Construction (Design & Management) Regulations

1.  Introduction

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (the CDM Regulations) focus attention on the planning and management of construction projects and are intended to reduce risks to those who build, use and maintain buildings. They replaced all previous construction legislation and they impose duties on virtually everyone involved in any construction work. This Policy Statement summarises those duties and defines how the University will comply with the legislation.

2.  Application

The Regulations apply to all:

(a)  new building construction

(b)  new services installations

(c)  alterations, maintenance, or renovations of a building or any of its services (but not including the maintenance of fixed plant, except where this is part of other construction work)

(d)  site clearance

(e)  demolition.

Unlike the earlier CDM Regulations, the 2007 Regulations apply to all of these activities, so they do not just affect the work of the University Estates Services but apply to all construction projects [1], large or small.

Any department managing its own small projects or carrying out its own repairs or alterations will be subject to the Regulations and should be aware of the legal requirements to engage competent persons and to provide adequate time and financial resources for the work. Departments should also be aware of the University’s policy on the control of contractors (S6/08).

In the case of larger projects, where construction work lasts 30 days or more, or more than 500 person days of work are needed, then there is an additional requirement to notify the Health and Safety Executive. The Director of Estates will decide whether notification is needed and ensure that it is made.

3.  Duty holders under the Regulations

The following groups (which contain almost everyone involved in construction work) have duties under these regulations, either for all construction projects, or only for notifiable projects. See Appendix 1 for a summary of those duties.

(a)  Clients (all projects): anyone having construction work carried out on their behalf.

(b)  CDM coordinators (notifiable projects only): must be appointed to advise the client during the design and construction phases of notifiable projects.

(c)  Designers (all projects): those who, as part of their work, prepare design drawings, specifications and bills of quantities, and those who specify articles and substances. Note that this relates to the function performed and not to a job title.

(d)  Principal contractors (notifiable projects only): must be appointed for notifiable projects. Principal contractors are usually the main or managing contractor and their role is to plan, manage, and coordinate health and safety while construction work takes place.

(e)  Contractors (all projects): businesses involved in construction, alteration, maintenance, or demolition work (e.g. building, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, demolition and maintenance companies, as well as partnerships and the self employed).

(f)  Workers (all projects): all those who carry out work during construction, alteration, maintenance, or demolition (e.g. bricklayers, scaffolders, plumbers, electricians, and painters).

4.  The Client’s duties

Clients have great influence over the way construction projects are run. Their decisions will affect:

(a)  the money and time available for a project

(b)  the composition and competence of project teams

(c)  the arrangements for managing and coordinating the project

(d)  the quality of information available to all involved

(e)  the effectiveness of cooperation and communication between all involved.

Depending on the size and nature of a project, either the University or individual departments may hold duties as a client. This will usually be apparent from the division of responsibilities outlined in the Grey Book [2] (e.g. departments are the client where the work involves routine maintenance or internal redecoration), but where there is doubt the Director of Estates should be consulted.

For non-notifiable projects, where departments undertake the duties of the client they must be particularly aware of their responsibility under CDM to appoint competent designers and contractors, to allow sufficient time and financial resources, and to provide adequate pre-construction information to designers and contractors. In the case of notifiable projects, the Director of Estates will discharge the University’s duties as the client

Departments are reminded that the Grey Book requires them to seek the approval of the Director of Estates for all new building works and all building works that alter the fabric of a building or its services. This will ensure that the Director is satisfied that the works will be designed and carried out by competent persons to the standards set by the appropriate regulations and codes of practice.

5.  The CDM Coordinator’s duties

All notifiable projects require the appointment of a CDM Coordinator. The Director of Estates will ensure that competent external consultants are appointed to this role when required. University staff are not permitted to act as CDM Coordinators.

The CDM Coordinator will:

(a)  advise the University on the selection of competent designers and contractors

(b)  help identify what information will be needed by designers and contractors

(c)  coordinate the arrangements for health and safety during the planning phase

(d)  ensure that the project is notified to the HSE

(e)  advise the University whether the initial construction phase plan is suitable

(f)  prepare a health and safety file containing the information needed to enable future cleaning, maintenance, and alterations to be carried out safely.

CDM Coordinators must ensure that any arrangements for health and safety comply with relevant University health and safety policies, where appropriate.

6.  The Designer’s duties

Designers must:

(a)  ensure they are competent for the job they are undertaking

(b)  design out hazards that may give rise to risks (so far as reasonably practicable) and reduce risks from any remaining hazards

(c)  ensure their design avoids risks to those

(i)  carrying out construction work, or those liable to be affected by it

(ii)  who will clean the windows, ceilings, or roofs of the building

(iii)  who will maintain the permanent fixtures and fittings of the building

(iv)  who will work in the building.

(d)  take account of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

(e)  provide any relevant information that will assist clients, other designers, and contractors to comply with their duties under the Regulations.

