EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, is reminding manufacturers not to get caught out by thinking that ‘construction’ means just that when the new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) come into force on 6 April.

CDM is a revision of existing regulations designed to protect the health and safety of people when building, using and maintaining premises. Planning ahead for the regulations’ introduction in April, EEF is warning 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.

EEF has warned its sector that the regulations define ‘construction’ in the broadest way and this could leave unsuspecting manufacturers open to potential prosecution for non-compliance.

To assist manufacturers understand the potential pitfall, EEF has listed the following common practices in manufacturing that fall within the 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.

EEF explains that all of 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 some unsuspecting firms out.

The manufacturers’ organisation plans to run a series of breakfast briefings across the UK to help manufacturers better prepare for CDM 2015’s introduction.

“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,” says Mike Denison, health and safety expert at EEF.

“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.”