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20th October, 2016

CDM 2015 principal contractor duties explained

CDM 2015 requires a principal contractor to be appointed on any project with more than one contractor (including sub-contractors). The role of principal contractor carries additional CDM duties and responsibilities.

Here are the CDM 2015 principal contractor duties explained.

By now the role of principal contractor is a fairly familiar one. It existed under CDM 2007, and even in the previous 1994 version of the regulations.

The requirements and duties placed on the principal contractor have developed over the past 20 years, but the general requirements to ensure co-operation between all contractors remains.

The requirements to appoint a principal contractor have also changed. Previously under CDM 2007 the principal contractor was only required to be appointed on notifiable projects. Now, under CDM 2015 the principal contractor must be appointed on any project with more than one contractor (including sub-contractors).

The principal contractor is appointed by the client.

CDM 2015 defines the principal contractor as the contractor with control over the construction phase of the project.

Principal contractors are responsible for planning, managing, monitoring and co-ordinating health and safety on the construction site.

Key duties of the principal contractor include organising cooperation between contractors, coordinating health and safety legal requirements, applying the principals of prevention, providing the site induction and welfare facilities, and co-ordinating with other CDM duty holders.

The principal contractor is also responsible for developing the construction phase plan. Under CDM 2007 this document was only required on notifiable projects, however under CDM 2015 the construction phase plan now must be provided on all projects, regardless of size or duration.

At the pre-construction phase, the principal contractor should liaise with the client and principal designer, review the Pre-Construction Information, prepare the construction phase plan and organise contractors work.

During the construction phase the principal contractor is responsible for ensuring welfare facilities and site inductions are provided, managing the construction phase, securing the site, engaging contractors and workers, and providing management and supervision.

Post construction the principal contractor duties include finalising their contribution to the health and safety file, and they may also be responsible for the handover of the health and safety file to the client.

The principal contractor must be capable of carrying out the role and have the right skills, knowledge, training and experience.

The principal contractor is normally a contractor so will also have contractor duties, however there should only be one principal contractor for a project at any one time.

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