It goes without saying that The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) applies to all construction projects, but what exactly is construction work?
Building a house? Yes. But what about painting a wall, digging a hole, or fitting some windows?
Let’s take a look.
The definition of construction work under CDM 2015 is far reaching. If you work in construction, or engage with contractors, chances are, anything you do will attract the CDM regulations.
'construction work' means the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work and includes—
(a)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 first part is fairly obvious, construction, repair, demolition. Yes, we would expect CDM to apply here. But cleaning? Yes, cleaning with high pressure water or toxic substances is also covered under the definition of construction work in CDM 2015.
(b)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;
It’s not just work on a structure that attracts the CDM, but also the preparation. Clearing the site, excavating for services, yes CDM 2015 applies here.
(c)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;
Considering that a structure covers anything from a building to pipework, earthworks and scaffolding, the assembly of any elements to form a structure of any kind is classed as construction work.
(d)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;
Removal of a structure, yes, but also the removal of any waste from the demolition of a structure falls under the definition of construction work.
(e)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.
Ok, electricians and plumbers should be well aware of CDM. But those installing computer and telephone systems should also be aware their work is defined under construction work in CDM 2015.