Those undertaking departmental projects should note that the term “designer” relates to the function performed, rather than the profession or job title. As well as those traditionally regarded as designers (e.g. architects, structural engineers, and civil engineers), those who prepare drawings and specifications are also designers (e.g. building services engineers, quantity surveyors, and some departmental personnel).

Designers must ensure they consult with the University Safety Office in good time (usually via the Estate’s Services project officer).

7.  The Principal Contractor’s duties

The Director of Estates will appoint Principal Contractors for all notifiable projects. They have a number of important duties, including:

(a)  planning, managing and monitoring the construction phase

(b)  ensuring there are adequate welfare facilities for the site

(c)  drawing up and implementing site rules

(d)  drawing up and implementing the construction phase plan

(e)  providing suitable site induction and ensuring that workers are suitably trained

(f)  ensuring the site is suitably fenced and secured against unauthorised entry

(g)  ensuring co-operation and coordination between those working on the site so as to prevent danger

(h)  ensuring there are suitable arrangements for effective consultation with the workforce

(i)  ensuring the right health and safety information is provided to the right people at the right time.

8.  Contractors’ duties

Contractors may be appointed by the Principal Contractor (in the case of notifiable projects), or by the client (where projects are not notifiable). They must:

(a)  be competent to carry out the work they are doing plan

(b)  manage and monitor their own work to ensure health and safety

(c)  provide suitable information and training for their workers

(d)  cooperate with other contractors and the principal contractor so as to coordinate their work activities.

Where work is not notifiable (so there is no principal contractor), then contractors must:

(a)  inform the client of their duties under CDM

(b)  plan, manage, and monitor the construction work to ensure that it is carried out without risks to health and safety

(c)  provide information, training, and a suitable site induction for their workforce

(d)  ensure the site is suitably fenced and secured against unauthorised entry

(e)  ensure there are adequate welfare facilities for those who work on the site.

9.  Workers’ duties

For the purposes of CDM, workers are those carrying out work on a construction site and those carrying out work on behalf of a contractor or principal contractor. All workers must:

(a)  check their own competence

(b)  cooperate with others and coordinate their work to ensure the health and safety of all those who may be affected by the work

(c)  report obvious health and safety risks to their supervisors/managers, or by some other agreed process

(d)  ensure that work under their control is carried out in compliance with CDM.

10.  Worker involvement and CDM

CDM recognises the contribution that can be made by the workforce to improving health and safety in construction and actively promotes worker engagement. Those in control of construction work must:

(a)  provide workers with any information that allows them to carry out their work in safety

(b)  provide workers with a site-specific induction

(c)  make workers aware of their right to stop work in the case of serious or imminent danger

(d)  consult workers over matters affecting their health and safety

(e)  make special arrangements to communicate health and safety information to workers who have little or no understanding of written or spoken English.

While these provisions apply to workers involved in the construction process, departments are reminded of the existing requirement in University policy to consult trade union safety representatives (where appointed) in the department on any matters that might affect their health and safety.

11.  Provision of information

Although the Regulations no longer require a pre-tender stage health and safety plan, pre-construction information should be provided to those bidding for or planning work, which will help inform the construction phase plan that is required for notifiable projects. Appendix 2 indicates the information to be compiled.

It is good practice to consider providing this information for non-notifiable projects too, and this is strongly recommended to departments. Note that this is not intended to encourage unnecessary paperwork: the level of detail in the plan should be proportionate to the risks involved in the project.

12.  Health and safety file

In the case of notifiable projects, the CDM Coordinator must prepare a health and safety file, which is intended to ensure that any future construction work (including cleaning, maintenance, alterations, refurbishments and demolition) can be carried out safely. The Director of Estates will hold copies of health and safety files and is responsible for updating it after any relevant work or surveys and providing operating manuals for departmental use.

13.  Project safety review

Within six months of completion of any major notifiable project, the Director of Estates will ensure that a project safety review is carried out in consultation with the Director of the University Safety Office. The project review will involve representatives of the University Estates Services, the University Safety Office, the CDM Coordinator, and the principal contractor and will consider:

(a)  whether adequate pre-construction information was provided

(b)  compliance with relevant standards

(c)  incident, accident, ill health and data for the project

(d)  any action taken, or required to be taken, to address shortcomings.

The representative of the Estates Services will chair the project health and safety review and make a record of the proceedings.

14.  Further information

The Health and Safety Commission has published an Approved Code of Practice "Managing Health and Safety in Construction” (ISBN 978 0 7176 6223 4). More information is available in the construction section of HSE’s web site and additional comprehensive guidance for all dutyholders may be downloaded from the Construction Skills website


[1] The term construction project includes any planning, design, management, and other work relating to the activities listed in 2 (a) – (e), as well as the execution of those activities.

[2] Buildings and Estates Sub-Committee’s Standing Orders for University Functional Buildings and Sites

June 2008