks they may be subject to, and how those risks are being managed.

When do the CDM Regulations apply?

The CDM Regulations apply to any construction project (for example, a construction phase plan is required for every project) and must be notified to the HSE if it:

  • Lasts more than 30 working days and involves more than 20 workers at any one time; or
  • Requires more than 500 individual worker days.

In terms of the type of project, the CDM Regulations cover anything from groundworks and temporary structures, to restoration and excavations – and everything else in between.

CDM Requirements

To comply with the CDM Regulations, you must ensure construction projects are suitably managed – from start to finish – so that both workers and members of the public are not put at any risk as a result of the work being carried out.

Duty holders

The regulations recognise seven different CDM duty holders, and these are: commercial clients, domestic clients, designers, principal designers, principal contractors, contractors and workers.

Below is a very brief explanation of each’s duties:

Commercial clients: an individual or an organisation who’s having construction work carried out on their behalf for business purposes.

Domestic clients: people who have construction work carried out on their home – not for business purposes.

Designers: individuals or organisations who prepare or modify construction designs for a building, product or system.

Principal designers: the main designer (who’s appointed by the client) in projects involving more than one contractor.

Principal contractors: the chief contractor (who’s appointed by the client) that co-ordinates the construction phase of a project when one or more contractors are involved.

Contractors: the people who do the doing – i.e. the actual construction work. Contractors can be either individuals or businesses.

Workers: individuals who work under the control of contractors on a construction site.

Duty holder responsibilities

Each duty holder has various responsibilities to comply with the CDM Regulations, a small sample of which are outlined below.

Duty holderResponsibility
Commercial client· Make sure adequate resource and time is allocated to projects

· Make sure relevant information is given to other duty holders

· Make sure the Principal Contractor and Principal Designer carry out their duties

· Provide suitable welfare facilities.

Domestic client· Normally, unless a written agreement with the principal designer is in place, domestic clients’ responsibilities will be transferred to either the contractor (for single contractor projects) or the principal contractor (for projects involving more than one contractor).
Designers· Make sure any foreseeable risks are eliminated, reduced or controlled during the construction project

· Provide other members of the project team with sufficient, relevant information, so that they’re able to fulfil their responsibilities.

Principal designers· Make sure all elements of Health & Safety are carefully considered, planned and monitored pre-construction

· Make sure that all designers are keeping up with their responsibilities.

Principal contractors· Make sure suitable site inductions are given to any visitors or workers entering the site

· Prepare a thorough construction phase plan.

Contractors· Make sure any work they are carrying out is done so safely, without any risk to their or others’ safety.
Workers· Report any risks that could endanger themselves or others

· Co-operate with other individuals on the project to ensure high levels of safety are maintained throughout.

And remember, these are just a handful of the duty holders’ responsibilities. For more information on duty holders and their duties under the CDM Regulations, get in touch with our Health & Safety experts on 0345 844 1111.

How we can help

We know the construction sector inside and out. We know the CDM Regulations inside and out. And we know how to make your life easier.

Our Health & Safety experts are here to take the complication out of CDM Regulations, so that you can get on with doing what you do best – running your business!

To find out how we can start supporting you today, get in touch with the team on 0345 844 1111 or today.

Associated Resources

An intro to the CDM Regulations

Useful information on how to govern your construction projects

Download the guide

CDM Regulations in schools

We have produced a handy table to help schools identify who their 'client' is when it comes to the CDM Regulations.

Download the guide

Health and Safety Policy Template

Your very own FREE Health & Safety handbook template.

Download the guide

Health and Safety checklist

Your free guide to confidence in Health & Safety

Download the guide

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