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Roles, Responsibilities 

& Liability

A contractor is an organisation or individual who directly employs or engages construction workers or as part of their business carries out, manages or controls construction work (e.g. building, altering, maintaining or demolishing).  Contractors include sub-contractors, any individual, sole trader or self-employed worker


The Duties of a Contractor on all projects include: 

  • Make sure the client is aware of the client duties under CDM 2015 before any work starts

  • Plan, manage and monitor all work carried out by themselves and their workers, taking into account the risks to anyone who might be affected by it (including members of the public) and the measures needed to protect them

  • Check that all workers they employ or appoint have the skills, knowledge, training, and experience to carry out the work, or are in the process of obtaining them

  • Make sure that all workers under their control have a suitable, site-specific induction, unless this has already been provided by the principal contractor

  • Provide appropriate supervision, information, and instructions to workers under their control

  • Ensure they do not start work on site unless reasonable steps have been taken to prevent unauthorised access

  • Ensure suitable welfare facilities are provided from the start for workers under their control, and maintain them throughout the work


In addition to the above responsibilities, contractors working on projects involving more than one contractor must:

  • Coordinate their work with the work of others in the project team

  • Comply with directions given by the principal designer or principal contractor

  • Comply with parts of the construction phase plan relevant to their work


Where a contractor is the only contractor working on a project, they must ensure a construction phase plan is drawn up before setting up the site.


When working as the only contractor for a domestic client, the contractor takes on the client duties, as well as their own as contractor. However, this should involve them doing no more than they will normally do to comply with health and safety law.

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