There has been an on-going discussion and debate about the forthcoming changes to the CDM Regulations, and the impact that they will have on the role of the CDM Co-ordinator. The idea is that a Principle Designer will have the H&S responsibility at the design phase, and that Principle Contractor will have the same during construction. The co-ordination responsibility is being removed.
APS (the Association for Project Safety) has hosted much of the debate. I have picked, and paraphrased, a few “pearls” :-
- The decision to create a dedicated H&S role within the design team was made (in 1994) because of the refusal of many designers to recognise their H&S responsibility.
- There are numerous occasions when the lack of an early appointment limits the CDM Co-ordinator’s ability to influence the design phase.
- Every project should have someone involved who is seriously, and independently, interested in effective construction risk management.
- Why limit the Principle Designers role to pre-construction, surely there is a need for continuity.
It seems that we are still avoiding the basic issue that “good design” needs to be safely buildable and safely maintainable. The options and alternatives to achieve this are increasingly specialist, and are changing very fast. If the designers, planners, and tenderers within a project lack the specialist knowledge, experience, or skills to achieve this, they should take advice. Early advice is normally more efficient and more effective.