Monthly Archives: September 2010

Architects fined £180k for CDM failings

Oxford Architects Partnership of Oxford was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £60,000 costs after admitting breaching CDM regulations admitting it had flouted regulations 13 and 14, which require designers to take safety considerations into account.

The practice had been working on the Exchange conference centre in Bridgwater, Somerset, when Dan Cairns, an employee of subcontractor H&F Air Conditioning, fell to his death in January 2005.

The 64-year-old was working on the air conditioning plant which was a built on a platform accessed via a ladder at the edge of a flat roof. The roof only had a low parapet which was not high enough to prevent him from falling 9m to the ground.

Speaking after the hearing, the Health & Safety Executive’s inspector Sue Adsett, commented: “While it is rare for designers to be charged with breaching health and safety legislation, they must be aware they can be held responsible where bad design is an important contributory factor to a work-place fatality”.

“Designers must ensure that plant and equipment can be accessed safely and that safety harnesses are only used as a last resort.”


London-based Express Park Construction Company, which was the main contractor on the site, also pleaded guilty to safety breaches. The firm was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £68,000.  The CDM Coordinator was not found to be in breach of any regulation.

Posted by Roger Hart

IOSH Register of Consultants

The new accreditation scheme for safety consultants will be officially announced in the next few weeks by the HSE, which will run it in the initial stages.

The scheme will be open initially to UK safety consultants only, so in-house health and safety managers, advisors and safety consultants based abroad will, initially, not be eligible to register.

Many of us in the safety profession have been calling for an accreditation scheme for some time and its development has been accelerated by the current government review into health and safety being undertaken by Lord Young of Graffham. Rest assured that your own consultant will progress towards registration on the scheme once details have been finalised.

The set-up of the scheme is based on the outcome of the feasibility study carried out earlier this year by IOSH and the CIEH, the lead institutions in the consortium of stakeholder groups in the scheme, which also includes RoSPA, the British Safety Council, the IIRSM, the BSIF and the British Occupational Hygiene Society. This consortium will eventually take over the running of the scheme via the establishment of a company limited by guarantee.

Posted by Roger Hart

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