The principal contractor is the contractor in overall control of the construction phase.

This is on projects with more than one contractor. They are appointed by the client and there should only be one principal contractor for a project at any one time.

The term project is used to describe any construction, building, infrastructure repair or maintenance work, whether on a fixed or transient site.

The duties of the Principal Contractor under CDM 2015 are very similar to their duties under the previous version of the Regulations “CDM 2007”. The principal contractor must be capable of carrying out the role and have the right skills, knowledge and experience, dependent upon the nature of the work and the range and nature of health and safety risks involved.

The Principal Contractor must plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the construction phase to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, construction work is carried out without risks to health or safety.

A construction phase plan must be drawn up by the Principal Contractor and is required on all projects where there is a Principal Contractor appointed.

The HSE and CITB have produced specific guidance which can be viewed below.