As new construction regulations come into force manufacturers are reminded not to get caught out

Published:  13 February, 2015

With new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) about to come into force, EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, is reminding manufacturers not to get caught out by thinking that ‘construction’ means just that.

CDM 2015 is a revision of existing regulations designed to protect the health and safety of people when building, using and maintaining premises. It comes into force in April and EEF is using this to issue a timely warning to busy business-owners not to fall foul of the regulations by assuming that ‘construction’ relates only to things like building new factories, extending existing premises, renovating a factory or renewing external signage.

In fact, the regulations define ‘construction’ in the broadest way and this could leave unsuspecting manufacturers open to potential prosecution for non-compliance.

To help companies understand the potential pitfall, EEF has listed the following common practices in manufacturing that fall within CDM Regulations:

1. Moving machinery within the factory

2. Dismantling a machine for repair or refurbishment

3. Creating new working areas by installing (or removing) structures such as walls, additional levels or elevated walkways

4. Almost anything involving mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer services including installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal

5. Dismantling existing machinery for decommissioning

6. Redesigning factory layout

7. Building, or dismantling, an extension

8. Installing new machinery.

These projects - and many more – need to be managed in a formal way from the planning stages right through to completion. As a result, projects such as buying new machinery or moving machinery require a team covering the roles and duties specified by the regulations, something that can catch unsuspecting firms out.

Mike Denison, health and safety expert at EEF, says: “These regulations have an important role to play in protecting health and safety. But there is a danger that manufacturers could inadvertently fall foul of them simply by making some very natural assumptions. When it comes to CDM 2015, ‘construction’ doesn’t mean ‘construction’ in the sense that you or I would understand, but encompasses a far wider range of activities regularly undertaken by manufacturers.

“Forewarned is forearmed, which is why we are reminding companies now so that they can ensure their full compliance ahead of CDM 2015 coming into force.”

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