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Cameron in last-minute bid against new construction regs

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Conservative leader David Cameron has made a last ditch bid to stop the 'onerous' Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) just days before they are due to come into force.

The new tightened regulations, which will begin on 6 April, will place significant additional burdens on architects and clients in of pre- and post-design risk assessment.

However, Cameron has lodged an Early Day Motion, on behalf of the Construction Clients Group (CCG), to have the 'overly stringent' regulations shelved.

The rules, which were published in February, will mean clients will become fully accountable for the safety of employees and workers involved in construction work.

In addition, the role of planning supervisor, often carried out for an extra fee, has disappeared. This position will now be taken by a CDM coordinator, with more responsibility than the planning supervisor had previously and with significantly more onerous levels of accountability.

Speaking to Workplace Law magazine, James Preston-Hood, Chair of the CCG's health and safety working group, said that many businesses, which did not specialise in construction work, would not understand the impact of the CDM 2007 and their new criminal liabilities.

Preston-Hood said: 'We are pleased that MPs share our concerns and we hope that the parliamentary debate will help achieve a better and more effective regulatory framework that takes into consideration the overlap with other existing regulations.

'We simply want better regulation that will improve health and safety, a commitment by Government to a timetabled review of CDM with Planning and Building Regulations, and sufficient time for companies affected to be made fully aware of their new obligations.

'We need a clear enforcement policy that eases in all those with no previous construction experience. Unfortunately, we have received little evidence of this so far.'

by Richard Waite

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