The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (Section 17) requires a person who commissions construction work to appoint competent persons to ensure that the project : 

(a) is designed and is capable of being constructed to be safe and without risk to health, 

(b) is constructed to be safe and without risk to health, 

(c) can be maintained safely and without risk to health during subsequent use, and 

(d) complies in all respects, as appropriate, with the relevant statutory provisions. 


These requirements embody the full life cycle approach to health and safety required by stakeholders in the project. 

The Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations provide more detail on the requirements of Section 17. Specifically, they outline the legal requirement for a client to appoint project supervisors for the design process and the construction phase. These are defined as the Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP) and the Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS). 

A PSDP is an individual or body corporate, such as a firm of architects, chartered surveyors, consulting engineers, project managers , contractor or H&S consultant who has the necessary competence to carry out the relevant duties. 

A project requires the appointment of a PSDP when: 

  • The construction work is expected to take longer <30 working days; 
  • if the work involves more than one contractor (or sub-contractor); 
  • if there is a particular risk present on the project; 
  • If work will exceed 500 person days. 

To ensure effectiveness in addressing and co-ordinating safety and health matters from the very early stages of a project the PSDP must be appointed before design work commences.  

The duty of the PSDP is to ensure co-ordination of the work of designers throughout the project by doing a number of different things. This includes identifying and eliminating potential project hazards where possible and reducing associated risks. 

Early intervention is key when it comes to mitigating design safety issues. Expert early-stage practical design inputs and solutions can lead to significant budget savings in the longer term through removal of issues expensive to remedy at later stages. The PSDP has a role in the construction stage in relation to temporary works and the interaction with the permanent structure, liaising with the contractor and the design team. The PSDP is responsible for the final delivery of the Safety File information to the client thereby concluding and involvement in the project from inital design to conclusion.  

Occupli Consultancy provide effective safety expertise to assist designers, architects, project managers, and more in fulfilling the roles of PSDP and Health & Safety Co-Ordinator.  

Call Darren and the Occupli Consultancy team at 021 4978100 for a confidential discussion about any upcoming construction projects that you are working on.  

Further guidance on the role and duties of the Project Supervisor for the Design Process are included in this document.  —>

Interested in becoming a PSDP? Occupli Training has a number of sessions available for the 2-day IOSH Project Supervisor Design Process two-day course.  

This course is beneficial to those who are involved in the PSDP process, including designers, specifiers, and those who need an understanding of the role/function of the PSDP. 

Upcoming course sessions: 

  • Session one: December 15th, 16th . Delivered in virtual online classroom, accessible anywhere with an internet connection. 
  • Session two: January 19th & 20th 2023. Delivered in virtual online classroom, accessible anywhere with an internet connection. 
  • Session three: February 13th & 14th 2023. Delivered in virtual online classroom, accessible anywhere with an internet connection. 

Interested to know more about the course? Read More, and register here