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Skill shortage threatens CDM

Staff shortages could undermine changes to the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007).

Employers might be unable to recruit enough suitable staff to fill the newly created CDM coordinator role, it was revealed this week.

Atkins CDM team leader Andrew Stevens said the firm was having difficulty recruiting for the coordinator positions.

"It's not the standard of people applying that's the problem, it's that there aren't enough people applying," said Stevens.

It is also likely that CDM coordinators operating in the role could be rendered impotent by clients and design teams uncommitted to health and safety.

CDM 2007 was introduced on April 6 last year to simplify the responsibilities for health andsafety on projects, at the design and construction stages.

Initially, planning supervisors were responsible for ensuring the new regulations were adhered to.

Now, one year on, each project must have an approved CDM coordinator who must meet higher competence requirements compared to those required of planning supervisors.

"The CDM coordinator should be a good experienced designer with a sufficient knowledge of health and safety risk," said health and safety consultant, John Carpenter.

"What might be perceived as high standards originates from the role and what kind of person is needed for that role."

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