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Delays could scupper health and safety plans

Attempts to improve construction's health and safety record could be derailed by delays in publishing an approved code of practise (ACOP) for the revised Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, a leading safety advisor warned this week.
The Health & Safety Commission submitted an ACOP, setting out the requirements of the revised CDM regs in plain English, to Health and Safety minister Lord Hunt in December.It was originally scheduled for submission in October but this was delayed due to short-staffing at the Health & Safety Executive which drafted it. The ACOP is now expected to be approved and published in February, more than a month later than expected.'We'd been hoping that the ACOP would be out by now so that the industry could read and digest it before the revised regulations come in [in April],' said secretary of the Standing Committee on Structural Safety, John Carpenter.'If people start to apply the revised regulation in the same way they're applying existing regulations the case for them will have been lost. It's an enormous hindrance.' The ACOP will 'enable all involved in a project to understand their responsibilities without having to hire a lawyer to tell them how to interpret them', Carpenter said.

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