Clients must prepare for more demanding project H&S duties
The CDM Regulations 2015 rewrite client obligations regarding the health and safety of construction teams, building maintenance workers and building users etc.
The new Regulations recognise the influence and importance of the client as the head of the supply chain and as the party best placed to set standards throughout a project.
We look below at the principle duty which will apply to the ‘commercial client’ under CDM 2015 from 6 April 2015. The ‘commercial client’ is any person (company or individual) for whom a construction project is carried out in the course or furtherance of the clients’ business.
This distinguishes such clients from ‘domestic’ clients e.g. home owners procuring building work, whose CDM 2015 duties are taken by contractors and designers.
Making and maintaining arrangements for managing the project
The most demanding client requirement under CDM 2015 is contained in Regulation 4 which states that the client must :
“make suitable arrangements for managing a project, including the allocation of sufficient time and other resources. Arrangements are suitable if they ensure that the construction work can be carried out, so far as is reasonably practicable, without risks to the health or safety of any person affected by the project.”
HSE Legal Guidance on CDM 2015 states that to be ‘suitable’ these arrangements should include the following:
- Project team assembly – selection of suitably skilled and capable designers and contractors;
- Roles, functions and responsibilities – made clear to all;
- Resources and time – allocated for each stage of project;
- Communication, cooperation and coordination – between project team members;
- Compliance – steps to ensure Principal Designer and Principal Contractor comply;
- H&S Performance – how performance of others is maintained throughout project; and
- Welfare facilities – how client ensures that the suitable facilities provided during construction work.
Where the range and nature of risks to health and safety warrants the client management arrangements should also include:
- Standards of H&S – the expected standards including safe work practices and means by which standards will be maintained; and
- Designer expectations – the steps to help manage foreseeable risks through design.
Finally, the client must ensure that the arrangements are maintained and reviewed throughout the project.
HSE suggest that actions the client can take to maintain and review their arrangements are:
- Milestones – establishing key milestones in the life of the project where the client can assess progress of the project and determine whether health and safety standards are being met;
- Independent review – seek advice and on larger projects consider an independent review of standards.
Other major client responsibilities
There are a number of further client responsibilities which we will explore in further posts. These include:
- Pre-Construction Information;
- Appointment of the PD and PC;
- Construction Phase Plan;
- Health and Safety File; and
- Notification of projects to the Regulator.
CDM 2015 Information and Templates
See CDM 2015 Survey Results for the findings of our CDM 2015 Five Minute Online Survey.
We have published a great deal of further information and templates designed to support Clients, Designers, Principal Designers/Contractors and Contractors in meeting their duties under CDM Regulations 2015.