CDM 2015

Health and Safety Information for Domestic Clients - what you need to know and what you should do

Health & Safety and your project

We take our health and safety responsibilities very seriously. Part of that is concerned with ensuring that you, the domestic client, understand your health and safety responsibilities. It is a legal duty of everyone involved with the project to pay careful attention to health and safety regulations. The main regulations we would like to inform you about are the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (or CDM for short).

Many home owners believe that Health and Safety regulations are just for large construction projects, this is wrong. No matter how small the works are Health and Safety is of huge importance and you should know, since April 2015, appointed Contractors should have an understanding of CDM 2015 and show their ability to implement CDM 2015 policies.

What is CDM 2015?

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (or CDM for short) are the main set of regulations for managing the health, safety and welfare of construction project, whatever the size!. The aim is for health and safety considerations to be treated as a normal part of your project’s development, not an afterthought or bolt-on extra.

Everyone involved with a construction project (including domestic clients) has to comply with CDM regulations. The regulations apply to all building and construction projects, regardless of the size, duration and nature of the work.

When you select and appoint your Builder they must be able to demonstrate they can deliver the project for you in a way that secures health and safety. This means they should have the necessary blend of skills, knowledge, training and experience.

Who is a domestic client?

A domestic client is someone who has construction work carried out on their own home, or the home of a family member and which is not carried out in connection with a business.

Under Health and Safety law you, as a domestic client, have certain duties that must be carried out.

What are my duties as a domestic client?

The duties of the client are to ensure suitable arrangements for managing the health and safety of a project are in place and that it is maintained and reviewed for its duration so that it is carried out in a way that manages the health and safety risks involved.

As a domestic client however your responsibilities pass to other duty holder/s if you so wish. This will be County Garage Conversions Ltd as A Principal Contractor if you choose to appoint County Garage Conversions Ltd.

This appointment, in writing, must be made as soon as is practicable, and in any event, before the construction phase begins.

The main duties that are to be carried out by County Garage Conversions Ltd are,

· As a Principal Contractor Ensure that there are suitable arrangements for overseeing the project, to include sufficient time and money for health and safety risks to be managed.

· Have in place a clearly defined system for managing the project

· Ensure that the work is carried out in such a way that risks to the health and safety of anyone working on the project are either eliminated or reduced to the lowest reasonably practicable level and to protect the General Public and you and your Family.

· Provide welfare facilities such as toilets, hot and cold water, and a means of heating food.

· Fencing off the skip and storage area protecting you the Client and the general public.

Dealing with Asbestos

If you know you have Asbestos in your garage we urge you to speak with us first.

We have a full service to deal with Asbestos this includes

Testing to establish what type of Asbestos it is

Report of Asbestos showing where other Asbestos may within your home

Arranging a professional Licensed asbestos Company to safely remove the material.


We are serious about our Health and safety, as we work in a high risk environment, and equally important, we are serious about the safety of our Clients family and their health.

Mention the words HEALTH & SAFETY and the majority of Builders will go into raptures about some ridiculous regulation or 'job's worth' and invariably miss the point.

Many homeowners do not see the health risks when work is undertaken within their home. I have not covered how we reduce risks to ourselves but simply a few important pointers as to what we do to keep your Family safe and healthy, and some questions you should ask of any prospective tradesmen you might employ.

Most importantly we manage dust extraction, as such materials as mortar / silica and MDF have proven to be hazardous to your health.

Hands up, who wants to work in a dirty, dusty environment - you wouldn't expect a big show of hands. So now explain why such conditions are willingly accepted by home-owners when even a basic level of site house-keeping and investment could eliminate much of this nuisance and make life more bearable for you and your family.

I’ve spoken to many people who have had builders in their homes and I am astonished by the comments they have made when questioned about Health and Safety and in particular dust control.

Mention the words HEALTH & SAFETY and the majority of Builders will go into raptures about some ridiculous regulation or 'job's worth' and invariably miss the point. A poorly set up site and unplanned work puts you at risk from trips, slips and accidents and serious dust hazards.

