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Written by
on 18 February 2009


Are you a Client and need construction work done? well the CDM Regulations 2007 provide for a number of duty holders involved within the construction industry one of which is the Principal Contractor which a client must appoint for all notifiable construction work and appoint as soon as is practicable.

What Principal Contractors must do for all Notifiable Projects
Part 3 CDM Regulations

Principal Contractors must ensure:

    • That client is aware of duties, CDM Coordinator has been appointed and HSE notified.
    • Those they appoint are competent.
    • The construction phase is properly planned, managed, monitored and resourced.
    • Inform contractors of the minimum time allowed for planning and preparation.
    • Provide relevant information to contractors.
    • Ensure safe working, coordination and co-operation between contractors.
    • Construction phase health and safety plan is prepared and implemented.

  • Plan needs to set out the organisation and arrangements for managing risk and co-ordinating work.
  • Plan should be tailored to the particular project and risks involved.
  • Suitable welfare from the start.
  • Prepare and enforce site rules as required.
  • Give reasonable direction to contractors including client appointed contractors.
  • Prevent unauthorised entry.
  • Provide plan to those who need it.
  • Promptly provide the CDM coordinator with information for the file.
  • Liaise with a CDM coordinator in relation to design and design changes.
  • Ensure all workers have been provided with suitable health and safety induction, information and training.
  • Ensure the workforce is consulted about health and safety matters.
  • Display key project information to workers.

What Principal Contractors don’t have to do
Principal Contractors are not required or expected to:

  • Provide training to workers they do not employ (but contractors do
  • Undertake detailed supervision of contractors’ work
  • Fill the construction phase plan with irrelevant information or endless generic paperwork

Come back soon to check out the Contractors role explained

For further advice we welcome telephone enquiries call 0121 249 1281 to discuss what you need to know now


About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

  • I find the point that principal contractors are not required, nor expected to fill the construction plan with irrelevant information or endless generic paperwork quite funny. Inevitably one runs into exactly just that. Generic paperwork is a pet peeve of mine, and the increasing use of technology like tablet pc’s and the like to speed up the on-site processes is just great.

  • Crawl Space says:

    I think the prinicple role of the contractor is to manage. Make sure everything is done properly and on schedule. Their job is to save the comapny time…and that translates into money.