Construction isn’t your business? Think again - it might be.

Construction isn’t your business? Think again - it might be.

  • Date: Thursday 14th January 2016

All construction work is governed by the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) which provides a lengthy definition of what constitutes 'construction activities'. Most businesses will carry out building maintenance, refits and refurbishments from time to time and by definition this is construction work.  No matter how large or small the job or business - this may well be covered by CDM.


If your business sector is manufacturing, education, commerce, hospitals, care, hospitality or anything not involving 'typical' construction, you may find meeting your duties under the Regulations problematic as the specialist knowledge and skills are not available in-house.  It is easy to be non-compliant and completely unaware of the fact.

Some things to consider:

·        Do your procurement processes take into account risk management:

o   Is the tender realistically priced for delivery? - the lowest price will not necessarily guarantee a competent and safe company

o   Do you assess the contractor’s safety management system and historical safety record?- Do you assess competence, training and organisational capability to deliver the project safely?

·        Boundaries between production, machinery fit-out, construction and maintenance activities could increase the risks and complicate the 'construction' process.

·        Delivering to challenging, or time-critical programmes, including:

o   Fitting around planned shutdowns, holidays or terms.

o   Limited time windows for some operations or accesses.

o   24 hour/7 days a week construction working.


This list is not exhaustive and depends on the nature of your business, the working environment and ultimately the complexity of the job. 

What do you need to do?

If you are a company director, senior manager, facilities manager or a safety professional you need to fully understand the implications of CDM 2015 on your business or area of operation.  You can access all of the main current HSE guidance on compliance with the legislation.  Alternatively you could attend one of our CDM update sessions and ensure that you fully understand your responsibilities and accountabilities under CDM 2015.

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