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New regulations unlikely to reach statute book before April 2006 as debate over CDM continues

THE HEALTH and Safety Executive's review of the Construction (Design and Management) regulations has slipped further behind schedule.

The organisation was due to publish a consultation document on proposed changes in April, but sources close to the drafting of the new rules - known as the Construction Regulations 2005 - said this had little chance of appearing before next March.

Industry committee Coniac and the Health and Safety Commission will consider the regulations before Christmas, but they are unlikely to reach the statute book before April 2006.

The CDM review group first met in September 2003, but it is understood there has been fierce debate over changes.

Clients and trade unions have been at odds over proposals to make clients appoint contractors at least four weeks before work begins on site.

One insider said: 'The clients were saying that there was not a good business case for the fourweek rule. But there would be a better chance of getting a site up with proper facilities for the workforce than when someone starts with 48 hours' notice and a letter of intent.'

The review is also looking at replacing planning consultants with co-ordinators in an attempt to end standardised method statements and risk assessments not tailored to individual sites.

Other insiders said the draft regulations' requirements for method statements and adequate health and safety inductions would shift more bureaucracy and risk on to contractors rather than clients.

Sources close to the