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CDM 2007 FAQs: Principal Contractor Role

What are the main duties of the principal contractor?

The main duties of the principal contractor are to:

I have a small building company, and sometimes I act as principal contractor for a project, and sometimes as a contractor or even subcontractor. Have any of my duties changed under the new CDM 2007 Regulations?

Nothing much has changed for you, although if you act as a principal contractor you are required to have arrangements for consultation with the workforce. You will probably find that the client asks you about your arrangements for the health and safety management of the project, and about your competence. You will also find the ACOP useful in outlining the sort of checks you should make on your subcontractor's competence. But if you were complying with the CDM 1994 and the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations of 1996, then you should have no difficulties.

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What if the job is not notifiable, and there is no principal contractor?

The contractor will be required to:

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.

As a principal contractor, when do I have to prepare a construction phase plan for health and safety on the site?

You need to prepare the plan before the start of construction work, for all jobs that are notifiable. The plan should be specific to the particular site or project, and set out how you will manage the construction phase and the key health and safety issues for the particular project. Keep the plan relevant - it should be a practical aid to help you. There is more information about this in the Appendix 3 of the ACOP. Although you don't need to have a written health and safety plan for non-notifiable projects, you will still need to plan and manage these aspects of the construction phase appropriately.

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