Duties of CDM Co-ordinator
This topic describes CDM 2007 related information. The CDM Co-ordinator is longer a principal under CDM 2015.
For projects where a CDM Co-ordinator has already been appointed, see CDM 2015 Transitional Arrangements.
The CDM co-ordinator is only required to be appointed on notifiable projects. Their primary roles and duties are to provide the client with a key project advisor in respect of construction health and safety risk management matters and to ensure compliance of the design and the designers with CDM2007. The role/duty would normally involve a team but could be an individual on a small project. Through early involvement with clients and designers, a CDM Co-ordinator can make a significant contribution to reducing risks to workers during construction, and to contractors and end users who work in, or on, the structure after construction.
Duties of CDM Co-ordinator - Checklist
- Notify the project to the Health & Safety Executive.
- Advise and assist the client with the client's duties for engaging or appointing competent and adequately resourced organisations.
- Assist the client with ensuring that suitable management arrangements are made for the project (This may include the performance of design audits and construction site audits and inspections)
- Identify and collect the pre-construction information and provide it in a convenient form to designers, the principal contractor and other contractors.
- Advise the client on the sufficiency of the time allocated for all phases of the project.
- Ensure that the design complies with the requirements of the regulations, including any designs undertaken by designers who are not based within Great Britain.
- Ensure that the designers and the principal contractor co-operate.
- Assist the client with verifying the sufficiency of the construction phase plan to commence construction and the adequacy of the welfare provisions.
- Prepare the health and safety file, or review and update an existing health and safety file, and pass it the client at the end of construction.
The CDM co-ordinator is formally appointed by the client on notifiable projects only. The CDM co-ordinator is the enhanced planning supervisor role, first required under CDM1994. The regulations call upon the CDM co-ordinator to be competent and adequately resourced to carry out the duties in the regulations.
The appointment will normally be made of an organisation, with the duties undertaken by a single person, or more likely, a group combining professional skills in a number of areas such as structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, occupational health and safety, electrical and mechanical engineering, etc. It is unlikely that one individual person would possess all of the appropriate skills in all but the smallest and simplest of projects.
The CDM co-ordinator must be able to demonstrate their organisation's and the team's competence and time and resources allocation to the client, the HSE and the courts.
The source of the person or persons appointed will vary dependent upon the nature of the project and the design team. Where the design team is employed by the client, it is likely that it is from those directly employed personnel that the CDM co-ordinator is selected. If a consulting engineer or architect is appointed then it is likely that the personnel would be selected from amongst their number. Alternatively, for a design and construct project, the contractor may field the team which constitutes the CDM co-ordinator. It is possible that the role of CDM co-ordinator is completely independent with the sole purpose of undertaking the role on a particular project.
It will be incumbent upon the client to ascertain that the persons appointed are competent and that the range of expertise is commensurate with the task. In real terms this will probably form an important part of the submission. In common with any aspect of the work, where expertise is not available from within the organisation, it should be sought from elsewhere. Persons must be appointed to the post of CDM co-ordinator on the basis of capability rather than availability.
The appointment by the client must be made as soon as possible after commencement of the initial design. It is clear that unless the appointment is made in the very early stages of conceptual design then the CDM co-ordinator will spend considerable time reviewing what has already taken place. In such circumstances, instituting changes, particularly in design, could give rise to serious knock-on effects.
Notification to HSE
The regulations require the CDM co-ordinator to notify the local HSE office of all construction work expected to last more than 30 working days and also all work which may not last this long but is expected to involve more than 500 person days or person shifts in construction work.
The initial notification should be made as soon as possible after appointment of the CDM co-ordinator. Further notifications would be required by changes in the information required on the notification. An additional notification would be required subsequent to the appointment of the principal contractor, if this appointment had not been made at the time of the initial notification.
Verifying Competence and Resources
The CDM co-ordinator has a duty to assist and advise the client regarding the competence and resource allocation of designers, the principal contractor and any directly engaged contractors. The CDM co-ordinator must be satisfied that the designers', principal contractor's or contractors' proposals demonstrate competence and has sufficient resources provisions to enable the work to be executed safely, and should advise the client accordingly.
This particular aspect of the CDM co-ordinators' role is clearly aimed at addressing the perennial problem of responsible organisations failing to win contracts due to their inclusion of the time and resources necessary to execute the work with due regard to issues of occupational safety and health. There is a long history of designers and contractors winning contracts by the exclusion of these provisions and the gamble that they will be allowed to work in a substandard fashion.
The CDM co-ordinator must have, or have ready access to detailed knowledge of aspects of accident prevention relevant to the project to enable a judgement to be made.
In certain circumstances it may be acceptable to maintain a carefully scrutinised approved list of designers and contractors who have a demonstrably fine record in accident prevention and the avoidance of occupational ill-health. Where such a situation exists, any particularly low item in the priced bill of quantities could be investigated to ensure that an omission has not occurred which could compromise the standards of safety and health provisions. Where a designer or contractor fails to perform to a satisfactory standard, the company should be removed from the approved list.
The CDM co-ordinator must assist the client with ensuring that suitable management arrangements are made for the project. This may include the performance of design audits and construction site audits and inspections.
The client will almost certainly require assistance in the development of project health and safety goals and the determination of realistic programmes.
The client has a duty to supply this information. The CDM co-ordinator will assist the client with identifying what is required and collection of that information. The CDM co-ordinator will also ensure that the pre-construction information is in a convenient form and provide the relevant parts to designers, the principal contractor and other contractors.
Refer to the client's duties for more detail of what is required.
Sufficiency of time
The CDM co-ordinator is required to advise the client on whether sufficient time is allowed for the design, tendering, tender review, mobilisation and construction.
Assessment of the Design
The designer has a qualified duty to ensure that the design of the structure does not give rise to unnecessary risks to persons' safety and health in construction, repair and maintenance (so far as is reasonably practicable).
The CDM co-ordinator is required to consider the design to ensure that those overall requirements are met, ensuring that the design complies with the requirements of the regulations, including any designs undertaken by designers who are not based within Great Britain
This obligation on the CDM co-ordinator is going to require considerable knowledge of the proposed construction methods as well as sound understanding of the type of maintenance and repair likely to be carried out.
The CDM co-ordinator should review the design for its:
- routine maintenance (including re-pointing, re-decorating or cleaning)
Co-ordination and Liaison
The CDM co-ordinator has a role to play in ensuring that different elements of the design prepared by various members of the design team do not interface to create risks to those working on the structure.
The adequacy of the liaison and co-operation between the designers and the principal contractor is also an area where the CDM co-ordinator should exert influence.
Sufficiency of the construction phase plan and welfare provisions
The CDM co-ordinator is required to assist the client with the client's duties to verify the sufficiency of the construction phase plan to commence construction and the adequacy of the welfare provisions proposed by the principal contractor.
This is likely to involve the CDM co-ordinator in the performance of a full review of the construction phase plan and reporting on its sufficiency to the client. The CDM co-ordinator will also need to review the principal contractor's proposals for what is to be included within the welfare provisions and to verify that these will be on site prior to construction commencement.
As with any other advice and assistance provided to the client by the CDM co-ordinator; the CDM co-ordinator will be criminally liable for this advice and assistance.
Health and safety file
Under CDM2007 the CDM co-ordinator must prepare the health and safety file, or review and update an existing health and safety file, and pass it the client at the end of construction. This is an expansion on the requirement previously on the planning supervisor under CDM1994, as that only required the planning supervisor to ensure that the file was prepared.