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Construction Phase Plan

CDM (GB) Knowledge Base

On all projects the client must ensure that the Construction Phase Plan is sufficiently developed by the contractor (or Principal Contractor if more than one contractor on site) prior to allowing the construction to commence. For the Construction Phase Plan to be considered to be sufficiently developed it must contain the health and safety management systems and arrangements for the specific project and site(s) and reference the risk assessments and method statements for the initial work activities.

The Principal Designer may well assist the client in assessing the Construction Phase Plan prior to construction commencement.

On non-notifiable projects involving demolition or sites or activities involving high levels of risk it is recommended that a written plan, approximating the Construction Phase Plan should be produced and reviewed. The client will need to establish the need for this, probably with the assistance of the Principal Designer. The site conditions and/or work activities that fall into this category, requiring an approximation of the Construction Phase Plan are:

  • demolition;
  • structural alterations;
  • deep excavations, and those in unstable or contaminated ground;
  • unusual working methods or safeguards;
  • ionising radiation or other significant health hazards;
  • nearby high voltage power lines;
  • a risk of falling into water which is, or may become, fast flowing;
  • diving;
  • using explosives;
  • heavy or complex lifting operations.

Appendix 3 of the CDM2015 regulations contains a listing of topics that should be included, as required, in a Construction Phase Plan. The Construction Phase Plan detail should be relevant to the work proposed. Information in the Pre-Construction Information provides background information for those bidding for work, and for the development of the construction phase plan, which sets out how health and safety is to be managed during the construction phase. The level of detail should be proportionate to the risks involved in the project.

  • a description of the project such as key dates and details of key members of the project team
  • the management of the work including
  • the health and safety aims for the project
  • the site rules arrangements for controlling significant site risks
  • delivery and removal of materials (including waste) and work equipment taking account of any risks to the public, e.g. during access to or egress from the site:
  • dealing with services - water, electricity and gas, including temporary electrical installations
  • Arrangements to ensure cooperation between project team members and coordination of their work for example, regular site meetings
  • accommodating adjacent land use;
  • stability of structures whilst carrying out construction work, including temporary structures and existing unstable structures
  • arrangements for involving workers
  • site induction
  • welfare facilities
  • fire and emergency procedures

When creating/developing a Construction Phase Plan (CPP) the Contractor or Principal Contractor should ensure that the plan:-

  • is relevant to the project
  • has sufficient detail to clearly set out the arrangements and special measures needed to manage the construction phase
  • is proportionate to the scale and complexity of the project and the risks involved

Overwritten or previous documents would not be advisable; the aim of the CPP is to make sure each project is considered and written individually as each site will differ even if the work being carried out is the same type of works.

The CPP may well go through several reviews dependant on the scale of the works. If the nature of the works changes or an unforeseen risk comes up there should be discussions with all interested parties (Client, Principal Designer, and Principal Contractor) and any changes to the content of the CPP should be agreed and updated by the Principal Contractor.

Suggested Headings to be included in the Construction Phase Plan

  • Description of project (location of works, nature of works, timescales)
  • Persons Involved (principals, other parties)
  • Extent and location of existing records and plans
  • Management and arrangements of the work, and should include:-
    • Management structure (organogram)
    • Health & safety goals (specific for the site)
    • Arrangements for regular liaison
    • Consultation with the workforce
    • Design changes
    • Selection & control of contractors
    • Exchange of health & safety information
    • Site security
    • Site induction
    • Onsite training
    • Site welfare / First Aid
    • Accident / near miss reporting
    • Risk assessments and safe systems of work
    • Site Rules
    • Fire and emergency
  • Arrangements for controlling significant risks
    • Safety risks including:-
      • Access/egress to site
      • Services
      • Adjacent land/working
      • Temporary and unstable structures
      • Working at height
      • Fragile materials
      • Lifting operations
      • Plant and equipment
      • Excavations and poor ground conditions,
      • Wells / underground earthworks and tunnels
      • Working near water
      • Work involving diving
      • Caissons and compressed air
      • Explosives
      • Traffic and pedestrian management
      • Materials storage
      • etc...
    • Health risks including:-
      • Asbestos management
      • Contaminated land
      • Manual handling
      • Hazardous substances
      • Noise
      • Vibration
      • Ionising radiation
      • Etc...
  • Provision of information to fulfil the requirements for the production and updating of the Health and Safety File.

Duty Holders and the Construction Phase Plan


As a main duty holder the Client must ensure that a Construction Phase Plan is available and checked before commencement of any works on site. The Client may well ask/appoint another qualified person to help them in their assessment of the Construction Phase Plan. However the ultimate responsibility is theirs.

Designer & Principal Designer

When the Designer and/or Principal Designer produce the Pre-Construction Information they will have identified all the issues they believe the Principal Contractor should address in the Construction Phase plan. They should check that the Construction Phase Plan addresses the identified issues sufficiently. Although the Designer or Principal Designer does not have to 'approve' the Construction Phase Plan they should make sure that one exists before construction commences and that thy are happy with its content.

Contractor and Principal Contractor

The Contractor or Principal Contractor (if there is more than 1 contractor on site) is responsible for the production of the Construction Phase Plan. This plan should address any safety, design or health issues that were identified in the Pre-Construction Plan provided. Additionally it should indicate what measure need to be taken during the works on site to ensure safe working as well and management arrangements.

Amendments to the Construction Phase Plan

The Principal Contractor has an absolute duty to prepare the Construction Phase Plan prior to construction commencement, and develop, communicate, implement and amend the plan as necessary to maintain its sufficiency to effectively plan, manage and monitor the construction work. This should ensure that the work is performed, so far as reasonably practicable, without risks to health and safety.

Welfare facilities

On CDM projects the client must ensure that the principal contractor has made suitable arrangements for the site welfare facilities, taking into account the numbers of workers expected to work on the site, the site conditions and the project tasks, prior to allowing construction to commence.

The Principal Designer or another competent professional (with sufficient skills, knowledge and expertise in this area) may well assist the client with this.

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