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It is more than two years since the introduction of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM2007), in April 2007. Their purpose was to bear down yet further on unacceptable levels of avoidable accidents, injuries and deaths. According to the first CDM2007 Impact Survey, effective implementation of the regulations still looks to be some way off for a significant minority of organisations operating in the UK’s property, building and construction and related sectors.

The survey was carried out online during July by, the award winning CDM2007 digital training organisation. It reveals that over half (54 per cent) of the 228 CDM2007 duty-holder participants in the survey are not confident that their management colleagues across all levels inside their organisations understand their CDM2007 responsibilities. Almost as many (47 per cent) doubt whether those colleagues are competent to carry out their CDM2007 duties.

Significantly, among specialist Health and Safety professionals surveyed, that opinion is even more strongly held, with 53 per cent of them lacking confidence in fellow managers, at all levels, having CDM 2007 competence.

Those taking part in the survey included a large contingent of Health and Safety professionals (41 per cent) plus strong representation from those with Site (17 per cent) and Design (22 per cent) responsibilities. Other participants came from Planning (5 per cent), Architecture (3 per cent), Training (2 per cent) and other (10 per cent) disciplines.

“Our sample is sufficiently large to offer useful indications of the current state of CDM2007 implementation. All of those who have contributed regard CDM2007 as critical to improving health and safety in the building and construction industries. They understand their responsibilities for turning CDM2007 into reality inside their own organisations, enterprises and practices. As an informed and committed group of people at the frontline, their voices are particularly worth hearing”, said Steve Dalby, Business Director of

“Most of the survey participants are reporting good progress, however a substantial minority seem to be telling us that there is still plenty of room for improvement on the part of their employers” said Dalby

Senior Level Support

Almost six in ten (59 per cent) respondents see positive recognition and priority being given to CDM2007 by their boards and chief executives. However a sizeable number of participants either say this is not the case (19 per cent) or don’t know (22 per cent). In less than four in ten organisations represented (36 per cent of respondents) chief executives are viewed as actively sponsoring CDM2007.

While leadership and communication appear to be significant areas needing attention for some organisations, many more (75 per cent) are reported as having set out clear policies for CDM2007 implementation. And a similar number (74 per cent) have clear chains of responsibility in place at all appropriate levels of competence. Perhaps not surprisingly, more than seven in ten respondents (72 per cent) also see a positive CDM2007 culture of awareness and informed activity inside their organisations.

Conversely, one in four respondents (25 per cent) say that their organisations do not have clear CDM2007 policies. A similar number (26 per cent) are not aware of any clear chain of responsibility. Approaching one in three (28 per cent) of those surveyed report that there is no CDM2007 culture.

Support Leads To Confidence

Over six in ten (62 per cent) of respondents are getting the support and resources they need to carry out their own CDM2007 duties. Those who are being given appropriate support also tend (67 per cent of them) to have greater confidence in the competence of their duty-holder colleagues elsewhere in the organisation. On the other hand, 38 per cent of all respondents are adequately supported only sometimes or not at all.

Amongst those reporting that their employers had established a clear chain of CDM2007 responsibility, almost nine in ten of them (88 per cent) also pointed to there being a clear policy for implementation. In addition, almost the same proportion of them (87 per cent) viewed their organisations as having positive CDM2007 cultures. And even more of this group (93 per cent) said that CDM2007 was reflected in their organisations’ workforce related programmes, such as training, performance and professional development

“It appears that those employers who have implemented clear chains of responsibility and implementation policies, positive cultures and appropriate support and resources to duty-holders are broadly the same organisations. That may leave a significant gap between them and others. As many as one in four employers could well be doing a significant amount in these recessionary times, but not enough and not well enough.

“As to the majority of organisations represented, the survey suggests they may be doing better than the minority in embedding CDM2007 good practice, but at least some of them cannot yet be too confident they are taking enough effective measures, nor that these are in place throughout their operations” said Dalby.


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