Health and Safety Files (H&S File)
Health & Safety Files (H&S) are concise documents that include health and safety information to allow maintenance, cleaning, alterations, refurbishment or demolition to be carried out safely. Typically they include details of the project and design philosophy, contact details, manufacturer’s literature for all trades, certificates and warranties and as-fitted drawings.
The Principal Designer is given responsibility to provide a H&S File as part of their obligations under The Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM) and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. As the project progresses, the design team / construction team will be required to provide input to the document as necessary to ensure that hazards or risks are identified, mitigated where possible or managed.
Dewick & Associates are able to provide a H&S File from scratch or can become involved on behalf of the General Contractor / Builder to manage the process and carry the document through to completion.
On completion, the building owner must ensure that the H&S File is available to all who need information in the file such as leaseholders, persons who clean, maintain, alter, refurbish, repair or demolish any of the building and, in the event of further works, the newly-commissioned project’s principal designer. The H&S File is provided with an Amendment Control Sheet which enables changes to be logged.
In general, a H&S File will include the following:
- A description of the Project
- Project Directory for emergency and key contacts
- Guidance on risks of general maintenance such as working at height or enclosed spaces
- Services installation information including Fire Block Plans
- Site Information
- Residual Risks and Hazards and how to manage them
- Fire Strategy Drawings and Reports
- Maintenance Strategies – but not full log sheets
- Sections for Certificates, As-Installed / Fitted Drawings and Manufacturer’s Literature.
It should be noted that the H&S File is not provided in-lieu of the O&M manual, these are distinctly different documents and both are required for a building handover.
Author: Louise Gardner, General Manager of Dewick & Associates