Representatives of planning supervisors have acknowledged that their role will be reformed if plans to shake-up the Construction (Design and Management) regulations are implemented, writes Tom Broughton. But they insist that their work will still have to be carried out.
Brian Law, chief executive of the Association of Planning Supervisors, met the Health and Safety Executive last week. He said the future of planning supervision as a profession was uncertain, but he pointed out that monitoring firms' compliance with CDM regulations was a statutory obligation.

He said: "The one thing that is certain is that the work carried out by planning supervisors will have to continue in some form under the government's implementation of the European Commission's directive that formed the CDM regulations."

Under Egan's proposed shake-up of the CDM regulations, the planning supervisor's duties would be taken on by an independent safety consultant, who would be appointed by the client to act as a single point of safety responsibility.

The consultant would work throughout the project, unlike planning supervisors, who work before and after the project goes on site.

The one thing that is certain is that the work of planning supervisors will have to continue

Brian Law, Association of Planning Supervisors

The move is seen as an attempt by Egan to force the supply chain and the project team to becomes more integrated. According to Egan, all members of the project team, including specialist contractors, should be appointed before the design stage. The theory is that each interested party would be consulted on the parts of the design that affected them, that responsibility for safety would be shared and so risk could be designed out before construction begins.

But Law said a safety consultant could not carry out the work of the planning supervisor, as they would be too close to the project and therefore not independent.