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CDM changes aim to target designers

CHANGES TO the construction design and management (CDM) regulations will make it easier to prosecute designers whose work leads to accidents on site, it emerged last week.

The changes were announced against the latest Health & Safety Executive figures, which show that 48 people died in the construction industry in the six months to September.

Health & Safety Commission chairman Bill Callaghan announced the planned changes to the CDM approved code of practice while speaking at the Revitalising Health & Safety in Construction conference in London last week.

It is hoped that the changes will clarify the duties of designers under the regulations, preventing unscrupulous engineers from claiming ignorance as a reason for failing to ensure work can be carried out safely.

More transparent responsibilities will also make prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) easier. The changes will come in to force next February.

Health and safety minister Nick Raynsford also told the conference that the accident figures showed the need for dramatic progress, adding that he would argue for more government funding to recruit more HSE inspectors.

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