CDM Overview

Date: 16.08.2016     Last updated: 28.06.2017 at 15.33
Legislation to ensure the safe design and construction of structures was updated in April 2015, namely the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)

What's is happening?

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) are intended to enable those involved in construction, from design to build, to control relevant safety risks in a sensible manner. This applies to the BBC and the construction activities we undertake or commission for production and events such as; erecting a stage, building a lighting rig, assembling scenery etc., should be considered activities regulated by the legislation.

What is Construction work?

The HSE's definition of Construction is: the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work and includes:

(a) the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance (including cleaning which involves the use of water or an abrasive at high pressure, or the use of corrosive or toxic substances), de-commissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure;

(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;

(c) the assembly on site of prefabricated elements to form a structure or the disassembly on site of the prefabricated elements which, immediately before such disassembly, formed a structure;

(d) the removal of a structure, or of any product or waste resulting from demolition or dismantling of a structure, or from disassembly of prefabricated elements which immediately before such disassembly formed such a structure;

(e) the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer or similar services which are normally fixed within or to a structure,

In the BBC, construction work could be:

  • Constructing the site for Proms in the Park
  • Putting on an event at an established venue (The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall)
  • Refurbishing a third parties' building (Dance Hall Days)
  • Building a set in a studio for a CBeebies production (Justin's House)
  • Constructing a set in a remote location for BBC Drama ( To Walk Invisible)
  • Building a single storey stand at an exhibition
  • Putting up a temporary camera platform outside the Houses of Parliament
  • Changing a door on the set of Eastenders

'Construction' can cut across a wide range of activities, all of which need to be managed in proportion to the risks involved.

How will this affect productions now?

All productions with construction activity must comply with the regulations. In practice, CDM 2015 is intended to generate teamwork and coordination to ensure safety. Under these regulations, the BBC will always need to fulfil the role of the ‘Client’ (see explanations below). The key requirements are to:

  • Liaise with BBC Safety – tell your advisor about any construction work
  • Ensure early planning – who will be involved
  • Allow sufficient time and resource for the build / rig (and dismantling / de-rig)
  • Carry out recces as needed to support build planning
  • Use competent contractors and identify who will fulfil the following roles; ‘Principal Designer’ and ‘Principle Contractor’ (see explanations below)
  • Ensure effective communication and exchange of information, including; design requirements and RA's, production RA's, any site rules and other safety information
  • Ensure mandatory training and any necessary site induction, is undertaken by the team
  • Provide welfare facilities/first aid arrangements
  • Ensure a Construction Phase Plan (CPP) is developed appropriate to the level and complexity of the Construction Activity. The CPP can be based around an already existing document such as a Production Schedule or Event Management Plan
  • If the construction activity will last longer than 500 person days or 30 working days (with more than 20 people working at the same time) it will need to be notified to HSE and it is likely to need a full CPP to be developed. Discuss this with your appointed Principle Contractor who would be responsible for producing the CPP
  • Make sure it is understood who is responsible for what and co-operation between those parties
  • Ensure effective scheduling and co-ordination of activities
  • Agree hand-over arrangements for structures and the site
  • Manage any changes of plan ensuring all relevant parties are consulted and changes are agreed and recorded
  • Carry out monitoring and checking

NB: Words in bold in the sections below refer to topics that can be downloaded from the HSE website.

Roles and responsibilities

Organisations or individuals can carry out the role of more than one duty holder, provided they have; the skills, knowledge, experience and (if an organisation) the organisational capability necessary to carry out those roles in a way that secures health and safety.

For all projects, ‘Clients’ must:

  • make suitable arrangements for managing their project, enabling those carrying it out to manage health and safety risks in a proportionate way. These arrangements  include: appointing the key presonnel to the project
  • appointing the contractors
  • and designers to the project (including the principal designer and principal contractor on projects involving more than one contractor) while making sure they have the skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability
  • allowing sufficient time and resources for each stage of the project
  • making sure that any principal designer and principal contractor appointed carry out their duties in managing the project
  • making sure suitable welfare facilities are provided for the duration of the construction work
  • maintain and review the management arrangements for the duration of the project
  • provide pre-construction information to every designer and contractor either bidding for the work or already appointed to the project
  • ensure that the principal contractor or contractor (for single contractor projects) prepares a construction phase plan before that phase begins
  • ensure that the principal designer prepares a health and safety file for the project and that it is revised as necessary and made available to anyone who needs it for subsequent work at the site

 For HSE notifiable projects:

  • notify HSE in writing with details of the project using the F10 document -this can be done online via an electronic interactive form (see the HSE link above)
  • ensure a copy of the F10 notification is displayed in the construction site office

 The Principal Designer must:

  • plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase. In doing so they must take account of relevant information (such as an existing health and safety file) that might affect design work carried out both before and after the construction phase has started
  • help and advise the client in bringing together pre-construction information, and provide the information designers and contractors need to carry out their duties
  • work with any other designers on the project to eliminate foreseeable health and safety risks to anyone affected by the work and, where that is not possible, take steps to reduce or control those risks
  • ensure that everyone involved in the pre-construction phase communicates and cooperates, coordinating their work wherever required
  • liaise with the principal contractor, keeping them informed of any risks that need to be controlled during the construction phase

 The Principal Contractor must:

  • plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the entire construction phase
  • take account of the health and safety risks to everyone affected by the work (including members of the public), in planning and managing the measures needed to control them
  • liaise with the client and principal designer for the duration of the project to ensure that all risks are effectively managed
  • prepare a written construction phase plan before the construction phase begins, implement, and then regularly review and revise it to make sure it remains fit for purpose
  • have ongoing arrangements in place for managing health and safety throughout the construction phase
  • consult and engage with workers about their health, safety and welfare
  • ensure suitable welfare facilities are provided from the start and maintained throughout the construction phase
  • check that  anyone they appoint has the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, the organisational capability to carry out their work safely and without risk to health
  • ensure all workers have site-specific inductions, and any further information and training they need
  • take steps to prevent unauthorised access to the site
  • liaise with the principal designer to share any information relevant to the planning, management, monitoring and coordination of the pre-construction phase

Support & Guidance

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have published guidance on how the Entertainment Industry can comply with the requirements of CDM 2015.

The guidance looks at how various job roles within the industry map across to the dutyholders named in the regulations, gives several worked examples of entertainment based construction projects, and includes an FAQ section.

BBC Safety have developed further BBC guidance and documentation, to complement the information provided by the HSE

Where can I find out more?

Further details on CDM 2015 can be found on the HSE web pages, using the links above.

You can contact BBC Safety via the Safety Advice Line:

Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. Just call (0370 411) x0464 or e-mail safety@bbc.co.uk (or 'Safety Advice Line' on the Global Address List).

If you require urgent advice outside of these times there's always an advisor 'on-call' - just ring the Duty Facilities Manager in W1 and they will put you through to them. Contact details can be found on the Out Of Hours page.

 Safety Guides - Quick Links

About this site

This site describes what the BBC does in relation to managing its health, safety and security risks and is intended for those who work directly for the BBC.

It is not intended to provide instruction or guidance on how third parties should manage their risks. The BBC cannot be held liable for how this information is interpreted or used by third parties, nor provide any assurance that adopting it would provide any measure of legal compliance. More information.


Links: Some links on this site are only accessible when connected to the BBC network