The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has refuted claims that the 1994 Construction (Design and Management) regulations do nothing to improve site safety.
A paper published in the ICE proceedings last week by Alistair Beal entitled 'CDM Regulations: 12 years of pain but little gain' said that the 1994 CDM Regulations had failed to produce the benets which were predicted by the HSE at the time. Based on HSE statistics, it appears that the regulations have had no effect on site deaths and injuries.
An HSE spokesman said 'Alistair Beal's paper is a detailed critique of CDM 1994. The long-term decline in accidents highlighted in the paper, is to be celebrated. [But] it may not be as easy as the paper suggests to completely eliminate the impact of CDM 1994 from the list of possible drivers.' The spokesman added: 'It is notoriously difcult to attribute a single cause for improvement'.
Beal's paper states that rather than CDM, 'the consistent reductions [in accidents] over the period 1964?1994 reflect changes in working practices, improvements in site equipment and also the effects of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 197415 and other safety legislation (e. g. compulsory wearing of hard hats).'