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A safety song and dance

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The health and safety article 'Safer than you think' (AJ 1.2.01) was a useful reminder that fatalities on building sites are declining. It showed that the concentration on 'risk awareness' - especially since the risks are completely overstated - will not necessarily improve safety further.

I would have thought that the improvements in accident statistics would have been a cause of celebration, rather than the current clamour for more rigorous CDM revisions. The design and construction industry operates on tight time and cost margins and the imposition of more paper-shuffling exercises means that energy is not being spent on real improvements on sites.

Architects and contractors need less bureaucracy and more common sense. Some architects do not have a great deal of common sense, I know, but you can't regulate everyone because of the failures of a few.

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