2.2 million people work in Britain’s construction industry, making it the country’s biggest industry. It is also one of the most dangerous. In the last 25 years, over 2,800 people have died from injuries they received as a result of construction work. Many more have been injured or made ill.

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 (frequently shortened to “the CDM Regs”) were introduced to help reduce the number of serious and fatal accidents which affect the UK construction industry each year.

It now falls to all who create the risks to be responsible for controlling them. The Regulations affect almost all construction works and anyone with a project in mind should check with designers, a CDM Coordinator (formerly Planning Supervisor) or the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to see how that project is affected.

Failure to comply with the Regulations is a criminal offence, which could mean a substantial fine or even a prison term in the event of prosecution by the HSE particularly after a serious accident.

What are the Client and Client’s Agent Duties under the CDM Regulations?

The client or the client’s agent has the following duties under the CDM Regulations:

  • appoint a CDM Coordinator (formerly Planning Supervisor);
  • provide information on health and safety to the CDM Coordinator;
  • ensure those you appoint (designers and contractors) are competent and adequately resourced to carry out their health and safety responsibilities;
  • ensure that a suitable Health and Safety Plan has been prepared by the principal contractor before construction work starts; and
  • ensure that the Health and Safety File given to you at the end of the project is kept available for use.

Further details on the CDM Regulations are available on the HSE website:
www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm.htm

What do GCA do as an appointed CDM Coordinator?

Typically GCA as an appointed CDM Coordinator would:

  • receive information on the Project from the Client
  • assess the notifiability of the Project and advise the Client accordingly of their duties in accordance with the Regulations
  • notify the Health and Safety Executive in accordance with Regulations
  • receive any existing Health and Safety File from the Client
  • Ensure that a Health and Safety Plan is prepared prior to the commencement of construction work containing the information specified in the Regulations and deliver to contractors
  • provide advice to the Client on the competence and resources of proposed designers
  • provide advice to the Client on the competence and resources of proposed principal contractors
    provide advice, if requested, to the principal contractor on the competence of proposed contractors
  • Make available for inspection any Health and Safety File received from the Client to any person who may need information in the file for the purposes of complying with the Regulations
  • Ensure that the design of any structure in the Project includes among the design considerations, as it is reasonable for a CDM Coordinator to take to ensure, has adequate regard to Health and Safety
  • Ensure that a Health and Safety File is prepared.
  • Keep the Health and Safety File up to date prior to delivery to the Client and deliver copies of it to the Client upon project completion
  • If required, advise the Client whether or not the principal contractor’s construction phase Health and Safety Plan is sufficient for construction work to start.
  • Take such steps as it is reasonable for a CDM Coordinator to take to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, co-operation between designers and the principal contractor during the construction phase in relation to any design or change to a design.