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Designers work on CSCS alternative

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CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS are working on a designers' alternative to the Construction Skills Certification scheme (CSCS), it emerged this week.

They believe that the CSCS test focuses too much on site safety instead of the whole design process.

Safety in Design (SiD) has been set up to give designers guidance on how to meet the requirements of the Construction Design & Management (CDM) regulations. This is not covered by the CSCS cards.

SiD aims to develop a test to certify individual designers' safety awareness.

'Setting the industry benchmark for health and safety will be led by industry, not the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), ' said SiD director and architect Tim Gough.

SiD is also concerned about the prosecution of some consultants by the HSE and the lack of guidance to help designers comply with the CDM regulations.

Consultant Andrew Allan was prosecuted under the CDM regulations but the case against him collapsed in court (NCE 13 May).

'We must not allow the courts to vilify our members for relatively minor breaches, ' said health and safety consultant Liz Bennett.

SiD is chaired by Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke with input from the Institution of Occupational Health and the HSE.

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