As well as legal requirements being placed on the employer and employee relationship, legal requirements are also placed on clients and their contractors.

The legal requirements placed on clients and their contractors are covered under the construction (design and management) regulations. More commonly known as CDM regulations 2015.

Regulation 8 of CDM 2015 imposes duties:

  • Clients
  • The principal designer
  • Designers
  • The principal contractor


Clients are legally bound to protect their workers and others from any risks that may affect their health, while undertaking the required work. If the public are to enter the client’s premises, they must also be protected.

The operations that clients manage can vary in size greatly. Operations could range from window cleaning to a large-scale construction project. Construction projects may be a simple building extension, or a brand new build.

In order to ensure that the site is in a safe and healthy condition, clients must consult with contractors throughout the project. From design stages, right through to final sign off.


Contractors are those who visit the premises to carry out work. They must be aware of their health and safety responsibilities whilst on site. This includes a knowledge of current legislation and the standards, which should be met.

Contractors visiting the site may not be familiar with the environment or the related risks. They may also carry out hazardous operations to complete their work. All the potential risks will have to be identified , with adequate control measures being put in place.