Any attempt to get the industry to recognise the financial and other benefits to be gained from improved logistics is to be applauded.
Alas, the industry’s record of reaping the benefits from such challenges is not good. CDM, as mentioned in your leader of 2 September, is a perfect example. CDM is not and never was about “safety rules” or creating a “paper chase”, and yet even after 10 years this is certainly the perception of many in the industry – despite billions of pounds’ worth of evidence to the contrary.
CDM is about what it says on the tin – construction, design and management. It is fundamentally and simply about managing projects from concept to completion; ensuring that adequate resources, including time, are allowed; and that health and safety is integrated into all levels of project management. Despite these simple requirements and the benefits to be achieved by implementing them, the industry has steadfastly chosen to focus on the “costs” and the unnecessary paperwork and ignore the benefits.
Sir John Egan in Accelerating Change recognised that CDM was an ideal vehicle to achieve projects that would be completed “on time, on cost, on quality”. The many and various construction projects for the 2012 Olympics can provide the ideal showcase to demonstrate not only the quality of what is designed and built but also how it was achieved. One of the key factors that led to CDM was Europe-wide research that identified that the very earliest stages of a project offer the greatest potential to eliminate hazards and reduce the resulting risks.
The procurement process for the Olympics has already begun and decisions are being taken that will have a big effect on the industry’s ability to complete the projects “on time, on cost, on quality”. Are any of the sound management requirements of CDM being applied or are they being ignored and sacrificed in the time-honoured race to get things started on site?
Brian B Law, chief executive, Association for Project Safety