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June 4, 2015

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Book review: CDM 2015: A Practical Guide for Architects and Designers

CDM_Regs_2015_final.inddAuthor: Paul Bussey 

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) has had everyone talking since the Health and Safety Executive’s revisions were announced in the autumn of 2014. The most controversial, perhaps, being the removal of the CDM coordinator and the introduction of the new principal designer (PD) function.

I have heard divided opinions that this change is a natural progression from something that architects and other designers are already doing, while others take the view that these new duties will increase administrative requirements and, as a result, will drive up costs.

In A practical guide for architects and designers, Paul Bussey offers an insightful view on how he sees ways in which designers can approach health and safety risk management in what he calls a ‘proportionate and practical way’.

Initially, Paul gives us a brief history of CDM, taking us back to the 1994 regulations right through to 2015. I like the table which compares duty-holder responsibilities from 2007 up to 2015.

Paul is a big advocate of communicating health and safety information using graphical images. With what appears to be an extract from a ‘real-life’ case study, Paul demonstrates what, in his view, is an effective way of applying the design hierarchy of control and the communication of health and safety hazards and risks with the construction and on-going maintenance of a structure through the use of signs and symbols on drawings.

Paul also provides analysis on various forms of Design Risk Registers and Red; Amber; Green; (RAG) charts which are widely available and commonly used.

From my experience, as a busy CDM consultant, I have found the book an extremely useful aid and support the view that DRM does and should not be a complex, paper driven process.

This is not an all-encompassing bible on the delivery of the principal designer role; there are many other guides out there. What the industry does need though are examples of what ‘good practice’ looks like and this comes with my endorsement.

Lydia Edwards is a CDM consultant at Salisbury Compliance.

CDM 2015: A Practical Guide for Architects and Designers by Paul Bussey is available from RIBA Publishing for £25.00.

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