Last edited 17 Sep 2020

CDM principles of prevention

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations) are intended to ensure that health and safety issues are properly considered during a project’s development so that the risk of harm to those who build, use and maintain structures is reduced.

They require that designers, principal designers, principal contractors and contractors to take account of the 'principles of prevention' in carrying out their duties. The principles of prevention are specified in Schedule 1 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 which apply to all industries, including construction. They provide a framework to identify and implement measures to control risks and in general terms are:

  • (a) Avoid risks where possible.
  • (b) Evaluate those risks that cannot be avoided.
  • (c) Put in place measures that control them at source.
  • (d) Adapt the work to the individual, especially regarding the design of workplaces, the choice of work equipment and the choice of working and production methods, with a view, in particular, to alleviating monotonous work, work at a predetermined work rate and to reducing their effect on health.
  • (e) Adapt to technical progress.
  • (f) Replace the dangerous by the non-dangerous or the less dangerous.
  • (g) Develop a coherent overall prevention policy which covers technology, organisation of work, working conditions, social relationships and the influence of factors relating to the working environment.
  • (h) Give collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures.
  • (i) Give appropriate instructions to employees.

NB see also Fire principles of prevention.

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