With regard to the debate between John Banks and Mike Evans (NCE 8 February) on the Construction Design & Management regulations and the role of the planning supervisor I must point out the planning supervisor and principal contractor are appointments.
The designer is not dependent on appointment.
Any decision or requirement which steers a design down one particular path is a design decision and the decision maker becomes a designer under the regs.
In a design and build situation, just how many contractors see themselves as the designer? The contractor may easily overlook his legal responsibilities and incorrectly delegate it all to his designers - often a firm of consulting engineers.
The contractor/principal contractor may then impose his preferences upon his designers, with little regard for the health and safety implications. Many then expect their designers to produce a design risk assessment to cover matters over which they had no input or choice.
The role of the planning supervisor is both relevant and important to encourage a better health and safety awareness of each part of the design and project management process.
The issue is not whether or not the role improves health and safety, it is whether or not the industry is employing the right sort of people in the role.
The regs are fine, with some minor changes still to be made.
What we do with them and who we get to do the job is where we often get it wrong.
Graham Leech Graham.Leech@maunsell. co.