The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 came into force in April 2015 replacing the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 and bring together the best bits from the CDM Regulations 1994 and the Construction Regulations 1996 into a single document.

The CDM Regulations 2015 places legal duties on the duty holders involved with construction work, essentially they are: 


Are organisations or individuals for whom a construction project is carried out.  Their main duties are to make suitable arrangements for managing a project. This includes making sure:

  • other dutyholders are appointed:
  • sufficient time and resources are allocated
  • relevant information is prepared and provided to other dutyholders
  • the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor carry out their duties
  • welfare facilities are provided 

Domestic Client

Are people who have construction work carried out on their own home, or the home of a family member that is NOT done as part of a business, whether for profit or not.  Domestic Clients now are in the scope or CDM 2015, but their duties as a client are normally transferred to the Contractor, on a single contractor project or the Principal Contractor, on a project involving more than one contractor.  However the Domestic Client can choose to have a written agreement with the Principal Designer to carry out the Client duties.


Designers are those, who as part of a business, prepare or modify designs for a building, product or system relating to construction work.   When preparing or modifying designs, to eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during:

  • construction; and
  • the maintenance and use of a building once it is built

Provide information to other members of the project team to help then fulfil their duties 

Principal Designers

Are designers appointed by the Client in projects involving more than one contractor?  They can be an organisation or an individual with sufficient knowledge, experience and ability to carry out the role.  The Principal Designer must plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health & safety in the pre-construction phase of a project which includes:

  • identifying, elimination or controlling foreseeable risks;
  • ensuring designers carry out their duties

Prepare and provide relevant information to other dutyholders.  Provide relevant information to the Principal Contractor to help them plan, manage and coordinate health and safety in the construction phase. 

Principal Contractor

Are contractors appointed by the Client to coordinate the construction phase where it involves more than one contractor?  The Principal Contractors duties are to plan, manage and coordinate health and safety in the construction phase of a project.  This includes:

  • liaising with the Client and Principal Contractor
  • preparing the Construction Phase Plan
  • organising cooperation between contractors and coordinating their work

The Principal Contractor will ensure;

  • suitable site inductions are provided
  • reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access
  • workers are consulted and engaged in securing their health and safety; and
  • welfare facilities are provided 


Are those who do the actual construction work and can be either an individual or a company?  The Contractor must plan, manage and monitor construction work under their control so that it is carried out without risks to health and safety. For projects involving more than one contractor, coordinate their activities with others in the project team – particular, comply with directions given to them by the Principal Designer or Principal Contractor.  For single-contractor projects, prepare a construction phase plan.


Are the people who work for or under the control of contractors on a construction site?  They must:

  • be consulted about matter which affect their health, safety and welfare;
  • take care of their own health and safety and others who may be affected by their actions;
  • report anything they see which is likely to endanger either their own or others health and safety;
  • cooperate with their employer, fellow workers, contractors and other dutyholders.

Northern Safety Ltd can provide guidance, advice and documentation regarding compliance with the CDM regulations. If you would like to know more about the services we can offer call us on 01642 754 880 and ask to speak to one of our advisers.