Exhibitors - What they need to do


The regulations cover the management of health, safety and welfare when carrying out construction projects. The regulations replace The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) and are applicable to event construction in addition to all existing relevant health and safety law which must also be complied with. Construction work includes, but is not limited to, the assembly or disassembly (e.g. phases within build up and breakdown) of prefabricated elements to form a structure (e.g. shell scheme, features and space only stands). The regulations identify key roles (dutyholders) who each have specific responsibilities (duties) to fulfil.

Shell Scheme Exhibitors: Unless you intend to construct (i.e. build) within your shell scheme these guidelines do not apply to you. Stand dressing, pop-ups, mounting posters, placing display cases, freestanding furniture etc. do not constitute construction.

Understand your roles and responsibilities

A space only exhibitor is likely to take the following role with the assigned responsibilities:

  1. Clients are the organisations or individuals for whom a construction project is carried out.

    Summary of Main Responsibilities

    Make suitable arrangements for managing a project. This includes making sure:

    • Robust coordination and cooperation between those involved.
    • Other duty holders are appointed.
    • Sufficient time and resources are allocated.
    • Relevant pre-construction information is prepared and provided to other duty holders.
    • The Principal Designer and Principal Contractor carry out their duties.
    • Suitable welfare arrangements are in place.

Generally, each space only plot is treated as a separate construction site within the main construction site. The exhibitor assumes the role of Client for the plot they are hiring in which they will commission a construction project in the form of a stand. The exhibitor may appoint a designer to design the stand (Principal Designer) and a stand build contractor to build the stand (Principal Contractor) or a single company to provide both of these services and therefore assume both the roles of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor. Stand designers and builders should refer to the Contractor section for further guidance regarding their responsibilities under CDM 2015. Should the exhibitor choose not to appoint either a stand designer or stand builder to construct their space only stand then the roles and responsibilities of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor remain with the exhibitor to fulfil.

Skills, knowledge and experience

Anyone appointing designers (including Principal Designers), contractors (including Principal Contractors) or workers must ensure that those appointed have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience.

When appointing stand designers and builders consideration should be given by space only stand holders to ensure that those who they are looking to appoint have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience.

How do you assess competency and appoint a company that enables you to fulfill your duty.  Appointing a company who is already a member of Event Supplier and Services Association is a good starting point.  Members off ESSA go through a robust industry approved process to gain membership and sign up to an industry Code of Conduct and Quality Charter.  They also have annual checks on insurance and quarterly financial health checks imposed upon them.  Further to this, you can also select from ESSA's growing list of accredited members.  These companies submit to an annual audit which demonstrable proof that the member company is operating at the required level to meet stage one requirements of assessing competence under CDM 2015 and it aligns with the requirements of ISO 20121 Sustainable Event Management and other management system standards whilst adopting the principles of SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement) member schemes such as CHAS, Safemark and Greenlight).

You can access a list of ESSA Members and Accredited Members via https://www.essa.uk.com/members and https://www.essa.uk.com/accredited/accredited-members.  



A project is notifiable to the relevant enforcing authority if the construction work is scheduled to:

  • Last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project - OR
  • Exceed 500 person days.

A project can be notified via the electronic F10 notification form on the HSE website. The requirements of CDM 2015 apply whether or not the project is notifiable. It is the Client’s responsibility to notify and subsequently display the notice however Clients can request someone else, such as the Principal Contractor, do either of these activities on their behalf.

Whilst it is very unlikely that a single space only stand will exceed either of the trigger points for notification, if a space only exhibitor suspects that the construction and deconstruction of their stand will do so then arrangements should be made for the project to be notified and the notice displayed.

Construction Phase Plan

This document sets out the arrangements for securing health and safety during the construction period. The arrangements include site rules taking into account the activities that will be taking place during the construction period. For projects involving more than one Contractor a Principal Contractor is responsible for the Construction Phase Plan and site rules whereas for single Contractor projects this responsibility sits with a Contractor. (See also Induction and Site Rules)

It is likely that the stand builder will be allocated the role of Principal Contractor for a specific exhibitor’s space only stand and therefore will be responsible for producing the Construction Phase Plan and any specific site rules for the stand.

Induction and Site Rules

A suitable site induction must be provided to any personnel requiring access to the construction site. The induction must be site specific, highlight any particular risks and include information on the emergency procedures. Where there is more than one Contractor involved in a project the responsibility for ensuring an induction is provided rests with the Principal Contractor. (See also Construction Phase Plan)

Exhibitors are responsible for sharing any relevant information that they receive to any personnel that they invite onsite during the construction phase. In addition, if exhibitors of the space only stand intend to be present on the plot during the construction then they must receive the site specific induction for the event as a whole and, if relevant, a site specific induction for their space only plot. It may be the case that the stand builder simply adopts the organiser’s standard site rules and adds any of their own stand specific rules. The site rules for both the event as a whole and any specifically for the space only plot must be communicated to all personnel requiring access to the space only plot during the construction phase. If exhibitors of the space only stand intend to be present on the plot during the construction then the site rules must be adhered to.


Workers must be provided with suitable welfare facilities throughout the construction phase. Welfare facilities include, but are not limited to, drinking water, toilets, catering facilities and rest areas. Information regarding the location of the welfare facilities onsite should be disseminated.

It is likely that the venue will provide the welfare facilities and information regarding the available provision should be disseminated via the organiser. Exhibitors are responsible for sharing any relevant information that they receive to any personnel that they invite onsite during the construction phase.

Access Control

Reasonable steps must be taken to prevent access by unauthorised persons to areas where construction work is due to take place.

Exhibitors should take the time to understand the arrangements that will be in place to control access onsite as it is likely that passes/badges/wristbands etc. will need to be pre-ordered. Exhibitors are encouraged to disseminate any access information that they receive to any personnel that they invite onsite during the construction phase as this will speed up access.

Create Construction Phase Plan


Create Risk Assessment


Create Method Statement
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