CDM 2015:



Organisations or individuals for whom a construction project is carried out.

Summary of role and main duties

Make suitable arrangements for managing a project. This includes making sure that:


• other duty holders are appointed


• sufficient time and resources are allocated.

Clients must also make sure that:


• relevant information is prepared and provided to other duty holders


• the principal designer and principal contractor carry out their duties


• welfare facilities are provided.

Domestic Clients

People who have construction work carried out on their own home, or the home of a family member, that is not done in furtherance of a business, whether for profit or not.

Summary of role and main duties

Domestic Clients are in scope of CDM 2015 but their duties as a client are normally transferred to:


• the contractor, on a single contractor project


• the principal contractor, on a project involving more than one contractor.


However, the domestic client can choose to have a written agreement for the principal designer to carry out the client duties.

Principal Designers

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.

Summary of role and main duties

Plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project.


This includes:


• identifying, eliminating or controlling foreseeable risks


• ensuring designers carry out their duties.

Prepare and provide relevant information to other duty holders.


Provide relevant information to the principal contractor to help them plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety in the construction phase.


Liaise with the principal contractor in the preparation of the Health & Safety File (and Operations & Maintenance Manual) to be handed to the client at the end of the construction phase – note this is subject to the terms of appointment.


Those who, as part of a business, prepare or modify designs for a building or product, or prepare or modify designs of systems relating to construction work.

Summary of role and main duties

When preparing or modifying designs, eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise


• construction




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


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

Principal Contractors

Contractors appointed by the client to co-ordinate the construction phase of a project where it involves more than one contractor.

Summary of role and main duties

Plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety in the construction phase of a project.

This includes:


• liaising with the client and principal designer


• preparing the construction phase plan


• organising co-operation between contractors and co-ordinating their work.

Ensure that:


• suitable site inductions are provided


• reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access


• workers are consulted and engaged in securing their health and safety


• welfare facilities are provided.


Those who do the actual construction work. They can be either an individual or a company.

Summary of role and main duties

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, co-ordinate their activities with others in the project team – in particular, comply with directions given to them by the principal designer or principal contractor.


For single-contractor projects, prepare a construction phase plan.


The people who work for or under the control of contractors on a construction site.

Summary of role and main duties

They must:


• be consulted about matters which affect their health, safety and welfare


• take care of their own health and safety and that of 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


• co-operate with their employer, fellow workers, contractors and other duty holders.

Organisations or individuals can carry out the role of more than one duty holder, provided they have the skills, knowledge, experience and (if an organisation) the organisational capability necessary to carry out those roles in a way that secures health and safety.

Further information is available on our CDM page of the web site and Andy Howie’s CV.

NOTE: The above information contains extracts of the Construction Industry Guidance prepared and issued by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) – for full details of the Government Legislation and the associated Guidance Documentation, please refer to these relevant pages on the HSE and CITB websites.