Assistance with Construction (Design and Management) CDM...

The principals in Expert Ease International have been involved with construction design and construction management since before the first iteration of Construction (Design and Management) regulations, back in 1994 (GB) / 1995 (NI) and are well placed to assist with any safety, health or wellbeing matter you might encounter. Our prevention through design approach, now a widely observed practice, espoused by many in the industry and by the regulator can help you deliver on your professional and legal obligations, without interfering with the creative process. 

You can come to one of our open 'designer safety day' sessions or request an in-house event that can be tailored to your organisation's exact requirements. Use the Contact Us button above if you require further information about your CDM responsibilities or wish to have Expert Ease International assist with training in your organisation.

Birth of the Principal Designer (in United Kingdom)

6th April 2015 witnessed the dawn of a new era in construction safety, health and wellbeing for Great Britain [followed in April 2016 for the Northern Ireland construction industry]. 

Today the CDM Coordinator is no more and the Principal Designer arises as a key responsible position in the determination of a safe and healthy construction project, with design responsibilities spanning from concept through to the eventual demolition of the project. An enormous responsibility but one for which professionally qualified engineers have been educated, trained and deemed ready and able, by dint of their Chartered Professional Review. The Institution of Civil Engineers’ Royal Charter, Bylaws, Regulations and Rules require that:

Members who are responsible for the work of others or who have a management responsibility for other persons must take responsibility for the work produced. Members must therefore ensure that all such persons are appropriately qualified and supervised in a manner appropriate to their competence and that such persons have full regard to the public interest, particularly in relation to matters of health and safety. Members must also ensure that they have the knowledge and expertise to effectively oversee the work for which they are accountable.

The professional responsibility is clearly set out and the rigour of the Charter process must stand the test of time. A lot rests on this. With the introduction of the Principal Designer into the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 [CDM 2015] and CDM(NI) 2016 construction design and management has come of age. Through the earlier iterations of CDM (1994, 2007) the opportunities for correctly addressing the fundamental role of design safety coordination; a requirement of ‘Directive 92/57/EEC temporary or mobile construction sites’ has been missed and in the process misused. It is and always has been within the purview of the professional design engineer to ensure that their designs are such that they can be built, used, maintained and eventually demolished in a manner that does not cause harm to construction personnel, end users, maintenance operatives, demolition specialists, and others who may come into contact with the project. And indeed, the principles of Prevention through Design uphold the same notion.

An opportunity presents the GB and the Northern Ireland construction industry today. It is time to stop interpreting and reinterpreting the legislative intent, stop looking for the small print and start focussing on the process of producing inherently safe[r] designs. That is within the gift of each person within the construction design profession. Within construction let us consider CDM 2015/ CDM(NI) 2016 as the new era where society is presenting the challenge for safer and healthier ways of designing and constructing its infrastructure. It is a time for creativity and innovation to be encapsulated into one ‘inherently safe’ design thinking approach to construction where all designers, led by a principal designer unleash the power of creative thinking as innovative solutions emerge.

In time as we look back and reflect we should be able to acknowledge that the we in no small way played a part in delivering on the principles set down in the Seoul Declaration on Safety and health at Work (2008);

A national preventative safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the principle of prevention is accorded the highest priority.”

Use the Contact Us button above if you require further about Principal Designer responsibilities or wish to have Expert Ease International assist with training Principal Designers in your organisation.

Prevention through Design 

How can designers’ competence be developed and used in a meaningful and beneficial way to ensure the development of inherently safe(r) designs and the delivery of the objective that designs should be such that they can be built, used, maintained and eventually demolished safely.

The success of any construction process begins with the client and his willingness to commission a project that will bear the test of time and stand acknowledged by present and future generations as a symbol of excellence in the built environment. The translation of that desire into preliminary drawings, detailed plans, construction and eventually to the finished project will fall to the architects and designers, engineers and principal contractors. The relationship between these players is crucial to the successful implementation of the client‘s wishes. It has been said that the million-dollar mistake can be traced back to these early stages in the design process and the decisions made at the first scribbling of the design, whereas with early identification and correction, using a structured design checking process the costs would be marginal, by comparison.

Designers are in a unique position, using Prevention through Design approaches to eliminate or reduce the risks that arise during construction work and have a key role to play in the design and management of construction projects. The earliest design decisions can fundamentally affect safety and health. It is tasked to the designers and engineers to advise the client on the feasibility and viability of his project as well as the resource requirements to make it work. Behind any project there are fundamental principles that are universally applicable and which the designers and engineers must keep to the fore from the outset. And at the heart of the achievement of these principles are educational and professional standards.

Use the Contact Us button above if you require further about PtD or wish to have Expert Ease International assist with introduction of PtD to your organisation.