The principal contractor role is required on nearly all projects under CDM 2015, and under the Regulations, this duty holder is responsible for managing health and safety during the construction phase.
What information should a principal contractor provide to comply with the regulations?
First, it is important to mention that the principal contractor role is required on any project with more than one contractor (including sub-contractors). Unless you are the only contractor involved with a project, a principal contractor must always be appointed.
Why is this important when it come to the information the principal contractor must provide?
Because if you are the only contractor, then some of the information needed will be your responsibility as the sole contractor.
Ok, back to the information needed.
Information should be provided to the client, principal designer, designers and contractors at different stages of the project.
The principal contractor has responsibilities regarding all of the three main CDM documents.
This information should be provided at different stages of the project.
Prior to work starting on site, the project must be planned. This is know as the pre-construction phase.
During this period, information must be shared between duty holders.
While the principal designer and client are the key duty holders responsible providing information for and assembling Pre-Construction Information, the principal contractor should provide feedback on construction methods and opportunities to improve health and safety through design review and development.
During the construction phase of the project, the principal contractor has the overall responsibility for managing health and safety.
The Construction Phase Plan is the key CDM document that the principal contractor will provide. This document gives contractors and workers information on significant risks, management structure and responsibilities, site rules, procedures, arrangements and other relevant health and safety information regarding the site.
Information should be provided from the principal contractor to contractors on preparation and lead in time, sequences and timeframes, and all relevant information about the risks to health and safety and how they are controlled on site.
Any information relevant to the health and safety should be collected by the principal contractor throughout the construction phase and passed over to the principal designer for inclusion in the Health and Safety File.
When construction work completes, the Health and Safety File is handed over the client.
Where the principal designers appointment finishes prior to the end of construction works, the principal contractor becomes responsible for the completion of the Health and Safety File and handover of this information to the client.