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Design Risk Assessment (DRA)

Dr. Khalid Bhutto Articles

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What is a "Design Risk Assessment (DRA)"?

Design Risk Assessment, Designer Risk Assessment or DRA as it is commonly abbreviated, is a term used for the information provided by the designers of a construction project to Principal Designer and other relevant project parties.

The term DRA is not mentioned in the CDM Regulations; however, it is now commonly used in the construction industry.

Why "Designer Risk Assessments (DRA)" are prepared?

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (the CDM Regulations) require construction project designers to provide comprehensive information, about the risks originating from their designs, to Client, Principal Designer, other designers, Principal Contractor and contractors (Regulations 8(6), 9(3)(b) and 9(4)).

Please see section Designer CDM Duties for a detailed guidance on the relevant duties applicable on designers under the CDM Regulations 2015.

The above information to be provided by designers should include and cover the design, construction and post-completion occupation phases.

It is now a well established practice to use Designer Risk Assessments (DRAs) to fulfil the above requirements. However, this information can also be included on drawings etc.

We (Safescope) act as Principal Designer and receive a number of DRAs on a regular basis. Disappointingly, the majority of DRAs (almost 90%) tend to be very generic and a tick box exercise. In reality, DRAs are a great opportunity for designers to proactively inform the relevant parties about the risks that they are aware of in a project .

Residual Design Risk Assessment (DRAs) at post completion stage are essential to inform the client about the residual health and safety risks that the client is expected to manage. Failure to provide this information can lead to injuries during post completion phase resulting in potential liability or even prosecution for designers.

However, it is also a fact that there are no good examples or effective CPD training courses available to assist the designers in writing project specific and effective DRAs. The DRA template should include design, pre-construction, construction and post completion sections and ideally should be no more than two A4 pages for a medium size project (say up to £1m). Safescope have developed 'A Practical Guidance on Designer Duties' and a 'Sample Design Risk Assessment (DRA)' to assist designers.

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

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

Dr. Khalid Bhutto - Safescope
T:  01473 407020
M: 07818 288122
E:  KBhutto@safescope.com