CDM Principal Designer Duties

CDM Principal Designer Duties

What is a CDM Principal Designer?

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A Principal Designer is defined by the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2015 as “a designer who is an organisation or individual (on smaller projects) appointed by the client to take control of the pre-construction phase of any project involving more than one contractor.” HSE

Significant Influence over Safety

Principal Designers have a pivotal role in influencing how risks to Health, Safety and Welfare are managed throughout the Pre-Construction Phase and on into the Construction and Handover phases of the project. Design decisions made during the Pre-Construction Phase have a significant influence in ensuring the project is delivered in a way that secures the health and safety of everyone affected by the work.

CDM Principal Designer Duties

CDM Principal Designers must:

  • Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate in relation to health and safety in the Pre-Construction Phase. The Principal Designer must take account of relevant Pre-Construction Information, for example; the existing health and safety file, surveys, studies, etc. that might affect how the design develops and how the work is carried out both before and after the construction phase has started.
  • Help and advise the client to develop the Pre-Construction Information required for the project and distribute the information to Designers and Contractors that need it to carry out their duties.
  • Coordinate with any other Designers on the project to eliminate foreseeable Health, Safety and Welfare risks to anyone affected by the work and, where that is not possible, take steps to reduce or control the residual risks.
  • Ensure that everyone involved in the Pre-Construction phase of the project communicates and cooperates, coordinating their work wherever required.
  • Liaise with the Principal/Main Contractor to keep them informed of any residual risks that could not be eliminated during the Design Phase which will need to be controlled during the Construction Phase.

Domestic Client Projects

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Note: When appointed on a Domestic Client project where the Domestic Client does not appoint a Principal Designer, the role of the Principal Designer must be carried out by the Designer in control of the Pre-Construction Phase.

When working for a Domestic Client, the Client duties will normally be taken on by another duty holder (often the Principal Contractor on projects involving more than one contractor). However, the Principal Designer can enter into a written agreement with the domestic client to take on the client duties in addition to their own.

We have extensive experience of supporting Designers to comply with the CDM Regulation, please contact us to discuss how we can help you.

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