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.

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...

CDM Planning Period And How Much Time You Need

The CDM regulations say that clients must allow sufficient time for each stage of the project, in fact it's the first client duty. How much time should be allowed for the planning and preparation period of a construction project, to comply with this duty under CDM?

Read Post

CDM 2015 Principal Contractor Duties Explained

CDM 2015 requires a principal contractor to be appointed by the client on any construction project with more than one contractor. The role of principal contractor carries additional CDM duties and responsibilities. Here are the CDM 2015 principal contractor duties explained.

Read Post

Can The Principal Contractor Be The Principal Designer?

A question we are often asked regarding CDM and the new CDM 2015 regulations is, can the principal contractor be the principal designer? The principal designer should be the designer in overall control of the pre-construction phase of the project. This is usually the architect.

Read Post

HASpod makes health and safety simple.

Learn More