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    CDM 2007 DESIGNER ‘TRAFFIC LIGHT’ GUIDANCE

    HSE publish red, amber and green lists for greater safety through design

    Guidance for designers under CDM 2007 consisting of red, amber and green lists have now been published by the Health and Safety Executive.

    The lists are described as “practical aides to designers on what to eliminate/avoid, and what to encourage”. The lists comprise:

    • Red List: hazardous procedures, products and processes that should be eliminated from the project where possible. For example, ‘specification of structural steelwork which is not purposely designed to accommodate safety nets';
    • Amber List: products, processes and procedures to be eliminated or reduced as far as possible and only specified/allowed if unavoidable. Including amber items would always lead to the provision of information to the Principal Contractor. For example, ‘specification of solvent-based paints and thinners, or isocyanates, particularly for use in confined areas';
    • Green List: products, processes and procedures to be positively encouraged. For example, ‘off site fabrication and prefabricated elements to minimize on site hazards’.

    The HSE webpages now also include details of designer Do’s and Don’ts taken from the CDM 2007 Approved Code of Practice and intended to address “misconceptions about CDM”.

    Comment

    The ‘traffic light’ lists mark a return to similar guidance in place under the CDM Regulations1994. Revival of the lists probably reflects designer calls for more specific guidance on what safety through design looks like.

    The potential downside of prescriptive lists is the impact they may have on designer judgement and discretion. Design practices will now be well advised to ensure that the lists are explicitly considered as part of their CDM 2007 processes.

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