Principal Designer Support Services
What is a Principal Designer?
The legal duties of the CDM Coordinator expired at midnight on the 5th October, the official end of the CDM2015 transition period. According to the new Regulations, under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. the Principal Designer duties, whether it’s a business or an individual, now apply to all projects where there are one or more contractors.
The Principal Designer (PD) plans, co-ordinates and monitors the design/ pre-construction phase to ensure that construction projects are carried out without risks to health or safety. As well as identifying and eliminating any potential hazards, the Principal Designer also reduces/controls residual risk which may sometimes arise from the design process.
Fundamentally, the Principal Designer role is one of health and safety management rather than aesthetics, programme or budget, which are the focus of the lead designer, project manager or architect. The Principal Designer ensures the Client & Principal Contractor are aware and understand their legal duties and that the project team effectively communicate with each other to ensure cooperation.
At Safety for Design, a key element of our role as a Principal Designer includes identification, elimination and control of foreseeable risks to the health and safety of people whether they are carrying out or affected by construction work, utilising a structure as a workplace or cleaning/maintaining a structure.
To do this effectively, communication and co-operation is key and so initially the Principal Designer produces a management plan detailing exactly how all aspects of Health and Safety are monitored during the pre-construction phase. This ensures the project team, including the designers, understand and comply with their duties and this also helps develop an effective working relationship with the Client and Principal Designer.
As the Principal Designer, Safety for Design would compile and assess all pre-existing pre-construction information, such as asbestos surveys etc. The project team receives a comprehensive report detailing any findings from this information and whether it highlights any potential health and safety issues or gaps in information.
Principal Designers are also responsible for the production and co-ordination of a design risk register where any identified risks are documented. This is an auditable document that is updated at regular intervals. From this register, Safety For Design can design specific workshops to address these issues at agreed project work stages, as and when required by the Client.
According to CDM regulations, the definition of a Principal Designer, whether it’s a business or an individual, is required to have in depth knowledge, experience and organisational skills specifically related to health and safety in construction. At Safety For Design, we more that satisfy the definition of Principal Designer, ensuring we provide effective Principal Designer services to all our Clients.
With over 100 years’ combined experience providing CDM services to major clients across the UK, our Principal Designers are all either registered Members of the Association for Project Safety or are Chartered Members of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (CMIOSH).
Safety For Design is a Registered Practice of the Association for Project Safety for both Principal Designer and CDM Advisor services. The Principal Designer and CDM Advisor services are included in our Quality Assurance accreditation to BS EN ISO 9001. These new services are also reflected in our Professional Indemnity Insurance cover.