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CDM: the benefits are waiting to be reaped

Sir,

I CAN understand contractors' frustrations at the 'paperwork and unnecessary bureaucracy' ('Firms slam CDM paperwork' Construction News, November 13) with respect to the Construction (Design & Management) regulations, but as always nothing is black and white.

It is true there is the question of poorly qualified planning supervisors but other duty-holders also continue to show a lack of understanding. Contractors themselves often produce far too much paperwork and many designers have still not fully appreciated their role.

The key to this is the utilisation of planning supervisors able to provide guidance and take a pragmatic line, and comprehensive training for all. I have no doubt that, run appropriately, CDM is a benefit to the industry.

As to the question of 'safer sites', the aim of CDM is not only to produce safer environments during construction but also to create safer systems during the life of the structure and on subsequent amendments; if none of the duty-holders interviewed could think of any benefits what have they been doing?

John Carpenter

Symonds Facilities

Cheshire

More red tape

Sir,

I REFER to your report 'Firms slam CDM paperwork' (November 13). The Federation of Small Businesses carried out a survey earlier this year with similar results.

Many of our members have decided that they have no future in this industry and are opting out. These people are not cowboys, they have provided a good service to their customers and have never seen an accident: no doubt due to good housekeeping and practical training.

It is ironic that at a time when the government and major clients are calling for increased efficiency and cost savings, the industry should be subjected to more over-zealous bureaucracy.

While it is accepted that the industry generally does have a poor accident record, it is unlikely that mountains of paperwork will improve the situation.

Safety is achieved by on-site vigilance every minute of the day. The CDM and other regulations are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

David Brown

FSB Building Committee

London SW1E 6HF

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