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Construction Design And Management Services

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, also known as CDM Regulations or CDM 2015, define legal duties for the safe operation of UK construction sites. The regulations place specific duties on clients, designers, and contractors, to plan their approach to health and safety. They apply throughout the life of a construction project, from its inception to its subsequent final demolition and removal.

It was introduced to help Improve planning and management of projects from the very start of the project, assign the right people for the right job at the right time to manage the risks on site, target effort where it can do best in terms of health and safety & Discourage unnecessary bureaucracy.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 came into force in Great Britain on 6 April 2015.

CDM 2015 is divided into five parts:

Part 1: Deals with the application of CDM 2015 and definitions.

Part 2: Covers the duties of clients for all construction projects. These duties apply in full for commercial clients. However, the duties for domestic clients normally pass to other duty holders.

Part 3: Covers the health and safety duties and roles of other duty holders, including:
Designers
Principal designers
Principal contractors Contractors

Part 4: Contains general requirements for all construction sites.

Part 5: Contains transitional arrangements and revocations.

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) What you need to know.

Construction work - The legal interpretation

Maintenance and repair are referred to in CDM 2015’s definition of construction work as follows.

  • The construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation
  • Repair, upkeep, decoration, 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, and at 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.

A “structure” is then defined widely as:

Any building, timber, masonry, metal or reinforced concrete structure, railway line or siding, tramway line, dock, harbour, inland navigation, tunnel, shaft, bridge, viaduct, waterworks, reservoir, pipe or pipeline, cable, aqueduct, sewer, sewerage works, gasholder, road, airfield, sea defence works, river works, drainage works, earthworks, lagoon, dam, wall, caisson, mast, tower, pylon, underground tank, earth retaining structure or structure designed to preserve or alter any natural feature and fixed plant”.

This part vacuum has left many duty holders, from hotel owners and housing associations to wondering which maintenance and repair work falls under CDM 2015. Even a year after the regulations came into effect. The breadth of the definition led some duty holders to wonder whether cleaning a surface with bleach might fall within the regulations, since it involves a toxic substance.

The HSE’s perspective

“Any operation that involvers construction skills and uses construction materials, it is most likely to fall within the term ‘construction work’.

However, General maintenance of fixed plant which mainly involves mechanical adjustments, replacing parts or lubrication is unlikely to be construction work.”

Example Scenario’s

  • A. Tree cutting or landscaping. The HSE said that if these activities formed the concluding stages of the build of a new structure, they would be within a whole construction project and managed through CDM. But if the activity were not related to building, civil engineering, or engineering construction work, they would not fall under CDM
  • B. Office facilities management. The HSE confirmed that activities including pressure washing premises’ steps, fixed wiring inspections and the use of mechanical floor washers would not generally fall under CDM. However, they would if they were carried out in conjunction with construction work
  • C. Hotel maintenance. The HSE confirmed that activities including servicing a boiler or lifts, and odd jobs such as door, floor, or carpet repairs, would not generally fall under CDM for the same reasons
  • D. Utilities business maintenance. Meter repair work, cleaning solar panels, switching activities in an electrical substation or fault detection work on an electrical or gas network would also be exempt if they are separate from a construction project. Of course, engineering projects or new builds would It is useful to have the executive’s interpretation to show a zealous local authority environmental health officer still fall under the HSE definition, so planned outages for repairs or undergrounding cables would be fall under the regulations

Clearer now?

The Principal Designer/CDMA must be appointed as soon as possible and no later than after initial design work is completed.

The Principal designer & CDMA will notify the HSE as soon as practicable after their appointment regarding the project. The Principal designer & CDMA to CDMA will give advice and assistance to the client on what they need to do to comply with CDM 2015.

Provide, identify, and collect the pre- construction information and prepare/update a Health and Safety file.

Also ensure that arrangements are in place for co-ordination and co-operation during the planning and preparation phase; facilitate good communication between client, designers, and contractors.

The Principal designer & CDMA will also take steps to ensure that designers comply with their CDM duties and liaise with the Principal Contractor regarding ongoing design.

Other Duties could Include:

  • Assessment of designer and contractor competence
  • Adequacy of client management arrangements for the project and the management arrangements of contractors
  • Maintenance and review of such arrangements throughout the project
  • Adequacy of the principal contractor construction phase plan
  • And adequacy of the welfare facilities

Domestic Clients

A domestic client is anyone who has construction work carried out for them that is not done in connection with a business – usually work done on their own home or the home of a family member. A client who has construction work carried out for them that is done in connection with a business is a commercial client. This includes landlords and by to let property management.

Is a domestic client important in ensuring construction is carried out in a way that avoids harm? Yes and No.

Many domestic clients will have little or no skills, knowledge, or experience of managing a construction project. Therefore CDM 2015 passes the duties of a domestic client to certain other duty-holders. However, a domestic client can still have an important role in making sure that the people they bring in to do the work can do it in a way that avoids harm to anyone. They can do this by asking simple questions about their track record in managing health and safety risks and allowing sufficient time and money in the agreed contract for the work to be carried out safely.

A domestic client's duties automatically pass to the contractor (if it is a single contractor project) or the principal contractor (for projects involving more than one contractor). However, on a project involving more than one contractor, a domestic client can choose to have a written agreement with a designer (e.g., architect) they may have engaged with to manage the project, to carry out the domestic client's duties. As well as taking on the client duties, this designer will then be the principal designer for the project.

So what skills, knowledge and experience of construction work does a domestic client need to ensure their project is carried out in a way that avoids harm?

They do not need to have any skills, knowledge, or experience of managing construction work. Provided a domestic client makes reasonable enquiries of those they bring in to carry out the work about their awareness of health and safety risks including their track record in managing those risks, they should be able to rely on them to carry out the work in a way that avoids harm.

Please contact Karerisk on 01492 209-135 for a friendly chat on whether you need to comply with CDM regulations and to use the advice and wealth of experience of one of our CDM advisors

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