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The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) - A Guide for Residential Property Owners [Hardfacts]


As a property owner you may at some time require construction or even demolition work to be carried out on your behalf.

All construction and demolition work has to comply with the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM).

The principal aim of the updated CDM Regulations, is to raise the standard of construction health and safety management by trying to anticipate health and safety problems at the design stage.

When does CDM apply?

The notification trigger point (at which an F10 needs to be submitted to the Health and Safety Executive) has changed.   It remains 30 days or  500 man days but now also includes instances where there are more than 20 persons on site.   This notification is the client’s responsibility but previously would have been actioned by the now defunct CDM Co-ordinator role.

CDM also applies to any design work no matter how long the work lasts.

The CDM Regulations place duties on clients, designers, principal designer, principal contractors, contractors and the self employed to plan, co-ordinate and manage health and safety throughout all stages of a construction project.  This also includes maintenance work after completion and ultimately the demolition of the structure.

As the property owner you will become the Client.   This is anyone who has construction work carried out for them. The main duty for clients is to make sure their project is suitably managed, ensuring the health and safety of all who might be affected by the work, including members of the public. Commercial clients have construction work carried out as part of their business. Domestic clients have construction work carried out for them but not in connection with any business – usually work done on their own home or the home of a family member.

Clients Duties
The client must:

  •  Make timely appointments of competent and adequately resourced CDM Coordinator, Designers and Principal Contractor
  •  Allow sufficient time for design and construction of the project
  •  Pass on relevant project health and safety information to those who need it (pre construction information)
  •  Ensure that an adequate Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan has been developed and that adequate welfare facilities are on site before work commences
  •  Make sure after completion, that the Health and Safety File is maintained and available for all who need it
  •  If the property is sold/leased then the Health and Safety File must be passed on to the new owners/lease holders

Other Duty Holders are:-

Designer –
An organisation or individual whose work involves preparing or modifying designs, drawings, specifications, bills of quantity or design calculations.    Designs must be developed which avoid or minimise risks to health and safety during construction, maintenance and demolition.  The designer must provide information about significant risks.  Design includes the preparation of specifications and is not limited to drawings.

Principal designer –
A designer appointed by the client to control the pre-construction phase on projects with more than one contractor. The principal designer’s main duty is to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety during this phase, when most design work is carried out.

Principal contractor –
A contractor appointed by the client to manage the construction phase on projects with more than one contractor. The principal contractor’s main duty is to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety during this phase, when all construction work takes place.

Contractor –
An individual or business in charge of carrying out construction work (eg building, altering, maintaining or demolishing). Anyone who manages this work or directly employs or engages construction workers is a contractor. Their main duty is to plan, manage and monitor the work under their control in a way that ensures the health and safety of anyone it might affect.

Worker –
An individual who actually carries out the work involved in building, altering, maintaining or demolishing buildings or structures. Their duties include cooperating with their employer and other dutyholders, reporting anything they see that might endanger the health and safety of themselves or others. Workers must be consulted on matters affecting their health, safety and welfare.

Key Action Steps

Property owners will need to:

  •      Determine at the earliest possible time whether CDM Regulations apply to the project.
  •      Consult reference documents or seek professional advice to determine which duties need to be complied with.
  •      Establish the competence of any potential Duty Holder prior to appointment.
  •      Keep the Health and Safety File for the life of the property.
  •      Pass on the Health and Safety File to any new owner at the time of the sale of the property

Reference Documents

Managing Health and Safety in Construction ACOP L144

Health and Safety in Construction – HS(G)150

All of the above are published by the Health and Safety Executive and are available from

Next Steps:

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Please Note
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.

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