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Domestic House Builders

CDM 2016 comes into affect from the 1st August 2016 in Northern Ireland.

CDM 2016 defines a client as anyone for whom a construction project is carried out. This definition includes both non-domestic (or 'commercial') clients and 'domestic' clients (ie clients for whom a construction project is carried out which is not done in connection with a business).

The Regulations apply in full to commercial clients, but for domestic clients, the client duties pass on to other dutyholders. This includes the principal designer and principal contractor duties falling to the designer and contractor in control of the pre-construction and construction phases.

Domestic Clients

A domestic client is someone who has construction work done on their own home, or the home of a family member, which is not done in connection with a business.

A project is notifiable (Commercial and Domestic) if the construction work on a construction site is scheduled to:

  1. last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project; or
  2. exceed 500 person days.

For Domestic Projects the Principal Contractor must notify the HSE.

Remember - the requirements of CDM 2015 apply whether or not the project is notifiable.

The new CDM Regulations will impose duties on Domestic Project Clients. Domestic Client duties will normally be transferred to the Principal Contractor/Contractor, or, if the Client wishes, to the Principal Designer.

CDM 2016 will focus on Projects that are likely to involve more than one contractor - this will be the majority of projects. If the work will require a bricklayer, electrician, plumber, roofer and plasterer, that is five contractors.

Principal Contractor Duties

The Regulations are about making sure that there is:

  • Early appointment or engagement of capable key people or organisations that have sufficient skills, knowledge, experience and resources
  • A realistic project programme which gives enough time for planning and programming as well as carrying out the work itself
  • Early identification and reduction of construction risks and proper management of those that remain, so that construction is safe and does not damage the health of workers or others
  • Co-operation between all involved in a project and effective coordination regarding health & safety issues
  • Adequate welfare facilities provided from the start and throughout the construction phase
  • Appropriate information is made available to the right people at the right time so that work can be carried out safely and without risk to health

The duties of the client will depend on the scale and complexity of the project and the nature and severity of the risks to health and safety involved. These duties will include ensuring suitable arrangements are in place to manage risk, sufficient time is allowed and adequate welfare is provided. Where more than one contractor is involved, there is a requirement to co-operate with others involved to enable safe working.

For free initial consultation and further information contact our office.