Duties of Client
CDM (Jersey) Knowledge Base
Please note this topic relates to the CDM (Jersey) 2016 Regulations. If you are looking for the CDM 2015 (Great Britain) Regulations, please see the CDM (GB) Knowledge Base
Under the regulations you are deemed a "client" if:-
- the construction work is being undertaken for a domestic client, the designer or, if none is involved, the relevant contractor; or
- in any other case, a commercial client
A commercial client means a person who, in the course or furtherance of a business:-
- commissions design work for a construction project; or
- other than the relevant contractor or a person who undertakes construction work, is the person for whom construction work is undertaken.
The Client has a key role under the CDM regulations are there are specific duties that they must ensure they carry out.
- In the case of all construction projects the client must take all reasonable steps to:-
- ensure that all persons appointed to work on the project have the necessary competence and resources to do the tasks for which they are appointed to a satisfactory standard;
- ensure that suitable arrangements are in place for the management of the project so as to ensure that there is control of the risks arising from the work to all persons who are –
- undertaking the work, or
- on or near the relevant construction site;
- ensure that adequate time and resources are allocated to all stages of the project to control of those risks; and
- provide pre-construction information to all designers and contractors engaged on the project
Competence management is key when appointing any person on a project. Checking that anyone employed to carry out work on a project has the right set of skills to carry out the work is paramount. This can be done is various ways, for example, making sure contractors are members of SSIP schemes. You could however do your own checks and have a pre-qualification questionnaire, that is relevant to the type of works, that the contractors must complete. The Health and Safety Project Coordinator must ensure that these checks are carried out in some form and that the results are recorded for reference and audit purposes. You can also do prequalification on any Designers you wish to employ.
In regard to resources, the Health and Safety Project Coordinator needs to asses weather or not there are sufficient resources (plant, equipment, materials) for the work to be carried out safely. Suitable arrangements include the agreement, with the client and contractors, that there is a reporting mechanisms in place for the management of the works. This includes, method statements, Risk assessments and written procedures for the management of the works. All information should be in a format that can easily be accessed when needed.
The production of a Pre-Construction Information, that is checked by the Health and Safety Project Coordinator during the design phase of the project, should highlight all hazards identified and how the designer has attempted, as much as possible, to eliminate the risk by design. Any remaining hazards need to be highlighted with suggestions on how to minimise them during the construction phase. Additionally the Pre-construction Information should help consolidate the management arrangements for the work and be used as a reference document in meetings.
- In the case of a minor construction project a client must in addition to the duties set out in paragraph (1) –
- appoint in writing a principal contractor (unless he or she is the principal contractor) as soon as practicable; and
- ensure that a construction phase plan is in place before the construction work starts
Appointments are often forgotten, they should be formal, written appointments that are signed, dated and include the detail of the works. Copies of appointment letters / formal appointments should be kept for audit purposes.
Although the Health and Safety Project Coordinator only advises the client on the construction phase plan it is they are best placed to must make sure that the Construction Phase Plan, that the Contractor has produced for the works, details how they intend to manage the risk that were not eliminated by the designer.
- In the case of a major construction project the client must in addition to the duties set out in paragraphs (1) and (2) –
- appoint in writing a health and safety project co-ordinator as soon as is practicable after initial design work or other preparation for construction work has begun;
- provide to the health and safety project co-ordinator such information relating to the health and safety file as the co-ordinator requires; and
- retain and provide access to the health and safety file to persons involved in the construction project or any future construction project
Again this needs to be a formal appointment, signed, dated and contains an overview about the project. This should be done as soon as possible (i.e. when the client first decides to plan the work) so that the client can benefit from the advice of the Health and Safety Project Coordinator. Any formal appointments should be kept for reference and audit purposes.
If there is no current health and safety file then plans, building details or other supporting documentation is required to assist the Health and Safety Project Coordinator in carrying out their duties.
- The client must ensure that the appointments under paragraphs (2)(a) and 3(a) are changed or renewed as necessary to ensure that there is at all times until the end of the construction phase a principal contractor and, if applicable, a health and safety co-ordinator.
It is not good practice for the client to appoint and then hope that all is well. They should ensure that checks are being undertaken, this should be done on a regular basis. Feasibly this could be done at the regular project meetings that should be undertaken or possibly the client sets a timescale dependant on the complexity of the project.