CDM PRINCIPAL DESIGNER SERVICES
We have been providing CDM Principal Designer services from the introduction of the CDM Regulations on the 6th April 2015 and prior to this we provided CDM Co-ordinator Services since the 6th April 2007 and previously CDM Planning Supervisor services from December 1994.
From experience gained while working on a wide range of projects, our approach to the requirements of the CDM Regulations developed, based on experience, co-operation, analysis and review, enabling our company to implement a pragmatic and positive approach to design and construction health and safety. Fundamental to this has always been the promotion of health and safety awareness, especially amongst designers, particularly addressing buildability, usability and maintainability challenges, to reduce and mitigate the potential for problems on projects we have been involved in and providing practical advice in relation to design options for future maintenance to achieve optimum compliance with the objectives of the CDM Regulations that can be maintained practically.
One important lesson we have learnt is that there is no formalised, prescribed, standard methodology or approach to projects to achieve CDM compliance. The application of the requirements emanating from the CDM Regulations centres on responses from project teams often with a mixture of skill sets both in terms of knowledge, and experience.
As such, a major part of our role has been educational, in the form of advice, guidance and training, and practical, in the sense of leading the design team through the CDM process.
The general objectives of the CDM Regulations are to ensure that health and safety matters are managed, co-ordinated, documented and implemented throughout the life cycle of a project including design, planning, construction, use, maintenance and future work. This approach involves a commitment to managing construction projects to achieve the required standards for health and safety by all parties who can contribute to the avoidance, reduction and control of health and safety issues either related to site constraints, buildability, usability or maintainability of the end product.
As a company successfully providing Health and Safety services to the design and construction industry for more than 20 years we uphold this approach, accepting that design decisions play a major part in achieving these objectives. We do maintain that health and safety matters should not dominate design, rather our view, and following Health and Safety Executive guidance and best practice, is that CDM considerations are an integral part of the design process.
The principal issues we are interested in as Principal Designer are buildability in relationship to the proposed design, usability and the design complying with the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations, maintainability in terms of suitable and adequate provision being allowed within the design to facilitate safe access for cleaning, maintenance and periodic replacement works. In respect of the first aspect relating to buildability, apart from the general Designer duties as outlined within the CDM 2015 Regulations and the HSE Guidance contained within Managing Health and Safety in Construction, the adequacy of the design in respect of constructability should also be considered against the Health and Safety Executive’s Construction Health and Safety priorities.
In addition to the Health and Safety Executive’s planned priorities for design/construction, there is also an obligation within the CDM 2015 Regulations and Managing Health and Safety in Construction, for the Client to have set out a formal health and safety strategy/framework for CDM Management throughout the life cycle of their project.
CDM Principal Designer Services provided include:
- Site Appraisals
- Design Stage Pre-Construction Information Development
- CDM Design Reviews
- Design Meetings/Workshops
- Tender Stage Pre-Construction Information
- CDM Compliance Audits/Inspections
- Health & Safety Files
PFB plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project and this includes:
- Identifying, eliminating or controlling foreseeable risks;
- Ensuring designers carry out their duties.
- Prepare and provide relevant information to other dutyholders.
- Provide relevant information to the Principal Contractor to help them plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety in the Construction phase.