Does CDM Apply To Site Investigations? header image

5th October, 2017

Does CDM Apply To Site Investigations?

A common question regarding CDM, is do the regulations apply to site investigations, and if so, how?

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (aka CDM 2015) apply to all construction work, but often site investigation might not be always considered as construction work, after all you are not building anything, or altering a structure itself.

It may surprise you then to know that the regulations do class site investigation as construction work, under part b of the definition.

(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;

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

Note that there are some exceptions.

Site investigation is classed as construction work where is it part of the preparation for an intended structure.

Now this intended structure does not just mean a building, as a structure under CDM includes anything from pipes and earthworks to roads, railways and buildings.

Site surveys are not included, but anything intrusive is likely to fall under the category of site investigation (of course, it doesn’t help that the terms site investigation, site survey and ground investigation are often confused or interpreted differently from project to project).

How do you know if your work does fall under CDM?

Well, it is best to take a common-sense approach. If you know that the site investigation is being carried out for future building or ground works, then CDM will apply.

If it is part of a bigger construction project, then CDM will apply.

CDM is about following good health and safety practices, including communicating, cooperating and being aware of potential hazards.

Don’t forget, even if CDM does not apply, other health and safety legislation still applies to all work activities, and the need to manage risks.

share on twitter share on facebook share on linked in share by email
This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.

Need CDM Help?

Get CDM support on your construction projects with our free guides and support packs for all duty holders.

CDM Support

Recent posts like this...

When Does CDM 2015 Apply?

The CDM regulations apply to every construction project. Even construction work that you might not consider to be a project, like maintenance activities. It doesn't matter how long (or short) the duration of the work is. How big (or small) the task. If it is construction work, then CDM applies.

Read Post

CDM 2015 Documents Explained

There are several documents required under CDM 2015, in this blog post we look at which documents are required, and when. CDM 2015 has been around for a while now, and applies to all construction projects in Great Britain, and not much has changed when it comes to the documents required, or has it?

Read Post

95 CDM 2015 Prosecutions (Breaches, Fines And Prison Time)

There have been 95 prosecutions under CDM since the latest version came into force in 2015. 46 of those prosecutions occurred in 2018, which also saw the largest fine to date under CDM 2015 (£800,000) and the first prison sentence. Let's look, and learn from, the HSE data.

Read Post

HASpod makes health and safety simple.

Learn More