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HSE under fire over 'co-ordinators' plan

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HEALTH & SAFETY Executive (HSE) proposals to replace planning supervisors with health and safety 'co-ordinators' this week came under fire from safety experts.

Co-ordinators will be created by the planned revisions to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations scheduled for October 2006 (NCE 21 April).

In the current discussion draft co-ordinators would be responsible for checking buildability and maintainability as well as health and safety.

But critics said they would be 'toothless dogsbodies with no powers', and 'having responsibilities but no clout'.

Independent safety consultant John Anderson said that current proposals give the co-ordinator no power to enforce health and safety standards on site.

'He couldn't order work stopped, or give instructions to the contractor, ' said Anderson.

'He can only report his findings to the client - who doesn't have to accept them.' HSE construction policy advisor Cathy Kerby said that the current draft required the client to ensure that the co-ordinator carried out his responsibilities. 'The coordinator would be acting with the authority of the client, ' she said. 'But this is open to review. We would welcome suggestions as to other options.'

INFOPLUS To view the proposed changes to the CDM Regulations and take part in the online debate, go to www. nceplus. co. uk

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