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    Ten questions unlock door to Principal Designer CDM compliance

    The CDM Regulations 2015 are taking time to ‘bed down’ as demonstrated by the responses to our recent CDM 2015 Five Minute Survey. See below. We hear and read reports of uncertainty and confusion despite the presence of extensive HSE and Industry Guidance explaining the regulations.

    We have therefore decided to distill what is required of each CDM 2015 duty holder into a set of simple questions which can be used to structure self-appraisal and confirm compliance with the new legislation.

    These questions are those most likely to be asked by HSE during a routine project intervention or incident investigation. The strength and veracity of your answers may affect the prospect of enforcement action by the regulator.

    A major objective of CDM 2015 is to promote more positive action during the project design and preparation stage. Our second set of ‘Killer Questions’ therefore deal with the role of the Principal Designer.

    See also our ‘Killer Question’ for Clients, Designers and Principal Contractors.

    Remember – reference to ‘Principal Designer’ duties means the duties of the appointed business / organisation and not the employees who carry out the actual work of the Principal Designer.

    What are YOUR answers to these questions?

    The following questions are based on the legal requirements on Principal Designers under CDM 2015. A robust answer to each of these ‘Ten Killer Questions for Principal Designers’ should deliver compliance with your responsibilities.

    1. Client awareness – How do you satisfy yourself that the client is aware of their CDM 2015 duties?
    2. Skills and knowledge etc. – How do you ensure you have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capabilities in place on the project?
    3. Pre-construction information  – How do you assist the client in the provision of pre-construction information (PCI) to designers and contractors?
    4. Designer compliance – How do you ensure that all designers working on the project comply with their CDM duties?
    5. Control of pre-construction phase  – How do you plan, manage and monitor the pre-construction phase and coordinate matters relating to health and safety during the pre-construction phase?
    6. Risk avoidance – How do you, during the pre-construction phase, identify and eliminate or control foreseeable risks to those carrying out or liable to be affected by construction work; maintaining or cleaning a structure; or using a structure designed as a workplace?
    7. Principles of prevention – How do you take into account the general principles of prevention and any construction phase plan and health and safety file (where relevant)?
    8. Cooperation with others – How do you ensure all persons working in relation to the pre-construction phase cooperate with you, the client and each other?
    9. Liaison with PC – How do you liaise with the principal contractor and share information relevant to the planning, management and monitoring of the construction phase and the coordination of health and safety matters during the construction phase?
    10. Health and safety file –  How do you ensure the health and safety file is prepared, reviewed, updated and revised from time to time and passed to the client?

    The questions can be used to structure your consideration of the HSE and Industry Guidance.

    CDM 2015 Information and Templates

    See our initial CDM 2015 Survey taken after 6 months and our further survey taken 12 months after the CDM Regulations 2015 came into operation.

    We have published a great deal of further information and templates designed to support Clients, Designers, Principal Designers/Contractors and Contractors in meeting their duties under CDM Regulations 2015.


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