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RAY O’ROURKE CALLS FOR SAFETY THROUGH DESIGN

Construction industry supremo deplores medieval ‘manual intervention’

The CDM Regulations 2015 have been in operation across the construction industry since October 2015 and have generated a good deal of discussion and debate.

Questions exercising minds have included:

  • Principal Designers (PD) – can a design organisation which is not a member of the project design team be appointed? Must the lead designer automatically be appointed PD?
  • Former CDM-Cs – can an organisation previously offering CDM Coordinator services be appointed PD?
  • Designer actions – how far should design organisations go in eliminating hazards and designing to minimise residual risk?
  • Designer information – what information should design organisations record and provide to those implementing designs?

The central requirement is that the PD must be a designer appointed by the client with control over the project pre-construction phase (PCP) in order to plan, manage and monitor the PCP and coordinate matters relating to H&S during the PCP.

Are design organisations doing enough?

Construction News has reported on an exclusive and lengthy interview with Laing O’Rourke Chair Mr Ray O’Rourke in which he tells Construction News:

“We all have obligations to move the industry forward. People say we want health and safety. Why not get the designers to think about it?

Why don’t they worry about the health of our workforce and stop all this manual intervention, because it’s medieval.”

This comment chimes with the HSE Construction Sector Priorities for 2017 onwards which put emphasis on health issues, including musculoskeletal disorders, which account for a massive proportion ill-health across the construction sector.

HSE will also be:

“Intervening with construction clients, principal designers and designers to ensure proportionate CDM 2015 understanding and compliance, working with or through other health and safety regulators where necessary.”

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