What is a construction Phase Plan?

What is a Construction Phase Plan?

A Construction Phase Plan is a legal document that outlines how you will manage the safety and health of people during the construction phase of a project.

Many people believe that only large design and build projects are required to have a Construction Phase Plan, but this is not true at all.

The complexity of a construction project will determine the level of detail you need to have in this essential and legally required document.

If a sole trader plasterer was to plaster a wall in a domestic property, they would still need a formal Construction Phase Plan.  However, this could be a single page of paper without too much technical information.

When should you create your Construction Phase Plan?

The Construction Phase Plan is created before any construction work is carried out.  If the project has multiple contractors and is considered large enough, there may be a principal designer who provides another document called “Pre-Construction Information” to the contractor carrying out the construction project. 

By setting out the health and safety arrangements and requirements for the project, every worker involved in the development can work together to reach high safety standards and project safety goals.

The Construction Phase Plan MUST be prepared before any construction work begins on site.

The Construction Phase Plan MUST be prepared before any construction work begins on site.

So, I just need to create it once, right?

The Construction Phase Plan MUST be prepared before any construction work begins on site. However, as important as the Construction Phase Plan is, it’s not a one-off document that can be left aside throughout your development until the project is finished.  The Construction Phase Plan needs to be constantly revisited as work progresses and develops, making note of any changes in plans or arrangements.

For larger projects, items to consider such as fire management, traffic and pedestrian segregation or even first aid arrangements may need to change.

For smaller projects this may not always be the case, but the fact you have a Construction Phase Plan in place in the first instance is a good start.

The complexity of a construction project will determine the level of detail you need to have in a Construction Phase Plan.

The complexity of a construction project will determine the level of detail you need to have in a Construction Phase Plan.

 I am the client. Do I have to be involved in the Construction Phase Plan?

As the client, it is typical that you have significant influence on a project. Afterall, you control the finances, project timescales and appointments.  You may also have knowledge of any planning restrictions, local services, that you should make available to the contractor.  Prior to the construction phase of the project starting, you must make sure the contractor you have appointed has created the Construction Phase Plan, and that it is sufficient to meet the needs of the project.  You may want to bring in an experienced professional to support you with this.

I am the architect / designer. Do I have to be involved in the Construction Phase Plan?

As a designer on the project, you may have critical information that the contractor needs to create an effective Construction Phase Plan. This may include locations of utilities, detailed ground surveys, engineer reports. All of these documents are likely to contain critical information that can influence the management of health and safety on site.

In some circumstances, you may be appointed as the Principal Designer.  This is a specific duty under CDM regulations that require you to provide Pre-Construction Information to the contractor before any construction works commence. You may want to consult with an experienced professional on the duties of a Principal Designer.

I am the contractor. Where can I find an example Construction Phase Plan?

If you are completing only small works such as plastering, plumbing, brickwork for domestic clients (a house that the client lives in as their main residence) then there is a CDM Wizard tool you can download for free here:

Apple devices here

Android devices here

Laptop / Computer here

For more technical projects that require multiple trades and a principal contractor (the single contractor who is responsible for managing health and safety on the project) then you can find specific information here and go to page 77.

If you are unsure you may want to speak with an experienced professional on how to manage site safety as a contractor.

If you would like to know more about managing construction health and safety then please feel free to drop us a line for an informal chat. We are always happy to discuss projects with property developers, facilities managers, architects and contractors.

For more information on the Construction Phase Plan, call 0330 0948 848 (Option 1).