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Martin Barnard s safety column

Your career

CDM seven years on: lessons to be learned Last month I alerted you to the fact that the Construction Design & Management regulations had burst out of the 'fine them peanuts' syndrome. In no time at all we've had a fine of £195,000 for CDM failure.

What is also interesting is that the five significant fines since April 2002 have been for stand alone CDM offences. They no longer have to hide under the allembracing generality of the Health & Safety at Work Act.

We can expect increasingly severe penalties for CDM inadequacies, particularly if a fatal accident is involved. Judges seem to have the knack of out-doing the previous highest, often with justification because of the serious failings set out before them.

In order to understand where your organisation is most vulnerable, it is worth looking at the enforcement track record.

Analysis of the successful prosecutions under CDM gives us such an opportunity.

I can hear the cries of 'Get a life' as I offer you a breakdown of the 166 successful cases under CDM in its first seven years. But look on the bright side - you do not have to do it now, but you can gain from the trends identified.

I recognise that the illustrations can mean different things to different people. I have set out below what I would choose to start the lunch-time conversation.

lWhat is your perspective on the statistics?

lWill the trends identified influence your strategy for CDM?

lHave I got it wrong? (be gentle if I have! ).

I look forward to hearing from you all.

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