Site conditions

We’ve provided an overview of the health and safety aspects to consider when dealing with site conditions below but this is no replacement for our full CDM 2015 Guidance on Asbestos and Lead which are available for download.


If disturbed, asbestos can be a very harmful material. Designers are in an ideal position to help manage the hazards associated with it – making the construction site a safer place to be.

Asbestos is a dangerous material with the potential to cause very serious health problems for those who come into contact with it. It is important to be aware of this material when reviewing site conditions.

Although the use of asbestos is now completely prohibited in the UK, it was used extensively in the construction industry throughout the 20th century. As a result there is a risk that construction workers will be exposed to high levels of asbestos during renovation or refurbishment projects, if the right precautions are not taken.

To guard against the risks associated with asbestos, there is not a set of regulations that strictly controls how people work with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). These are the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, which bring together all previous sets of Regulations.

Download the full guide:


Other useful SID CDM 2015 Guidance:

  • Management of the post-project information: the health and safety file


Designers now avoid lead-based paint, because of the health risks associated with
it. But it was used in the past – so it pays to be aware of the dangers when working on existing structures.

Lead is one of the site conditions that can seriously damage human health, whether it is ingested or inhaled. Exposure can result in a range of symptoms, such as nausea, headaches, kidney damage or problems with the nervous system and brain. If an unborn child is exposed to lead, it can result in a stillbirth.

This issue is serious enough to warrant its own set of regulations, known as the
Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW 2002). While designers do not specific lead in projects now, its use was sufficiently widespread in the past to make it a significant hazard when working on existing structures.

That means designers should be aware of the dangers associated with lead-based
paint. They should consider the aspects of a project where the risk of exposure to lead is high, and be certain to minimise the hazard.

Download the full guide:


Other useful SID CDM 2015 Guidance:

  • Design and decision making: the pre-construction information
  • Management of the works: the health and safety plan
  • Management of the post-project information: the health and safety file