CDM – Know Your Role
If you are a Director of a flat management company or a ‘Right to Manage’ company, and are planning to undertake a major works project to your block, you are acting as the ‘Client’, one of the five key duty holders under The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM).
So, What Exactly Does This Mean and What Are Your Responsibilities?
Well firstly CDM Regulations are there to improve health and safety in the industry by helping you sensibly plan the work so the risks involved are managed from start to finish and ensure you have the right people for the right job at the right time.
This provides a clearly defined structure to work to in a world you may not be familiar with.
Acting as the Client you will be responsible for a number of duties, including:
- Allocating sufficient time and resources to health and safety
- Appointing a Principal Designer on projects with more than one contractor
- Appointing a Principal Contractor on projects with more than one contractor
- Ensuring work can be carried out without risks to health or safety
- Ensuring welfare facilities are provided
- Ensuring that arrangements are maintained and reviewed throughout the project
- Providing pre-construction information to designers and contractors
- Ensuring the Construction Phase Plan is drawn up by the Principal Contractor before work starts
- Ensuring the Principal Designer prepares a ‘Health and Safety File’
- Ensuring the Health and Safety File complies and is revised to incorporate relevant new information, and is kept available for inspection by any person who may need it
- Taking reasonable steps to ensure that the Principal Designer complies with their duties
- Taking reasonable steps to ensure that the Principal Contractor complies with their duties
- Issuing the Health and Safety File to any person who acquires the property
- Where a project is notifiable, the client must give notice in writing to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
As you can see, there are a lot of responsibilities, but you should not be overwhelmed. Once you have made the suitable arrangements and allocated sufficient time and resources your next step is to appoint a suitable Principal Designer. This will often be the Surveyor or Architect who is acting as the Contract Administrator for your project, but it doesn’t have to be. A good and reliable Principal Designer, as well as a good wider project team will make your life as the Client a whole lot easier.
How We Can Help
Hamilton Darcey have been appointed as Principal Designer on countless projects and also act as our Client’s key CDM advisor. Our expert team are at hand to guide you through the CDM process, ensuring your responsibilities are met throughout the course of the project.
Any good Principal Designer will work with all the CDM duty holders to ensure that items such as welfare and pre-construction information are sufficiently in place to carry out the project without unnecessary risk.
Ben Jeanes is a Partner at Hamilton Darcey LLP, a RICS regulated Chartered Surveying practice based in London.
Hamilton Darcey undertake instructions relating to all aspects of Building Surveying and Design services with a particular specialism in the high-end residential sector.