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Principal Contractor Duties



Principal Contractors Duties


Many construction companies have difficulty in managing their projects in accordance with CDM, producing documents that are irrelevant and ignoring requirements that they assume are the responsibilities of others.  Don't allow yourself to fall foul of the law! Familiarise yourself with your legal duties below and make sure that your projects are run to their optimum potential.


Principal Contractors, as defined under the CDM Regulations 2007, have a variety of duties that they must fulfil in order to comply with the law.   These include satisfying themselves that clients are aware of their duties, that a CDM co-ordinator has been appointed and the HSE notified before they start work.


They must also make sure that they are competent to address the health and safety issues likely to be involved in the management of the construction phase; ensuring that the construction phase is properly planned, managed and monitored, with adequately resourced, competent site management appropriate to the risk and activity. 


Every contractor who will work on the project must be informed of the minimum amount of time which they will be allowed for planning and preparation before they begin work on site.  All contractors must be provided with the information about the project that they need to enable them to carry out their work safely and without risk to health.  Requests from contractors for information should be met promptly.




Safe working and co-ordination and co-operation between contractors must also be facilitated by the Principal Contractor.  You must also be able to satisfy yourself that the designers and contractors that you engage are competent and adequately resourced.


You must also ensure that a suitable construction phase plan is:

  • Prepared before construction work begins;
  • Developed in discussion with, and communicated to, contractors affected by it;
  • Implemented, and;
  • Kept up to date as the project progresses.
Suitable welfare facilities must be provided from the start of the construction phase and reasonable steps must be taken to prevent unauthorised access to the site.  The Principal Contractor must also prepare and enforce any necessary site rules; providing (copies of or access to) relevant parts of the plan and other information to contractors (including the self-employed) in time for them to plan their work.


Liaison with the CDM coordinator on design carried out during the construction phase, including design by specialist contractors, and its implications for the plan is another requirement of the Principal Contractor; as is providing the CDM coordinator promptly with any information relevant to the health and safety file.




Finally you must ensure that all the workers have been provided with suitable health and safety induction, information and training; ensure that the workforce is consulted about health and safety matters and that the project notification is prominently displayed.


If you would like assistance in fulfilling any of the aforementioned duties then please do not hesitate to contact us.  M.E.L. have a wealth of experience in dealing with CDM projects ranging enormously in scale. We can assist your business in managing safety effectively on site, complying with the law, and preparing forms or procedures that will simplify the tendering, planning and construction phases.