GL Ackers's letter (NCE 31 January) on the alleged diversion from health and safety by the dogmatic compliance to the CDM Regulations, and the lack of duties contained therein on employees, missed the point.
The CDM Regulations came about to address the reality that the vast majority of accidents are a consequence of management failures and inherently poor design. The employee is stuck with the environment, equipment and construction sequencing set by others and often has to make the best of a bad job.
Employees are usually the victims, as they are the ones getting injured and killed. It should be remembered that every employee has a duty under the Health and Safety Act 1974 to take reasonable care of themselves and others, co-operate with their employer, and to use work equipment provided correctly.
I agree that CDM will only make the difference when everyone involved approaches it as a means to save lives, and not to generate bulky paperwork.
Peter Carroll (M), 234 Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, BR3 3JH