CDM Regulations And What They Mean For Your Landscaping Project

moving earth on a landscaping site

For your own safety and peace of mind it’s vital that your landscaping project complies with CDM regulations. Here’s why.

Before you embark upon any garden makeover, it’s important that you understand your legal responsibilities. Even though the work is doubtless going on within the boundaries of your own land, the law says that should anyone be injured, you could be liable.  Now that’s a scary thought.

Landscaping involves digging holes, creating mud (and therefore slip hazards), using sharp tools and heavy machinery and goodness knows how many other risks.  It would be all to easy for a delivery person to trip over the footings for your new driveway. Or for your best friend to take a tumble whilst reviewing progress in your garden.  If you haven’t taken the necessary precautions to prevent accidents happening – you could find yourself in hot water.

But please don’t panic.  If you choose your landscaper wisely and have proper contracts in place. You will be protected. 

Here’s how it works…

What Are CDM Regulations?

CDM is an abbreviation for Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. These are all part of the Health and Safety regulations which apply to building and landscaping.  You can find out more about them on the HSE website. 

The regulations aim to ensure that the finished project is structurally sound and fit for purpose and most importantly, that nobody gets hurt during the construction. Which, I’m sure you’ll agree, makes perfect sense.  After all, your garden makeover should be an interesting and enjoyable process from start to finish.  You don’t need anything to take the joy out of the experience.

Who Is Legally Responsible For Health And Safety On Site?

A garden makeover sometimes involves several people.  Designers, landscapers, homeowners, landscapers, electricians etc. And to a degree, EVERYBODY is responsible for the safety of themselves and others. However, in they eyes of the law, responsibility falls on the person who has commissioned the work, UNLESS they appoint somebody else to oversee health, safety and workmanship.  

The appointment needs to be IN WRITING. If you have chosen your landscaper carefully, you won’t have to do anything except sign a pre-prepared document.

What Are The Health And Safety Risks On A Landscaping Project? 

You wouldn’t believe the long list of potential hazards on a landscaping site.  But when you start thinking about it, there really is quite a lot that could go very wrong indeed.

  • Slipping on wet or muddy surfaces
  • Tripping on an uneven surface
  • Falling from heights – with tree work or when erecting garden structures
  • Mishaps with power tools
  • Collapsing footings
  • Soil movement – eg when creating retaining walls
  • Risk of damaging buried electrical wires
  • Exposure to dust
  • Sunstroke

Managing the Risks And Taking Precautions

As members of the Association of Professional Landscapers, Manor Landscapes take our health and safety responsibilities very seriously indeed.  We are always very careful to comply with CDM Regulations for your sake and for ours.

Our teams are trained to continuously review risks on site. 

We’re very strict about keeping a tidy site, wearing protective gear and using barriers and signs to keep each other safe. 

If power tools or machinery are needed for a job, only trained operatives will be allowed to use them.  

Our teams have regular first aid training too – thankfully it’s rarely needed.

Explaining CDM Regulations in Greater Detail

If you are at all concerned about your role as a client when it comes to CDM Regulations, please don’t ever be afraid to ask us for more detail. There is plenty of information online and you’ll also find that Alan Sargent’s book “Buying A Garden” gives a really clear explanation of the roles and responsibilities of clients, designers and contractors.

Click here to order your copy of “Buying A Garden”


Contact Us to chat about CDM Regulations and what they mean for your landscaping project.

Download Health and Safety Guidance On CDM Regulations

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