CDM 2015 created the role of principal designer, and under the Regulations, this duty holder is responsible for managing health and safety during the pre-construction phase. What information should a principal designer provide to comply with the regulations?
Firstly, the principal designer role is about more that just supplying information, but the communication of information to other duty holders on the project is a key duty.
At the start of the project, the principal designer should provide the client with information on their skills, knowledge, training and experience, and how they will fulfil the role.
The principal designer has some big responsibilities regarding two of the three main CDM documents:
It is the principal designers role to provide advise the the client about the information required for the pre-construction information, and to provide this information to all designers, and to the principal contractor.
The principal designer will also need to structure, format, and gather the required content for the health and safety file, and provide this to the client at the end of the project.
The principal designer is responsible for coordinating health and safety information at the pre-construction phase.
Part of this responsibility will include sharing pre-construction information such as surveys, drawings, services, and any other relevant information between designers.
Information on the proposed expectations, methods of communication, circulation or information and attendance at meetings should be shared with the team throughout the pre-construction phase.
The principal designer acts as the key point of contact for sharing information between the design team.
Any issues with health and safety, remaining risks, design changes, or further information gathered will need to be responded to by the principal designer, including answering any questions or queries.
The principal designer can update the client on progress, status of information gathering and feedback on any significant health and safety issues.
During the construction phase of the project, the principal designer will have handed over the pre-construction information to the principal contractor, as well as information on what will be required for finalising the health and safety file.
The principal designer will also need to pass on information in response to any queries or questions regarding the design that may arise.
On completion, the principal designer is responsible for handing over the finished health and safety file to the client, or, if the appointment finished prior to completion, they will provide the information to the principal contractor.