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The self-builder does it all himself, employs no contractors, and uses the structure constructed as a home to live in afterwards.

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The self-builder appoints an architect or designer as Designer or Principal Designer, Principal Designer where there is likely to be more than one contractor engaged on the project and appoints that person or business to take on the client duties on behalf of the self-builder. In this instance the Principal Designer may also be appointed as Principal Contractor, for the purpose of coordinating the construction phase, if that person or business has the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job.

It is likely that many traditional architects will have the necessary project management skills and experience to carry out this role. In this case the self-builder has no legal duties beyond the appointment of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor, although if they are not appointed, then the roles of the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor fall on the first Designer and Contractor if more than one contractor is on site at any one time.

The self-builder employs a contractor to carry out construction work, and then appoints that contractor as PC for the duration of the project, because there is, or is likely to be, more than one contractor involved in the project. The emphasis will be on the coordination and management of the construction phase. In this case the self-builder again has no legal duties beyond the initial appointments of PD and PC.

Note that Regulations Regulation 7 2 allows for the fact that the domestic Client may fail to make these appointments. The self-builder acts as their own project manager, employing individual trades at different times. In this instance the self-builder steps out of the DIY arena, because they are taking control of construction work.

Where a self-builder controls the way in which construction work is carried out, by a person at work, they must comply with all the matters outlined in Part 4 of CDM This is not a new requirement. In this scenario the self-builder will in effect become a contractor.

CDM 2007: Questions and Answers

In this case HSE will expect self-builders to demonstrate sufficient health and safety capability to meet the requirements of Part 4 of CDM Individual contractors will be expected to be able to advise the self-builder on any specialist matters within their own work activities.

The CITB web site contains industry guidance for each of the duty holders. Dr Mike Webster is a chartered civil and structural engineer with over 30 years' experience. Mike has worked on the design, inspection, appraisal and site supervision of building, bridge and car park structures.

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He has developed guidance for assessing the safety of existing structures. He also led the review of the use of CDM in the construction of London Mike has been instructed as an expert witness by both defence and prosecution teams in cases involving allegations of gross negligence manslaughter, breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and the CDM Regulations and the appeal of enforcement notices. These cases have involved the construction, maintenance and demolition of a range of building, bridge and industrial structures.

Mike is the author of around 20 published reports and papers on construction health and safety and the CDM Regulations. He is also the author of a range of articles on CDM For more information email Mike at mike. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. However, regulation 5 appointment of the principal designer and the principal contractor only applies where it is anticipated that there will be more than one contractor. In practice, this will probably be the case in the majority of projects.

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So for the purpose of the discussion, we will assume that CDM regulation 5 applies. In principle, the design phase will begin when design as defined in the regulations commences. In practice, this is likely to be carried out by the first designer. It is reasonable to assume that the appointment of the Principal Designer should be no later that the appointment of the first designer.

There are slightly different arguments about the end of the project. It is perhaps reasonable to assume that the construction phase will end once the project reaches practical completion — and the health and safety file, if there is one, is handed over — but it may be prudent to allow for it finishing at the end of the defects liability period. In short, the answer is no. Duties under the CDM are attached to individual roles, so cannot be undertaken by others.

Failure to comply with this legislation is an offence under the criminal code. Changes to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act which came into effect in mean that the CDM no longer give rise to civil liability, so the main course of action will be through the criminal courts.

It is common for companies to be prosecuted for breaches of health and safety, but this can be extended to directors and other employees where it can be shown that the breach has been caused by their negligence. The CDM require Principal Contractors and Designers as well as others involved in the project to advise the client of their responsibilities regarding CDM so it is probable that there would be substantial mitigation offered in their defence.

Regardless of whether or when the UK leaves the EU, they will remain in force until amended by the relevant legislative bodies within the UK.

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Even taking into account the fact that there have been three different versions in that time, their application is not at all as well understood as you would hope. As the main purpose of CDM is to ensure the management and co-ordination of health and safety activities on a construction project, perhaps it is time that we all reviewed the guidance once more. The views expressed here are his. Last reviewed 27 March Skip to main content.