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CDM guidance put back as HSE and authors lock horns

DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and authors of guidance for the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 has delayed publication of two vital advice documents for clients and CDM co-ordinators.

Guidance for designers, principal contractors, contractors and workers was published on 6 April with the revised CDM regulations. But disagreement over content has prevented publication of the final two documents.

Author of the clients' guidance, BBC construction safety specialist Mark Poole, said: fiI have the - nal draft, but am arguing with the HSE over interpretation. fl Poole is demanding that checklists and tables designed to help clients prove compliance with the regulations are included. But the HSE insists that this goes beyond what the guidance should provide.

He said that a lawyer for the Construction Clients' Group (CCG) has warned him that the guidance does not go far enough to protect clients.

fiI've been bounced from pillar to post, fl said Poole fiThe HSE knows I've had a tough time with the CCG and the CCG knows I've had a tough time with the HSE, but the whole thing has lacked proper structure. fl NCE understands that the HSE has also asked past president of the Association for Project Safety Greg Brown, who wrote the CDM coordinators' guidance, to re-write sections of his document.

The HSE was not available to comment as NCE went to press.

Clients and CDM co-ordinators should have been able to download the industry produced guidance from the Construction Industry Training Board.

Instead, visitors are greeted by an apology stating that the Construction Industry Advisory Committee Guidance Working Group has not completed the drafting, checking and reviewing of these two documents.

HSE's involvement in writing and editing the fiindustry produced guidancefl was criticised by Habilis Health and Safety Solutions managing director Liz Bennett.

fiIf the HSE has the power of veto it's not industry produced guidance at all, fl she said. fiIt's the HSE pretending to have industry produced guidance by placing it on the construction skills website. fl Jon Young

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