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The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) - Principal Designer

Following a European Directive the CDM Regulations were enacted in 1994 to improve safety in the construction industry by addressing the causes of accidents at design, construction, maintenance, use, and demolition stages. The CDM 2007 regulations refined the 1994 legislation, building upon its success, and have now been amended to include domestic construction work in CDM 2015

There have been significant improvements in safety. Despite this, in 2014/15 there were 35 fatalities in construction. In all sectors there were 611,000 non-fatal injuries reported, probably the tip of the iceberg, to which construction was a major contributor. The death rate is a reduction of two thirds compared with the statistics from 20 years ago but it leaves no room for complacency at almost 1 a week.

Abbey CCL as the Principal Designer

The role of Construction Health and Safety Consultant has been renamed. It was initially Planning Supervisor, then CDM Co-ordinator and is now Principal Designer. The Association for Project Safety (APS) is the principle organisation for Construction Safety Consultants. Keith Philpott is IMaPS, an Incorporated Member, which signifies an advanced level of knowledge and understanding. Other staff members have similar qualifications, and the Company is a Registered APS Practice.

Under the new Regulations, ACCL may be appointed as Principal designer, or as an Advisor to the Principal Designer (who may be the lead designer), often nominated as the H&S specialist by the Client, or may be appointed as Advisor to the Client, which is similar to an appointment of a competent person under the MHSW Regulations 1999.

Construction Health and Safety relies heavily on large amounts of common sense, good training and knowledge, an awareness of the hazards, and a wide appreciation of all the issues. The ACCL team possess these qualities. Safety is related not to the amount of paper generated, but to the relevance and content.

We add value by promoting positive mental attitudes towards safety and welfare, assisting Clients to understand and perform their important roles of goal setting and information provision, working with Designers and Contractors to identify safety issues and provide health and safety advice to the whole team when needed. The outcome is safer and more efficient sites.

In many respects the most difficult duty is that of ensuring the most current information is available to all who require it. To assist Clients in complying with the regulations we now use the Abbey CDM and Project Management Database to ensure accurate and timely provision of information to all parties. It is secure and available 24/7.

Under the regulations Clients must appoint a Principal Designer from project inception where there will be two or more contractors on site, and a Principal Contractor, for all commercial building projects. Notification to the HSE and appointments are now considered separately.

Liability for the safety agenda is placed upon the Client. If the Client fails to appoint as required, he is liable for all the duties of the PD and PC. Issues that must be properly addressed range from the provision of information, checking the skills, knowledge, experience and organisational ability of everyone employed, and not allowing work to progress until certain actions are complete.

The CDM 2015 Regulations apply to all building work of any scale that meet the criteria of the regulations, including maintenance, repair, and small fit-out contracts through to major construction and civil engineering works. Whatever your project ACCL can advise and act for you.

Association for Project Safety CDM Coordinator

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