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