CDM 2015 – Do you know your duties?

CDM – Do you know your duties?

It’s near on impossible to make health and safety sound appealing, attractive or sexy. But, health and safety and CDM regulations are here to stay. Here at Safety Advisors, we don’t mind shouting about things we are passionate about.

Following the great feedback we received from our recent blog ‘When does CDM apply?’ (read it here: we thought there was room for another CDM related post.

CDM (Construction Design and Management) Regulations 2015 apply to ALL construction work, including domestic projects.

If your project is notifiable to the HSE, the CDM Regulations place responsibility for managing health and safety on to the main duty holders, they are:

  • The Client
  • The Principal Designer
  • The Principal Contractor
  • Designer
  • Contractors

The Client

The term client includes domestic and commercial. Clients have an important role in the construction process. The regulations make them accountable for the impact that their decisions and approach has on the health, safety and welfare of those working on the project and anyone affected by project activities.

The main duties of the client are:

  • 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

Principal Designer

 Principal Designers are responsible for influencing how the health and safety risks should be controlled and incorporated into the projects delivery.

The main duties of the principal designer are:

  • 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 Contractor

 The organisation or person who co-ordinates the construction phase of the project.

The main duties of the principal contractor are:

  • 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

To see the duties of the other duty holders under CDM 2015, please visit:

It is important to recognise that organisations or individuals can carry out the role of more than one dutyholder, provided they have the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out those roles in a way that secures health and safety.

Last week, the HSE released their annual workplace fatality figures for 2017/18.  The figures show that 144 workers were fatally injured between April 2017 and March 2018.

You can read an article about the figures here:

Our next blog will go in to more detail about Construction sites, and the steps that can be taken to eliminate risks.

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