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Clients face uphill battle with new CDM regs warns NCE readers poll

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CLIENTS WILL struggle to fulfil their responsibilities under the revised Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) regulations, engineers warned this week.

In a survey of 500 NCE readers, respondents expressed fears that clients lack the skills to take on the increased responsibility and liability given to them under the revised regulations.

'Clients have in many cases lost their own knowledge skill base and understanding of many of the design, safety and liability issues associated with the procurement, maintenance and development of the infrastructure that they own, ' claimed one survey respondent.

The respondent's fears were reflected in the survey results which showed the client to be the most unsure of its revised responsibilities with some 60% of client respondents claiming they did not understand their new responsibilities.

They were also among the least active when it comes to training with just 9% having attended a course compared to an average of 14%.

'The interface between the client and the consultant/contractor is vulnerable to this lack of client understanding.

'At best a culture of form filling can develop and at worst a complete lack of any attention to CDM. This could be through lack of knowledge or a perception of excessive and irrelevant paperwork and cost, ' said one respondent.

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