An update on our November blog on the CDM Regulations
Since publishing our blog item "Will the Government make a disastrous mistake?" we have received a number of supporting letters, telephone calls and emails as well as requests for additional information on accident statistics over the period that the CDM Regulations have been in force.
In December 2012 we stated:
"The CDM Regulations were originally introduced in 1994 and created the role of Planning Supervisor. The Regulations were then redrafted in 2007 and these changed the Planning Supervisor's role into the current role of the CDM Co-ordinator that is a familiar part of the construction industry today. The regulations placed significant responsibilities on the Client in relation to safety, but created the CDM Co-ordinator in recognition of the fact that many Clients know little about construction or health and safety. The decision to create a dedicated role for health and safety within the design team, (rather than to leave the co-ordination role with the designers), was made in part because of the refusal of many designers to recognise their responsibility for health and safety in construction. This important step forward in the management arrangements for construction works now appears to be under threat. It would be foolhardy to change or reduce the role of the independent CDM Coordinator just as it is proving to be so effective."
"It is important that any changes proposed by the HSE build on the successes of the existing legislation whilst remedying the perceived inadequacies, but as an industry we have worked hard to reduce the appalling rate of accidents in construction and we should not forget that the CDM Regulations have been an absolutely crucial part of this. We hope that during the consultation period common sense will prevail and the Government will not set the construction industry back 30 years in terms of the number of fatal and serious injuries. We owe it to the hardworking men and women working on construction sites to do all in our power to keep them from preventable and sometimes fatal accidents."
The Health and Safety Executive have included the following statement in their website:
"There have been significant reductions in the number and rate of injury over the last 20 years or more. Nevertheless, construction remains a high risk industry. Although it accounts for only about 5% of the employees in Britain it still accounts for 22% of fatal injuries to employees and 10% of reported major injuries."
From our research we have found that the annual rate of fatalities on construction sites has reduced by 62% since the introduction of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994. Over the same period the rate of major injuries on construction sites has reduced by 38%.
It is a significant fact that between 45% and 60% of fatal and major injury accidents on construction sites take place on refurbishment projects, many of which are not the subject of formal notification to the HSE.
We reiterate that we hope that during the consultation period common sense will prevail and the Government will not set the construction industry back 30 years in terms of the number of fatal and serious injuries.