Last edited 09 May 2016

Construction phase plan

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations) are intended to ensure that health and safety issues are properly considered during a project’s development so that the risk of harm to those who have to build, use and maintain structures is reduced. They were introduced in 1994 and revised in 2007 and 2015.

The regulations require that, before the construction phase begins (that is, before the construction site is set up), the client ensures that a construction phase plan is drawn up by the contractor if there is only one contractor, or by the principal contractor if there is more than one contractor. If there is only one contractor, the contractor must either draw up a plan themselves, or make arrangements for it to be drawn up.

The construction phase plan records arrangements for managing significant health and safety risks associated with the construction of the project and is the basis for communicating those arrangements to those involved in the construction phase. It outlines the health and safety arrangements and site rules taking into account any industrial activities taking place on site, and, where applicable, must include specific measures concerning any work involving the particular risks listed in Schedule 3:

  • Work which puts workers at risk of burial under earthfalls, engulfment in swampland or falling from a height, where the risk is particularly aggravated by the nature of the work or processes used or by the environment at the place of work or site.
  • Work which puts workers at risk from chemical or biological substances constituting a particular danger to the safety or health of workers or involving a legal requirement for health monitoring.
  • Work with ionizing radiation requiring the designation of controlled or supervised areas under regulation 16 of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999.
  • Work near high voltage power lines.
  • Work exposing workers to the risk of drowning.
  • Work on wells, underground earthworks and tunnels.
  • Work carried out by divers having a system of air supply.
  • Work carried out by workers in caissons with a compressed air atmosphere.
  • Work involving the use of explosives.
  • Work involving the assembly or dismantling of heavy prefabricated components.

Pre-construction information provided by the client forms the basis of the construction phase plan. The plan must also take into account information the principal designer holds and any information obtained from designers. Designers must provide information about the significant risks they have been unable to eliminate and the steps taken to reduce or control those risks. The principal contractor must also liaise with the contractors to ensure the plan takes account of their views.

During the course of the project, the principal contractor (or contractor) must ensure that the construction phase plan is reviewed, updated and revised.

The client must ensure the plan adequately addresses arrangements for managing risks and that the principal contractor (or contractor) regularly reviews and revises the plan.

The plan should be easy to understand and as simple as possible, should only include information relevant to the project, should provide sufficient information proportionate to the scale and complexity of the project and the risks involved. It should not include generic risk assessments, records of how decisions were reached or detailed safety method statements.

The principal contractor must ensure that employers and, if necessary for the protection of workers, self-employed persons follow the construction phase plan. Contractors also required to comply with the plan.

Managing health and safety in construction, Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, Guidance on Regulations suggests the following topics should be considered when drawing up the plan:

  • A description of the project such as key dates and details of key members of the project team.
  • The management of the work including:
  1. The health and safety aims for the project.
  2. The site rules.
  3. Arrangements to ensure cooperation between project team members and coordination of their work, eg regular site meetings.
  4. Arrangements for involving workers.
  5. Site induction.
  6. Welfare facilities.
  7. Fire and emergency procedures.
  • The control of any of the specific site risks listed in Schedule 3 where they are relevant to the work involved.


[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki