A View of Construction Design Management (CDM) to Help you Manage Health by Design

We should use the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) resources as a baseline of good processes and tools for general Health by Design developments. However, we need to build upon these to make sure health and wellbeing gets the attention it deserves.

The legal nature of CDM means many good processes and tools have already been developed for it. So, we can use them as good practice principles for our Health by Design activities.

The CDM regulations are well documented and you can find detailed supporting information on the HSE, ICE and CiTB websites:

The supporting CDM information provides us with a platform to build upon. Many of the processes and tools can be adapted to give strong support to Health by Design.

However, we should question whether clients, designers and contractors are currently equipped to manage either the long-standing health and wellbeing requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations, or the ever changing societal demands about how health and wellbeing is managed.

The CDM gives us our legal framework to manage health and safety in construction; but health has remained a less developed area, as it is harder to understand cause and effect. What is ‘reasonably practicable’ to do in the management of health and wellbeing can be seen as balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the real risk in terms of money, time or trouble.

Some may suggest that more can be done to understand whether actions are being taken to manage health and wellbeing risk up to a reasonably practicable level. To understand this, we need our community of stakeholders to share existing tools and/or to develop new tools which can help support:

  • The maturity of decision making
  • The cost versus benefit of health interventions
  • The level of beneficial impact that can be made to produce healthier designs.
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