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Designer CDM Duties

Dr. Khalid Bhutto Articles

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Who are designers on a construction project?

Designers are those, who as part of a business, prepare or modify designs for a building, product or system relating to construction work. The designers include architects, consulting engineers, quantity surveyors, chartered surveyors, interior designers, temporary works engineers, technicians or anyone who specifies or alters a design. The designers are defined as one of the duty holders in CDM Regulations and they have their own specified statutory duties to comply with.

If a client is involved in modifying or specifying design elements, then they could be treated as a "designer" for the purposes of CDM Regulations and they will have to comply with Designer CDM duties.




What are Designer Duties* under CDM Regulations?

Regulation 8 and 9 of the CDM Regulations 2015 list the duties of a designer on a project and they are as follows:

  1. Designers must not accept the appointment (as Designer), unless have the skills, knowledge and experience, and, if an organisation, the organisational capability, necessary to fulfil the role.(Regulation 8(2))
  2. Designers must co-operate with other parties working on a project at the same or on adjoining construction site.(Regulation 8(4))
  3. Designers must not commence design for any project unless satisfied that the client is aware of their duties under CDM 2015 Regulations.(Regulation 9(1))
  4. Designers must eliminate foreseeable health and safety risks, so far as is reasonably practicable and taking into General Principles of Prevention and Pre-construction Information (PCI), when preparing or modifying a design.(Regulation 9(2))
  5. Designers must take the following steps, if it is not possible to eliminate the above health and safety risks:(Regulation 9(3)(a,b,c))

    • Take steps to reduce or, if that is not possible control the risks through subsequent design process,
    • Provide information about the above risks to the Principal Designer, and
    • Ensure appropriate information is included in the Health and Safety File.

  6. Designers must take all reasonable steps to provide sufficient information with the design about the design, construction and maintenance of the structure to adequately assist Client, other Designers and Contractors to comply with their duties under the CDM Regulations.(Regulation 9(4))
  7. Designers must ensure that the above information is comprehensible and provided as soon as is practicable.(Regulation 8(6)))

* Please note that the Designer duties under the CDM Regulations 2015 are applicable on all construction projects (including Domestic Client Projects), regardless of size, duration, number of contractors or whether a project is notifiable or not.


Designer CDM Duties



Practical Explanation of CDM Designer Duties

The above legal duties of a Designer are briefly explained as follows:


1. Designers must not accept the appointment (as Designer), unless have the skills, knowledge and experience, and, if an organisation, the organisational capability, necessary to fulfil the role. (Regulation 8(2))

The following steps are suggested to discharge the above duty:

  • Prepare a practice profile detailing your skills, knowledge and experience and if applicable, organisation capability.

  • Keep up-to-date CVs of your staff including evidence of their current professional memberships.

  • Avoid type and size of projects or design situations where you may not have necessary skills, knowledge, experience or organisational capability, seek further advice if necessary.

  • Please check that any designer(s) you appoint have skills, knowledge, experience and if an organisation, the organisation capability to fulfil the role (this can be checked by sending them simple assessment questionnaire).


2. Designers must co-operate with other parties working on a project at the same or on adjoining construction site. (Regulation 8(4))

The following steps are suggested to discharge the above duty:

  • Communicate with other designers on the project.

  • Carryout design review meetings with other designers involved in the project.

  • Co-operate with Principal Designer appointed for the project.


3. Designers must not commence design for any project unless satisfied that the client is aware of their duties under CDM 2015 Regulations. (Regulation 9(1))

The following steps are suggested to discharge the above duty:

  • Refer your Client to our Client CDM Duties page for information about their duties under the CDM Regulations. We have developed this information in a rather simple and user friendly manner to make it easy for Clients of construction project to understand and fulfil their duties.

  • Alternatively, prepare Client Duties under the CDM Regulations (also available from Safescope on request) or you can provide them with CITB CDM Guidance for Clients.

  • Discuss the above Duties in meetings with Client and formally send the Duties to them by email (keep the evidence).

  • Explain to the Client that for all projects where more than one contractor is involved a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor needs to be appointed.

  • In addition, please remind the Client that there are Client Duties (except in case of Domestic Client) which are to be fulfilled by the Client (if the need be Safescope can help with this).

  • In case of Domestic Client, the Client CDM Duties will pass on to the Contractor or Principal Contractor.


4. Designers must eliminate foreseeable health and safety risks, so far as is reasonably practicable and taking into General Principles of Prevention and Pre-construction Information (PCI), when preparing or modifying a design. (Regulation 9(2))

The following steps are suggested to discharge the above duty:

  • Provide training to your staff on Designer Duties under CDM Regulations (including Design Risk Management) – Safescope can assist with this, if required.

  • At each distinct stage of the design, identify the health and safety risks relevant to your design at construction, maintenance, cleaning and (where relevant) use as a workplace.

  • Consider CITB RAG (Red, Amber and Green) Lists or see HSE CDM Designer RAG Lists for information and action.

  • Pre-construction Information (PCI) may help in identifying the above risks.

  • Go through each identified risks and aim to eliminate where ever possible.

  • You may like to use a Designer Risk Assessments (DRA) to record the above. Safescope can provide a simple template for DRAs, if required.


5. Designers must take the following steps, if it is not possible to eliminate the above health and safety risks: (Regulation 9(3)(a,b,c))

  • Take steps to reduce or, if that is not possible control the risks through subsequent design process,
  • Provide information about the above risks to the Principal Designer, and
  • Ensure appropriate information is included in the Health and Safety File.

The following steps are suggested to discharge the above duty:

  • There are practical ways and alternative methods available to reduce and control the standard health and safety risks. Research the available options. Please ask Safescope for assistance, if required.

  • Take advice from a manufacturer or a specialist contractor to find the alternative solutions / options.

  • Record all identified health and safety risks on drawings, by completing a Designer Risk Assessments (DRA) or making separate notes.

  • Send the above recorded information to the Principal Designer as soon as possible.

  • Review the above information, if design changes or alterations are made and re-issue it to the Principal Designer.

  • Any residual health and safety risks which will still remain after the site work completion (during the maintenance, cleaning and (where relevant) use of structure as a workplace) must be notified to the Principal Designer or Principal Contractor (where Principal Designer's appointment has finished) for inclusion in the Health and Safety File.


6. Designers must take all reasonable steps to provide sufficient information with the design about the design, construction and maintenance of the structure to adequately assist Client, other Designers and Contractors to comply with their duties under the CDM Regulations. (Regulation 9(4))

The following steps are suggested to discharge the above duty:


7. Designers must ensure that the above information is comprehensible and provided as soon as is practicable. (Regulation 8(6)))

The following steps are suggested to discharge the above duty:

  • The design health and safety risks related information produced as above should be to the point and effective in managing the risks.

  • Do not produce any generic, unnecessarily long and irrelevant information.

  • Do not wait until chased, send the information to the relevant parties as soon as possible.




We hope that you found the information useful, however, we welcome any feedback or comments to improve the details or any other aspect of the Designer CDM Duties that will be useful to add to the above.





Please see our CDM Designer Training





CDM 2015 Guidance




Our Contact Details

For further information and a prompt hassle free fee proposal please contact us as follows:

Lindsey Heffer - Safescope
LINDSEY HEFFER

Business Management Co-ordinator
T:  01473 407020
M: 07443 789226
E:  LBrown@safescope.com

Dr. Khalid Bhutto - Safescope
DR. KHALID BHUTTO
BEng MSc PhD CMIOSH FCIOB CFaPS
Director
T:  01473 407020
M: 07818 288122
E:  KBhutto@safescope.com