A professional Company will take measures that eliminates slips trips and hazards and has in its processes and of huge importance - managing dust hazards. Dust can cost you your HEALTH

We've all heard about the issues of dust in the mining industry and how the effects only surface much later in life. There's plenty of dust-related health risks in today's construction environment with the same potential long-lasting consequences which can affect you and your family, whatever the work or indeed the duration of the work.

In this document I want to emphasise dust and its implications.

Firstly, why is building work so dusty?

Power tools are now available for every conceivable construction task. They are highly efficient, (lowering costs) produce consistent and accurate results and generally reduce physical effort. On the negative side they produces volumes of dangerous dust.

How dust impacts you and your family

Dust is dangerous, particularly mortar/ concrete dust and fine particles such as MDF. The Health and Safety Executive is demanding greater recognition of dust and it prevention and control in its statement October 2016

Silica dust found in bricks, mortar, tiles etc. and is particularly dangerous to your health. The dust particles are very fine and penetrate deeply into the lungs.

Dust is a nuisance to your neighbours.

Dust can be an enduring nuisance for the home owners long after the workmen have gone - it settles largely invisible in unseen places and whilst you may think that the tradespersons are very good at tidying up and sweeping away the dust at the end of the working day, all they are doing is moving dust around your home ready to settle overnight in between your kitchen units, on the stairs carpets and just about everywhere else. I need to emphasise to you that building dust is, and is proven to be dangerous to you and your family.

Health and Safety Executive UK - commissioned estimates - it was responsible for the death of over 500 construction workers in 2005. In addition to the risks from lung cancer, silica is also linked to other serious lung diseases.

How to prevent health risks due to dust exposure

So what's the answer? Of course there are many solutions and the most appropriate will depend upon the scale of the problem: Knocking down a wall from your garage to your hall or toothing out brickwork is at the high-end of the problems and risks as is cutting of MDF skirting boards.

Dust Control and Dust Extraction facilities are inherent in many power tools or can be added. The underlying principle is that dust should be captured at source. So attaching a 'hoover' to a suitably shielded wood saw should mean that the majority of dust, and perhaps the waste products, will be captured at the cutting edge, before they can become dispersed into the atmosphere.

In principle, a 'hoover' or general purpose vacuum cleaner can be connected to a suitably equipped power tools and you'll be able to grab the dust before it spews into the atmosphere.

However, wood, mortar and concrete dusts are very fine and dense, not at all like the coarse mixed materials normally collected by general purpose vacuums. So not only is the filtration medium in a general purpose vacuum product costing a £100 wholly inadequate for fine dust compounds, which will be used in your project, typically allowing the more dangerous fine particles to pass through it rendering it useless. A class M vacuum is minimum.

You will have heard home owners say "I’ve been cleaning up and dusting weeks after the builders/ tradesperson left” So whilst capturing dust at source is a first step it is not the only solution home owners should be seeking from their appointed Builder/tradesperson.

The key to maintaining a safe home site for you is Air Filtration. Professional air filtration systems clean the air constantly and most importantly collect 99.99% of dust at >3 microns.

Our class H Air Filtration system installed in your home when dust is created – any building project. It collects dust and is classed Grade H the best available.

What Do County Garage Conversions Ltd Do to protect you and Your Family?

· We produce a risk assessment for your conversion project

· We have a safe site set up programme. We are constantly complemented on our professional approach.

· We undertake robust dust control measures to reduce dust entering your home and affecting neighbours

· We incorporate dust extraction at source

· We incorporate air filtration for your home

· We fence off the build area with 2M high fencing and ensure safety signs are displayed

· We leave access to your front door clear and free of trip hazards

· We send out a flyer to your neighbours stating we are starting work and the need to keep children away from the site as it is dangerous.

· We spend on education and training for our crew and that helps you because they are competent in recognising risks and are advised and empowered to cease work if there is a risk to your health and safety.

So, it’s not just dust we address, it’s an overall responsibility, a duty of care that drives us to plan, manage and monitor risks for you and your family.

Some Questions You May Want To Ask a Prospective Tradesperson/ Builder

Do you have a Health and safety Policy? If so, can I see it?

Do you undertake a risk assessment? If so, can I see a past example? It’s applicable to all domestic works

Do you prepare a plan for the works?

How do you reduce dust in the project to protect my family?

Do you fence off the work area?