CDM (GB) Knowledge Base
The client has a key influence on the outcome of a construction project because the project is originated by the client, often the client sets the overall programme and the client pays for the work to be executed. Clients should set the ground rules for health and safety even though the extent of their involvement in the project will not depend upon their own knowledge and experience of construction processes.
Large clients may have their own comprehensive in-house design team, and even their own direct labour contracting team. There is nothing to prevent such clients using these resources to provide the roles of principal designer or principal contractor providing they are competent to do the work in accordance with the regulations. Smaller clients will need to buy-in the expertise they need and may need to seek professional advice on the competence of appointments they make.
On all projects the client must verify that adequate management arrangements are in place to ensure that the roles, functions and responsibilities of all members of the project team are clear and understood. The organisations and individuals working on the project should know their roles, responsibilities and authorities and their relationship with other members of the team.
This will include:
- checking that there is good co-operation and communication between designers and contractors;
- checking that there is adequate protection for the client's workers and/or members of the public;
- checking to make sure that adequate welfare facilities have been provided by the contractor; and
- checking that the arrangements which the contractor agreed to make to control key risks on site have been implemented.
The client will either have to perform these checks themselves or obtain this assistance from others who have the skills necessary to do so.