Could we be your Principal Contractor?

Acorn Safety Services is a full-service consultancy which has been established with the objective of meeting clients’ diverse health and safety needs within the workplace and helping them to be compliant with statutory health and safety regulations.

Regardless of your requirement for CDM Client, Principal Designer or Principal Contractor services, retained health and safety consultancy, construction site health and safety inspections, fire risk assessments or health and safety training – we can help.

In this blog, we will focus on what it means if you take us on as your Principal Contractor.

What are the benefits of appointing a Principal Contractor?

Principal contractors have an important role in managing health and safety risks during the construction phase so they must have the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, organisational capability to carry out this work.

If a principal contractor is appointed by a client, the principal contractor takes control of the construction phase of any project involving more than one contractor.

If a client is carrying out a construction project and they do not appoint a principal contractor they will have to take on the role themselves which means they will need to be familiar with all the relevant health and safety regulations.

What does a Principal Contractor do?

The principal contractor will carry out a wide range of duties.

These duties include:

  • planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating the construction phase
  • taking account of the health and safety risks to everyone affected by the work – including members of the public – and managing the measures needed to control them
  • liaising with the client and principal designer throughout the project to ensure all risks are effectively managed
  • preparing a written construction phase plan before construction begins
  • ensuring the construction phase plan is implemented and then regularly reviewed and revised to make sure it remains fit for purpose
  • making sure there are ongoing arrangements for managing health and safety throughout the construction
  • consulting and engaging with workers about their health, safety and welfare
  • ensuring suitable welfare facilities are provided throughout the construction
  • ensuring anyone they appoint has the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their work safely and without risk to health
  • ensuring all workers have site-specific inductions, and any further information and training they need
  • taking steps to prevent unauthorised access to the site
  • liaising with the principal designer to share any information relevant to the planning, management, monitoring and coordination of the pre-construction phase.

Which projects require the appointment of a principal contractor?

A principal contractor must be appointed in writing by the client where a project involves more than one contractor.

The principal contractor should be appointed by the client as early in the project as possible and before the construction phase begins. This is to allow the principal contractor to fully understand the project and ensure all the necessary planning has gone into the project.

Why choose Acorn Safety Services?

As a leading health and safety consultancy in the UK, we’re passionate about promoting the importance of undertaking effective health and safety measures within the workplace.

Our constant endeavour is to help individuals, schools, businesses, organisations and local authorities practice health and safety management, protecting people from harm.

Acorn Safety Services Ltd has been certified and checked as competent by the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSiP) systems of SMAS, CHAS, Acclaim, Safe Contractor and Constructionline to act as CDM Principal Contractor dutyholder.

If you have any health and safety queries visit or contact us at or on 01604 930380.

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Neil Munro