The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 (CDM) have placed specific statutory duties on Designers and Clients when they are part of the construction team. Engagement by the professionals within industry has not been as enthusiastic as it should have been and Health and Safety Executive Research Report 218 shows that many Designers are missing the opportunities the framework of the Regulations provides to manage design aspects of projects effectively and deliver safety on the projects in which they are engaged. Clients frequently miss the economic benefits that are inextricably linked to effective health and safety management. On the positive side there are examples of outstanding teamwork with innovative designs being built by highly competent contractors.
Accidents on construction projects have both direct and indirect costs which frequently exceed any profit margin. A simple exercise to compare the costs of relatively minor accidents against profit margins is worth while for any company. On the other hand there are real benefits to be won by teams working to deliver active project success for clients. This report is a simple selection of some of the examples of the business benefits relating to early design decisions that are linked to CDM. This selection can only include a few of the many standard or unusual ideas that a highly creative, problem solving industry continues to generate and ideally should be the beginning of a wider sharing of good practice.
The examples considered were selected because they were able to demonstrate the linkage between commercial benefits and health and safety. They provide industry exemplars. Essentially the message is clear: professional added value design in its widest sense as part of the delivery of successful projects is inextricably linked to professional health and safety management.
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