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New United Kingdom CDM Regulations 2007 Prove Controversial

New Construction Design and Safety (CDM) regulations came into force last month. However, many have wondered whether the perpetuation of these regulations, given their cost, was justified and whether there would not be better ways to spend the large amount of money incurred in compliance.

The NCE (the magazine issued weekly to all Civil Engineers) in their 26 April 2007 edition, provides a letter in response to a paper written by two institution members. The paper critises the old regulations as most likely having been ineffective in reducing site accidents. It has been said that other measures were being implemented over the same period might have been largely or wholly responsible for improvements to safety when they eventually came some years after CDM implementation.

The paper backs up the points made with data from the HSE’s records, and this week’s issue shows that despite criticism from the HSE, the authors continue to question of the ‘value for money merits’ of previous CDM Regulations, while not for one minute suggesting that the drive for safety should be relaxed.

There is also concern that the new Regulations will cost more than previously.

The Construction Quality Assurance (CQA) professional will be thankful that he does not have to take primary responsibility for site safety, particularly at this time.

He /she will not need to undertstand the detail of these new regulations, and the CQA staff on any project will continue for their part to work within the Health & Safety at Work Act requirements. These remain unchanged, and require them with all others on site, to work with due diligence to ensure the safety of all their co-workers.

Nevertheless, the CQA staff on site will be concerned if the changeover causes any reduction in site safety supervision by the Principal Contractor. It should not, but constant vigilence will be needed, as always to ensure Health & Safety to very high levels is maintained on all landfill capping and restoration contracts.

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