Proposed CDM regs will be submitted to the health and safety minister for approval ahead of coming into force next spring

The Health and Safety Commission said today that its had approved the proposed revised Construction (Design and Management) regulations, which govern safety in construction design.

In a meeting on Tuesday the commission signed off the regulations and the Approved Code of Practice for submission to health and safety minister Lord Hunt. The proposals will now be assessed by Lord Hunt ahead of them coming into force in April next year.

The regulations were meant to come into force in October this year but were delayed in March to give officials more time to finalise the regulations and prepare the industry for changes.

The revised regulations aim to improve risk management and ensure responsibility rests with the appropriate people. In particular the proposals clarify designers' duties, who are expected to exercise their professional judgment in a responsible way.

Richard Boland, head of construction policy, said: ''I am delighted that the revised regulatory package has been approved by the commission. We remain on target for the regulations coming into force in April next year."

In a statement the HSC said members had discussed the effect of the regulations on small and medium sized businesses - particularly small clients - in light of some stakeholders' concerns.

It noted that the regulations do not impose new duties on clients. They make explicit what clients should already be doing as a result of existing duties in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Clear, simple guidance for SMEs and clients is being developed by industry. The Health and Safety Executive agreed to report back to the commission in January 2007 on progress with these issues.

The commission paper, discussed at the 17 October meeting, can be viewed on the HSE's website.