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CDM 2007 FAQs: Client Role

Do the CDM 2007 Regulations apply to projects with a domestic client?

Parts 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the Regulations apply to projects for a domestic client, but the domestic client has no duties. This is because domestic clients do not fall within the definition of a 'client' in Regulation 2(1).

Do I have to notify a project which is for a domestic client and which lasts more than 30 days, or more than 500 person days of work?

No. This is because Part 3 of the Regulations does not apply to projects carried out for a domestic client, so there is no requirement to notify the project.

Do projects with a domestic client and which last longer than 30 days, or 500 person days of construction work, require a CDM Co-ordinator, a principal contractor a written construction phase plan, and a health and safety file?

No. This is because a domestic client is not a 'client' as defined by the Regulations, and Part 3 of the Regulations does not apply to projects where there is a domestic client.

If I am a contractor working on a project for a domestic client, do I have to comply with CDM 2007?

Yes. You will need to comply with all of the duties that apply to contractors in parts 1, 2, and 4 of the new CDM 2007 Regulations.

If I am a designer working for a domestic client, do I have to comply with CDM 2007?

Yes. You will need to comply with the duties placed on designers in parts 1 and 2 of the new CDM 2007 Regulations (There are no duties on designers in parts 4).

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Does CDM 2007 apply to property developers?

Yes. Property developers are carrying out work in the furtherance of a business, and therefore they are 'clients' under the Regulations.

Does CDM 2007 apply to a management company owned by the residents/homeowners of a block of flats?

Yes. The management company is a business (whether for profit or not) and is classed as the client. All parts of the Regulations will apply where relevant.

Does CDM 2007 apply to a multiple owners/ residents/homeowners of a block of flats or similar building in multiple occupation?

Yes, all parts of the Regulations will apply where relevant. However, in these cases the work is considered for a group of domestic clients and the project is not notifiable, and the client does not need to appoint a CDM Co-ordinator or Principal Contractor.

As a client, what do I have to do to comply with regulation 9 of the CDM 2007 Regulations?

You need to make sure that:

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As a client, what should I be looking for as suitable arrangements for managing the project?

You will need suitable arrangements to ensure:

These arrangements should focus on the needs of the particular job and be proportionate to the risk arising from the work. They will mainly be made by others in the project team, such as designers and contractors. Before they start work, a good way of checking is to ask the relevant members of the team to explain their arrangements, or to ask for examples of how they will manage these issues during the life of the project. When discussing roles and responsibilities, on simple projects all that may be needed is a simple list of who does what.

Does this mean clients carrying out detailed checks, and getting involved in the construction work itself?

No. Health and safety on site is a matter for the contractor, and the duty to reduce risks through design is a duty of the designer. Clients simply have to ensure that the initial project management arrangements which have been made are maintained. This can be achieved by seeking assurance from the designer and contractor. For a non-notifiable job, simple enquires will be enough to check that the arrangements are in place to ensure that:

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What about larger projects? Surely these are too complex for clients to know what is needed?

For projects lasting longer than 30 days or involving more than 500 person days of construction work, clients must appoint a CDM Co-ordinator. Their primary function is to advise the client. The CDM Co-ordinator will be able to advise the client on the appointment of competent duty holders; assessing the adequacy of other team members' management arrangements for the project and assessing the adequacy of the health and safety plan. The client is entitled to rely on the advice of the CDM Co-ordinator when making their judgements.

Does this mean a client can no longer appoint someone else to meet the client's duties on their behalf?

No. A client can still ask someone else to manage the construction work on their behalf and meet their duties as a client, but the client still remains liable for meeting the client duties. This is the same situation that applies to any other health and safety responsibility.

As a client, do I still have to provide information about the site to contractors who I am thinking of appointing to carry out the work?

Yes. You need to provide those bidding for the work (or those who are preparing to carry out the work) with relevant information, in your possession or with information that can be obtained by sensible enquiries, including surveys and other investigations where necessary. This allows those bidding or preparing for the work to consider these hazards when making their bids or plans, and allows them to allocate resources to control the risks that will arise from these hazards. The level of detail of the information should be proportionate to the risks involved in the project.

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As a client, do I have to provide information about asbestos which may be present in the structure?

Yes. You must provide this information so that those planning or bidding for the work can allocate resources for the control of asbestos. You should already hold information about the presence or otherwise of asbestos, but if you have no information, then you should arrange for a survey to be carried out by a competent person.

This is particularly important where the project involves demolition. It is not acceptable, for example, to inform others that '.there may be asbestos present on the site'. You must carry out a survey that identifies whether asbestos is present, and if so, where it is situated and what type it is.

Do projects with a domestic client and which last longer than 30 days, or 500 person days of construction work, require a CDM Co-ordinator, a principal contractor a written construction phase plan, and a health and safety file?

No. This is because a domestic client is not a 'client' as defined by the Regulations, and Part 3 of the Regulations does not apply to projects where there is a domestic client.

Can a client still appoint a ‘client's agent’?

No. Under the CDM 2007 Regulations clients can still engage someone to carry out their client duties on their behalf, but the onus for compliance with the Regulations stays with the client. This is the same as for any other health and safety regulation.

Is appointment of CDM Co-ordinator essential before the planning application?

Yes. The CDM-C should be appointed at or around RIBA Stage C.

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