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Does CDM apply to my project?


This is a question we have been asked many times, by many different clients, in various different industries. Invariably, and possibly unfortunately, our answer is usually yes, as CDM reaches further then you may think.

Worryingly, statistics published by Osborne Clarke found that up to 85% of businesses affected by the regulations do not consider themselves to be in the construction industry.

But what does CDM actually apply to?

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) regulations apply to all types of building, civil engineering and construction work. These include the commonly associated activities, such as new-build, alteration and demolition, as well as some less commonly associated activities.

 Below is an extract, from the CDM Regs, on the definition of ‘construction work’.

the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance (including cleaning which involves the use of water or an abrasive at high pressure, or the use of corrosive or toxic substances), de-commissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure;

the preparation for an intended structure, including site clearance, exploration, investigation (but not site survey) and excavation (but not pre-construction archaeological investigations), and the clearance or preparation of the site or structure for use or occupation at its conclusion;

the assembly on site of prefabricated elements to form a structure or the disassembly on site of the prefabricated elements which, immediately before such disassembly, formed a structure;

the removal of a structure, or of any product or waste resulting from demolition or dismantling of a structure, or from disassembly of prefabricated elements which immediately before such disassembly formed such a structure;

the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer or similar services which are normally fixed within or to a structure.

As you can see in the list above, the definition of ‘construction work’ is very broad to say the least. Regardless of whether you are a small builder carrying out a kitchen/bathroom fit out, an electrician or plumber conducting minor works, or a factory maintaining/cleaning their equipment, CDM will apply to you.

Lets look at this proportionately

Having said all the above, it is important to understand that CDM must always be applied proportionately, meaning a small kitchen/bathroom fit out would not attract the same complexity of paperwork as a large construction project.

At Wills Design Partnership we do not feel its beneficial to create paperwork for the sake of it. Often this can have adverse effects, with the ‘important information’ being buried within unnecessary paperwork. WDP will always aim to apply CDM in a proportional and practical way, while ensuring the ethos of CDM is followed.

For more information, or if you have any question, please contact Wills Design Partnership.

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Comments (2)

[…] Simply put, it is a form, know as the F10, that is sent to the HSE to let them know about proposed construction works. It should be noted that the HSE’s definition of ‘construction work’ is far broader than most think, for further information click here. […]

[…] Designers have a key role in the effective management of Health & Safety during all stages of a construction project. […]

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