Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Oh really, Reilly


Nick Reilly queries whether the Construction Design & Management regulations (CDM) have materially improved construction safety (NCE 8 November).

One must look beyond the immediate cause of any accident to why those concerned were required to do the task that led to the incident.

Nor should one think purely in terms of deaths as occupational health affects tens of thousands.

Design responsibilities under CDM mean that fragile roof lights are no longer specified.

Also, few dense concrete blocks are now used and as a result there should be fewer long term back injuries among bricklayers.

Most site deaths result from falls from height. Encouraging pre-fabrication can result in a tidier, more mechanised site with fewer people working at height.

Designers can ensure the site is thoroughly investigated beforehand. Asbestos, land contamination, underground services or structural weaknesses often play a part in incidents.

If something is easier to build then it will often also be safer and cheaper to build. Designers are at the centre of such decisions and must take a share of the responsibility.

Jeffrey Smith (M), 4 Baden Drive, Horley, Surrey, RH6 8SD

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.