Principal Designer

Principal Designer

The introduction by the HSE of the new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 has re-focused emphasis on the duties necessary to ensure healthy and safe working environments within the construction and wider property industries. 

Fundamentally, the new regulations have removed the familiar CDM Coordinator (CDMC) role and introduced a new duty holder - the Principal Designer - created to ensure that the principles of healthy and safe construction are at the heart of the project team, not peripheral to it.  The Principal Designer can be an organization or, on smaller projects, an individual with a technical knowledge of the construction industry relevant to the project, an understanding of how health and safety is managed through the design process and the skills to be able to oversee health and safety during the pre-construction phase of the project and the on-going design.

The transitional period from the CDM Regulations 2007 which allowed previously appointed CDM Coordinators to continue in their role up to 6 October 2015 has now passed, meaning that the CDM Coordinator role is no more.  By 6 October, clients must have appointed a Principal Designer for all qualifying projects (existing and new) or assume the legal duties imposed by that role themselves until they do make such an appointment.

The Principal Designer role comes with specific duties, liabilities and expectations of relevant experience. Not all designers are comfortable taking on these broader duties and, for these situations, TFT is qualified to act as Principal Designer. This allows the designers to concentrate on design excellence whilst we work with you manage the health and safety aspects of the design. So while the CDM Coordinator role may have gone, the skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability of our team, honed over many years of advising and supporting clients, contractors and other consultants remains.  This experience may also be useful where we are not appointed as Principal Designers, as we can still offer this insight, advice and assistance as Adviser to the Principal Designer or Client Advisor to help you discharge the new duties which you are now liable for.

Our systems and model documentation have been updated to reflect the new regulations.  We retain our long-standing practice of being fully-embedded into the project process and continue to provide timely creation, distribution and monitoring of pre-construction information. As Principal Designer, Adviser to the Principal Designer or Client Adviser, we visit the site, attend key project meetings, chair design hazard and risk workshops, monitor management arrangements and prepare the health and safety file.

Our lead CDM Advisers are registered competent by the Association for Project Safety (APS). TFT are a corporate member of APS, accredited by the Contractor Health & Safety Scheme (CHAS) and members of the British Safety Council.

For more information on the recent changes to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, click here.

 

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Robert Bruce FRICS

Robert is a Partner in TFT’s Guildford office specialising in expert witness work, dilapidations and party wall disputes.

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