Designers have an important role with regards to the management of Health and Safety.
Their decisions can affect the health and safety of not only those carrying out the construction work, but those who use, maintain, repair, clean, refurbish and eventually demolish a building / structure.
Who is a Designer?
A designer is an organisation or individual whose work involves preparing or modifying designs for construction projects, or arranging for, or instructing, others to do this.
Typically, designers would be architects, consulting engineers and quantity surveyors, or anyone who specifies or alters designs as part of their work.
CDM regulations define a designer as:
‘any person (including a client, contractor or other person referred to in these Regulations) who in the course or furtherance of a business prepares or modifies a design; or arranges for, or instructs, any person under their control to do so.’
This means that individuals and organisations such as contractors or tradespeople or even commercial clients, may be classed as designers where they become actively involved in design.
What is a designer required to do under CDM?
Regulation 9 places several duties on the designer.
Firstly, a designer must not commence work in relation to a project unless satisfied that the client is aware of the duties owed by the client under these Regulations.
When preparing or modifying a design the designer must take into account the general principles of prevention and any pre-construction information to eliminate, so far as is reasonably practicable, foreseeable risks to the health or safety of any person.
However, if it is not possible to eliminate these risks, the designer must, so far as is reasonably practicable, take steps to reduce or, if that is not possible, control the risks through the subsequent design process. Information of any residual risks should then be communicated to the Principal Designer and the design team.
Finally, a designer must take all reasonable steps to provide, with the design, sufficient information about the design, construction or maintenance of the structure, to adequately assist the client, other designers and contractors to comply with their duties under these Regulations.