Designers have a key role in the effective management of Health & Safety during all stages of a construction project.
When working for a Domestic client, due to Regulation 7(2), a designer may unknowingly be acting as the Principal Designer and be subject to the duties placed upon them under Regulation 11 & Regulation 12.
Who is a Domestic Client?
A domestic client is any individual who has construction work carried out on their home, or the home of a family member, that is not done as part of any business.
CDM regulation state a Domestic Client ‘means a client for whom a project is being carried out which is not in the course or furtherance of a business of that client’
So what is Regulation 7(2) & what does it mean?
Regulation 7(2) states:
If a domestic client fails to make the appointments required by regulation 5 [appointment of Principal Contractor & Principal Designer] –
(a) the designer in control of the pre-construction phase of the project is the principal designer;
(b) the contractor in control of the construction phase of the project is the principal contractor.
This means that the ‘lead’ designer, usually the first appointed, will be deemed to be acting as Principal Designer, regardless of whether any formal appointment was made.
Therefore; designers need to be aware that, if the Domestic Client fails to / does not wish to appoint a Principal Designer, they and their design consultancy may be subject to these duties regardless.