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Significant Risks

CDM (GB) Knowledge Base


The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 require a risk assessment of the design after the use of the Hierarchy of Risk Control so that the significant hazards and risks remaining in the design can be highlighted to prospective principal contractors in the pre-construction information.


Significant hazards and risks are defined by the HSE as those which will require the contractor to devote extra resources to their management.

Every day issues

In other words hazards such as cement and trailing cables, which every contractor manages every day, do not fall within the category of significant risks.

Designers should address all risks associated with their designs, to attempt, so far as reasonably practicable, to eliminate or reduce those risks by their design decisions. Subsequent to this design risk reduction, the designers must supply information on the significant risks that they have not been able to design out. This means those risks that are not obvious or will be difficult to manage effectively. This information will form part of the pre-construction information provided to other members of the project team. The principal contractor and contractors will still have to perform their risk assessments and produce their safe systems of work (method statements) for all risks associated with the work, not just the 'significant risks'.

For this reason, the CDM ToolKit™ does not have a topic specifically devoted to, for example, cement. This substance is mentioned in several places and categorised as harmful in the same way as are many other hazards.

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