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;
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.