ACE's Health and Safety forum were pleased to welcome Gavin Bull from the HSE to talk about CDM 2015 and the Principal Designer role to their quarterly meeting in November 2017.
Gavin is an Inspector of Health and Safety in the Construction Division within the HSE, and provided a useful overview of the principal designer role. He explained that one of the roles of the principal designer was to coordinate the management of design risk, and minimise the problems that could occur in identifying risk at the interface of different design roles and functions.
He emphasised that clarity of roles within a clear framework is vital. Contractors and clients often act like designers which can cause problems. A clear contract and coordination protocol is important. Likewise established practice needs to be followed, if applying British codes and with a clear principal designer role, you can defend actions taken and require people to do what they are meant to be doing.
A lively discussion covering temporary works issues, client role and influence and emergence of good practice followed Gavin’s presentation.
Laura Hague is the Group Safety manager at Mott MacDonald and the chair of ACE's Health and Safety forum.