Last edited 15 Apr 2015

CDM 2007 principal contractor

For information about the role of the principal contractor under the 2015 CDM regulations see CDM 2015 principal contractor.

The text below relates to the superseded 2007 CDM regulations and is provided as a historical reference.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations) are intended to ensure health and safety issues are properly considered during a project’s development so the risk of harm to those who have to build, use and maintain structures is reduced.

They were introduced in 1994 and came into force on 31 March 1995. They were substantially revised in 2007.

The regulations impose duties on:

The regulations require that a principal contractor is appointed for all notifiable projects as soon as practicable and at the latest before construction works begin. Notifiable projects are those which last more than 30 days or involve 500 person days of construction work.

The CDM co-ordinator must inform the Health and Safety Executive of the appointment of the principal contractor.

The main contractor will usually be the principal contractor. The principal contractor's role is to plan, manage and co-ordinate health and safety during construction.

The duties of the principal contractor include:

  • Preparing a construction phase plan (at least an initial construction phase plan for the early stages of the works must be prepared before construction work can begin).
  • Providing contractors with information allowing them to work safely.
  • Ensuring co-operation and co-ordination between parties involved in the works.
  • Ensuring that other contractors identify, assess and manage risks.
  • Ensuring that welfare facilities are in place.
  • Ensuring that the workforce is inducted, informed, trained and consulted.
  • Taking steps to prevent unauthorised access to the site.
  • Displaying the required F10 notice on the site.
  • Liaising with the CDM co-ordinator regarding any design work.

It is important that the principal contractor is appointed as early as possible in order to allow them sufficient time to prepare the construction phase plan. The CDM planning period is a period allowed by the client to the principal contractor referred to in regulation 15(b) of the CDM regulations for planning and preparing for construction work.

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