Advice & Guidance

Building Projects

If you are planning a building project there are likely to be health and safety considerations to take into account including the need to comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Scaffolded minaretIf health and safety matters are dealt with effectively and proactively at an early stage in the project they need not be onerous or burdensome.

The following information is taken from the website of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) where you can find detailed advice on all health and safety topics.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations were first introduced in 1994 in recognition of the need to reduce risk on construction sites by means of better co-ordination, management and co-operation between all those involved in construction projects.

CDM 94 led to a major change in how the construction industry managed health and safety and for the first time the duties on clients and designers were made more explicit. However, as time passed it became clear that CDM 94 was not delivering the improvements in health and safety that were expected of it. 

Tile repairs in progressThe implementation of the new approach, particularly amongst clients and designers, was very slow and improvements in planning, management, communications and co-ordination were less than expected. In addition, the defensive verification approach adopted by many practitioners led to unnecessary complexity and bureaucracy.


As a result the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 were introduced in order to:

  • Simplify the regulations and improve clarity
  • Strengthen requirements on co-operation and co-ordination
  • Simplify competence assessment, reduce bureaucracy and raise standards

They also reinforced the message that all those who have a role in construction projects, including clients, have their part to play in improving the industry's health and safety record. In terms of CDM 2007 a ‘client' is anyone who is having construction or building work carried out (although domestic clients are excluded).  When considering repairs or new work to places of worship the client is likely to be the Parochial Church Council, Property Committee or Fabric Committee etc.

Major repair project

What do I need to know?

On all projects clients need to:

  • Check the competence and resources of all appointees (designers, contractors etc.).
  • Ensure there are suitable management arrangements for the project welfare facilities.
  • Allow sufficient time and resources for all stages of the project to be carried out properly.
  • Provide pre-construction information to the designers and contractors.

Scaffolding on roof

Where projects are notifiable i.e. where the construction phase is likely to involve more than 30 days or require more than 500 person days of construction work, clients must also:  

  • Appoint a CDM co-ordinator.
  • Appoint a principal contractor.
  • Provide information relating to the health and safety file to the CDM co-ordinator.
  • Make sure that construction work does not start until a construction phase health and safety plan is in place and there are adequate welfare facilities present on site.
  • Retain and provide access to the health and safety file.

Further information

The HSE has produced a quick guide for clients (INDG 411) explaining their duties under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions page for clients on the HSE website.

© SPAB 2012