CDM 2015 Advisory Note

Boughton Butler Ltd

January 2017 |V1



All clients are provided with a link to this document within all email correspondence and elsewhere where necessary, and it is assumed all clients are therefore aware of their duties under the CDM Regulations 2015.

The Client’ responsibility:

CDM Regs 2015 Part2 section 5(1)

The client is the primary duty holder and is responsible for making arrangements for managing the project, which are suitable and sufficient to ensure:

(a) construction work is carried out so far as is reasonably practicable without risk to the health and safety of any person.

The client must take reasonable steps to ensure that the arrangements referred to above, are maintained and reviewed throughout the project


There are two appointments that the client must make in writing at the earliest opportunity; and always before construction work commences

Principal Designer  (PD) – to manage preconstruction planning and the H&S file

The Principal Contractor (PC)- To manage Construction Phase Planning and on site activities

If the client does not appoint a Principal Designer, he will by default assume these responsibilities.  He will also be responsible for the appointment of the Principal Contractor.

On a small domestic site, where there is more than a single contractor (one person) on site, the client must still appoint the principal contractor in writing:

Principle Contractor Responsibilities

Once appointed, whether by the Client or PD, the PC must raise a Construction Phase Plan (CPP), based upon the client’s Pre Construction Information (PCI) , the CDM regulations,  and  HASWA 74,  indicating how operational site H&S will be managed.  This must be in place prior to commencing the construction work. 

If the Client does not appoint a Principal Contractor who is prepared, or capable, of carrying out and putting in place the required CDM requirements, and documentation, the client will be in breach of the CDM 2015 regulations.

As the principal duty holder, the client could face a serious financial penalty for this non compliance.

If the client is told the regulations are not necessary, the builder:

Does not understand the requirements of the CDM 2015 regulations
Has insufficient understanding of the required H&S applying to construction, to give the client the guarantee of safe operation.
Is not concerned that he could be placing the client in a seriously legal position and will be a risk

It should be noted that if a serious incident in which the HSE becomes involved should occur, the client, having not met the initial CDM 2015 regulations could be held responsible.

It should be further noted, that under the Corporate Manslaughter, and Corporate  Homicide act, should a death occur, the client having not taken the necessary preconstruction actions will be considered responsible, and could face a custodial sentence.

Clients, who like their builder, believe they can avoid the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and The CDM 2015 regulations, could face financial penalties way in excess of the fee for meeting the requirements.

The client is responsible and it is wise therefore, to deal with responsible builders who understand, and work to the necessary health and safety standards.