Who is the client? CDM 2015 defines a client as anyone for whom a construction project is carried out. The regulations apply to both domestic and commercial clients. This guidance is aimed at commercial clients. A commercial client is an organisation or individual for whom a construction project is carried out in connection with a business, whether the business operates for profit or not. Examples of commercial clients are schools, retailers and landlords.
Domestic clients are those having work carried out which is not connected with running a business. Usually, this means arranging for work to be carried out on the property where you or a family member lives.
- What is the client’s role? The CDM Regulations place responsibility for managing the health and safety of a construction project on three main duty holders. The client has overall responsibility for the successful management of the project and is supported by the principal designer and principal contractor in different phases of the project. For the successful delivery of a project, good working relationships between the duty holders are essential from the start.
- The client ensures that the construction project is set up so that it is carried out from start to finish in a way that adequately controls the risks to the health and safety of those who may be affected.
- The principal designer manages health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project. The role extends to the construction phase through the principal designer’s duties to liaise with the principal contractor and ongoing design work.
- The principal contractor manages the construction phase of a project. This involves liaising with the client and principal designer throughout the project, including during the pre-construction phase.
Depending upon the nature of the project, the principal designer and principal contractor may be supported by designers, contractors and workers.
There are two important phases of a construction project: before and during construction or building work.
- the pre-construction phase: the inception, design and planning stage of a project (before the construction or building work starts), although it is acknowledged design and planning continues into and through the construction phase
- the construction phase: the start-to-finish stage of the construction or building work.
Designers and contractors should be appointed at the earliest opportunity to help prepare and plan your project. You should also get involved so you can give your views as and when required.
The pre-construction phase is defined as any period during which design or preparatory work is carried out for a project. As the client, you must ensure that construction work is properly planned, resourced and managed to protect the health, safety and welfare of those carrying out work on, or who may be affected by, your project
As a client, you may already have contractors or in-house contractors who are engaged on fixed-term facilities management contracts or similar work. If so, you will need to make the principal designer and principal contractor aware of these contractors so they can involve them in the design, planning and management of the construction works.
What the client must do in the “pre-construction phase“?
- Make suitable arrangements for managing the project.
- Select the project team and formally appoint duty holders.
- Provide information to help with design and construction planning.
- Notify the project to the enforcing authorities, where required.
- Ensure the management arrangements are working.
- Co-operate with the principal contractor.