With Christmas around the corner, the year is about to draw to a rapid close as far as business is concerned. Coincidentally, we seem to be surrounded by news. The Health & Safety Executive have sent us the new CDM ACoP and a new consultative document for the much delayed asbestos regulations update. Industry watchers are looking for updates to the CDM process to reverse the current upward trend of accident statistics and word is out that the role of planning supervisor is for the chop (see below).
For our part we have a new software release and have continued our commitment to Microsoft products through our re-qualification as a Microsoft Certified Partner. As we hope to report next month, the year 2001 has been a good one for us with major achievements at the regional power company Seeboard and the addition of Transport for London to our customer list.
Many of our customers have already received their new version of CDM ToolKit™ 2000 which was shipped on the same day as the new ACoP from HSE Books. Those customers who have not yet received their copy will get theirs in the next few days.
The new release contains many updates but the issue that will interest most will be the extensive revisions to the CDM Knowledge Base, glossary and hazard related topics. The revisions have taken account of all the changes in the new ACoP and include new tools, revised glossary and indexing to make the journey through CDM an easier one. Already set out in an easy to use format, our knowledge base has now been enhanced to allow even easier cross referencing using hyperlinks across the extensive database. This means we can deliver a CDM management tool which is even easier to use. It avoids the traditional document 'thumbing through' where you can quickly run out of fingers and thumbs to cross reference the various components in paper documents.
SR7 includes another innovation requested by Bradford MDC. They wanted to be able to colour code the project list in the CDM ToolKit™ so that they could interpret the project status from a colour code. Now all of our customers can benefit from this addition to the software functionality.
We have revised our CDM community web site to reflect the changes in the new CDM ACoP. The pricing structure has been changed too to make it more attractive to our target market. There are several important changes and even more reason to get signed up. Having listened to comments from our customers, we have now removed most of the 'size' based charges so that users can sign up to the site knowing what the total project charge will be from day one.
cdmUK.com was always seen as a great opportunity to coordinate the activities of designers contractors and planning supervisors. By removing the various constraints that project managers, for instance didn't like, the new pricing structure should significantly help this coordination in a very cost effective way.
The revised annual subscription charging has been reduced making the Ask cdmUK package a really attractive one.
Our partners Mouchel and Callsafe continue to support the 'Ask a Guru' option. This remains a free service, so you should never be short of a route to answer those awkward CDM questions. All you need to do is to sign up to the cdmuk.com web pages and follow the links to the various sections.
We believe we have provided a really useful tool to help anyone manage CDM on-line. We provide access to our CDM ToolKit™ Online and Ask cdmUK knowledge base the latest information available including revisions from the new CDM ACoP. Users of CDM ToolKit™ 2000 now have free access to the facility, can publish their projects to the site at any time and invite collaboration with their colleagues internal or external to their enterprise. And we provide value for money too! Please sign up now!
Sir John Egan, well known for his 'Rethinking Construction Report' 1998, has again hit the headlines with his proposals for improving health & safety in construction. Reported in Building magazine this week, Sir John recommends the;
Bill Tallis, a director of Major Contractors Group is quoted as saying ‘If they are designing the CDM regulations so that designers and contractors can get together to discuss how to put up a building before a project starts, that can only be a good thing’. Is anyone suggesting they cannot do that already? Surely the provision of able project management will encourage this to take place as a matter of course. Perhaps I am missing the point. The key to reducing risk must be in the provision of better communication at whatever level you care to discuss this?
The Egan proposals are bound to send warning signs to many planning supervisors sensitive to their future role. Brian Law, Chief Exec of the Association of Planning Supervisors, is quoted in the same Building magazine report as saying the HSE have given him the impression that the PS role will disappear but that it is ‘unclear what will happen to the planning supervisor’s position’. Bearing in mind that the HSE never intended the planning supervisor role to develop into ‘a profession’, this is not as newsworthy as it may appear. Whatever the current HSE thinking, planning supervisors are unlikely to face changes overnight. The next revision to the legislation is not due until July 2004 and there is likely to be an introductory period to whatever solution replaces the current one anyway, even assuming a decision can be made in that timescale. To quote Steven Wright again, ‘On planning supervisors […] there can be no major changes until we change CDM. I welcome the debate, but don't believe everything you read in the papers, or newsletters, about this!’. This should give some heart to all those hard working PS folk out there?
 ie the CDM legislation through an act of parliament.
Another 112 page weighty tome has landed on our desks from the Asbestos team at the HSE. The ‘Revised proposal for the amendments to the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations and the new supporting Approved Code of Practice’ must be one of the longest titles to a publication for some time! To be fair, the first 15 pages contain the main arguments for change, the rest of the document contains the supporting text in one easy to find document. The authors of this consultative document need replies by 19 Feb 2002. If you would like your own copy of the document, please visit the our web site.
The new Advisory Code has arrived with us. The format is a vast improvement over the previous one and should surely be on your Christmas shopping list. For those who missed the information last month, it is available from HSE Books. The new ACoP is called 'Managing Construction for Health & Safety' Price £9.50. ISBN 0-7176-2139-1 HSE reference HSG 224.
We were interested to know when the next proposed change to the CDM legislation is due. Stephen Wright Head of HSE Construction Policy states: 'Our aim is to implement any changes to CDM at the same time as we have to change CHSW to implement the Temporary Working at Heights Directive. This has to be implemented by July 2004, but we may have it on the statute books earlier than that. July 2004 is my target'. This has implications for all of us; we are still about 3 years away from ANY changes to CDM including revisions to the Planning Supervisor role.
 Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996.
We have a free promotional CDROM that presents information about Ai Solutions, CDM and asbestos. In addition, we have included free evaluation copies of our CDM and Asbestos software for those who want to find out more about us and our products. Please contact us if you would like a copy.
Theo and Charles are now brandishing their new Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE) upgrade certificates having survived a serious amount of brain bashing during November. Newly qualified, we can now offer our services as suppliers and installers of any of Microsoft’s latest operating system solutions including of course XP. This new qualification is a significant achievement for any software provider to attain and demonstrates our commitment to our customers past, present and future.
With Service Release 7 installed, users can now colour code the status of a project when it appears in the project grid.
To set the colour code up, users need to edit the project status drop down list in the system module. They can use any combination of colours and values to suit their own requirements.