Construction safety

Clients influence on construction safety

Design process

Construction clients have a number of legal duties under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 (the Construction Regulations).

These include:

  • Appointing competent designers, contractors and (where required) Project Supervisors. Project Supervisors for the Design Process (PSPD) must legally be appointed at the start of the design.
  • To make relevant information, Safety Files, Safety Plans etc., available to designers, contractors and Project Supervisor.
  • Notify the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) of construction work scheduled to take great than 30 days (or 500 person days)
Safety in design

The very early decisions made concerning a project by the Client and designers have the most influence on the safety and health of those who will be building the structure and those who will be operating and maintaining the structure. Conversely, those worst affected from a risk perspective have the least influence over the major early design decisions that will impact their safety and health. It is vitally important that the Client considers safety factors at the earliest possible stage of a project. Appointing a competent PSDP is not only a legal obligation*, but it is also crucial to help ensure safety in design is factored in at the inception of projects.

*Project supervisors are legally required if any of the criteria below apply:

  • there’s more than one contractor involved; 
  • the work is scheduled to last more than 30 days (or 500 person days); or
  • there’s a particular risk.
MKO client consultation service

We support clients in fulfilling their regulatory duties under the Construction Regulations by:

  • Submitting site notification, AF1 Form, to HSA on Client’s behalf
  • Assist clients in competency and resource assessments of designers, contractors, and Project Supervisors
  • Fulfilling the role of the PSDP
  • Ongoing liaison and Client support for the project duration
  • Agree on safety file format and content with the client and deliver safety file to the client at the project conclusion
MKO PSDP service

Our team has extensive experience in fulfilling the PSDP role. We ensure that:

  • Safety is at the forefront of the minds of designers for the constructability of the project as well as for the Client’s future use, maintenance and eventual demolition/decommissioning.
  • Ensure design risk assessments, temporary and permanent works design certificates etc. are completed and that designers co-operate with each other and with the Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS) and contractors so that all designs are co-ordinated.
  • Organise cooperation between project designers so that all necessary designs, calculations, design assumptions, and other necessary information are communicated and available to the relevant duty holders. This is particularly important at design interfaces where one designer’s work relies on another’s.


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