August 2019

CDM Masterclass with Tom Branagh

Ever wondered what CDM stands for? Or what a Principal Designer’s role is? Our new Health & Safety Adviser, Tom Branagh, is here to answer all of your CDM based questions…


First and foremost Tom, what does CDM stand for?

Tom: “CDM stands for Construction Design and Managements Regulations and affects everyone involved with commissioning, designing or executing a construction project – even domestic Clients!”

Can you tell us why you need a CDM 2015 Client Adviser on your build?

Tom: “The main responsibilities for Construction Clients are to ensure all construction projects are suitably resourced and managed, and the health and safety of all who may be affected by the work, use and maintenance of the structure are protected through means of adequate communications, cooperation and coordination, and the provision of relevant information.

That’s where we come in, making sure the CDM 2015 regulations which impose greater responsibility on Construction Clients regarding health and safety are delivered. The Regulations introduce several duties and responsibilities that were not previously required of Construction Clients.


It is the Clients duty to ensure the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor are fully discharging their respective duties which can be delivered via site monitoring visits and audits, and the review of project risk management documentation.

Clients often require advice and assistance from a third party (that’s us!) to assist with the discharge of their duties. At Hunters we have the skills, knowledge and experience spanning the previous 1994 and 2007 CDM Regulations and since the 2015 Regulations, we are ideally placed to advise and assist Clients with discharging their duties.

What is a Principal Designer?

Tom: “The Principal Designer’s role involves close cooperation with the Client and designers in coordinating the work of others in the project team to ensure significant and foreseeable risks are managed throughout the design process.

You have to legally appoint a Principal Designer on your project and the role influences how the risks to health and safety should be managed and incorporated into the wider management of a project. They must liaise with the Principal Contractor in providing information relevant for the planning, managing and monitoring of the construction phase. They are also responsible for receipt of relevant health and safety information from the Principal Contractor.”

And what kind of duties must Clients projects cover?

Tom: “There are many different duties the Clients project must cover, such as…”

  • Make suitable arrangements to manage the health, safety, welfare, time and other resources of a project
  • Appoint the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor and ensure they discharge their duties
  • Maintain and review the management arrangements during both the pre-construction and construction phases of the project
  • Provide pre-construction information and ensure that a construction phase plan is drawn up prior to commencement of the construction phase
  • Ensure a health and safety file is prepared
  • Notify the HSE of the project
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that the appointed designers and contractors fulfill the requirements of skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability to secure the health and safety of any person affected by the project
  • Maintain cooperation with any person working in relation to the project or an adjoining project