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HSE audits designers' CDM safety compliance

DESIGNERS ARE to be audited by the Health & Safety Executive to check how safely they design buildings under the Construction (Design & Management) regulations.

Six trial audits are under way around the country using volunteer design companies. Trials will assess how a larger scale scheme would work in practice.

HSE chief inspector of construction Kevin Myers unveiled the audits last week when he gave the annual Symonds Safety Lecture at the ICE.

'HSE is developing an auditing approach to review how designers go about approaching and discharging their CDM duties, ' he said. The intention is to benchmark what is going on and spread good practice.

NCE's recent safety survey revealed that 75% of engineers believe consultants could design safer construction projects (NCE 22 February).

Many CDM studies are paper exercises with little or no thought given to how a building could be erected in a safer fashion, it is believed.

Under CDM, designers have a responsibility to design for safety at all stages of a building's life - during construction, in use and for demolition.

The CDM regulations are due for a review - likely to last three years - next year.

Sir John Egan is to head a taskforce to track how well the construction industry is progressing towards meeting the targets it set itself at the February safety summit (NCE 1 March). First results will be revealed at a Working Well Together conference in October.

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