According to a leading construction solicitor, ignorance of the legal wording of the Health & Safety at Work Act is leaving consultants vulnerable to criminal conviction for accidents on jobs they are designing (NCE last week).
In my opinion it is more likely to be ignorance of the designer's responsibilities that is the root problem. If the designer has carried out the design risk assessment process required by the CDM Regulations properly then it should be fairly straightforward to prove all 'reasonably practicable' steps have been taken to protect workers from foreseeable risk.
At present these are all too often seen as nothing more than a paper exercise in covering one's back once the design has been completed.
Greg Riddle, 17 Ashley Hall Gardens, Linlithgow, EH49 7DN