The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) apply to every construction project, regardless of size or duration, but there are several changes to duties when there is only one contractor.
For only one contractor projects, the single or sole contractor involved has to take on a few extra duties.
This is because on projects with only one contractor, the client does not need to appoint a Principal Designer or a Principal Contractor.
The Client is responsible for providing the Pre-Construction Information during the planning stages of the project, and are usually assisted by the Principal Designer, however on single contractor projects, a Principal Designer may not be appointed.
In practice, as it is a contractor duty to ensure that the Client is aware of their own CDM duties, and the contractor will need this information to plan the work safely, this will often require the contractor to provide extra assistance to the Client during the pre-construction phase.
One of the key duties of the Principal Contractor is to manage coordination and cooperation between contractors, and ensure they comply with their duties under CDM. As there is only one contractor involved in the project, the management of other contractors is not required.
However, there are certain duties that would usually be carried out by the Principal Contractor that must be carried out by the sole contractor on projects with only one contractor.
For example, developing the Construction Phase Plan before work starts on site.
15 - (5) If there is only one contractor working on the project, the contractor must draw up a construction phase plan, or make arrangements for a construction phase plan to be drawn up, as soon as is practicable prior to setting up a construction site.
Site inductions will also usually be provided by the Principal Contractor, but as there is no Principal Contractor on projects with only one contractor, the sole contractor must provide site inductions.
Other contractor duties such as securing the site, providing welfare facilities, estimating timescales and planning stages of work will often be taken care of in part or fully by the Principal Contractor on larger projects with multiple contractors.
On single contractor projects, the contractor must pay extra attention to these duties as it is their sole responsibility.
Need help understanding your contractor duties under CDM? Read the free CDM duty holder guide for contractors!