To make clients responsible for the health, safety and welfare of the principal contractor, its subcontractors and their employees – does this branch out to include visitors and the general public? – during the construction phase of the works is flawed. Are the CDM regulators going to provide crystal balls for clients to second-guess the actions of individuals?
Take this example: while working as a project manager in Newcastle, a lift operative for a well-known lift manufacturer decided not to wear his harness, leaned over his guardrail, which give way, and fell three storeys – and survived.
How could the client plan for this man not to wear his harness and ignore not just the method statement and risk assessment but also the training he had received? No amount of legislation would prevent these occurrences as no amount of laws can prevent negligent activity.
As a client I am in favour of having an independent planning supervisor who is not affiliated with any of the design team. This is vitally important.
Scott Waite, senior project manager, UK Land Estates