Health & Safety Files (H&S Files)
It is often more practical for us to compile the H&S File instead of the CDMC.
If this is required, we use a standard H&S File layout as laid out in the CDM Regs and put this file together along side the O&M Manuals. Typically, there will be a number of references from the H&S File to information within the O&M Manuals, so this is a logical way to do things. Health and safety files are only required for projects involving more than one contractor.
Although the CDM Regs 2015 say that the Principal Designer / CDMC should compile and issue the Health and Safety File at the end of a job, it also states:
“The CDM Regs 2015 state “For the duration of the principal designer’s appointment, the principal contractor plays a secondary role in ensuring the health and safety file is fit for purpose. They must provide the principal designer with any relevant information that needs to be included in the health and safety file”
“Where the principal designer’s appointment finishes before the end of the project, the principal contractor must take on responsibility for ensuring that the file is reviewed, updated and revised for the remainder of the project”
It certainly makes sense for the main contractor to be closely involved in the production of the H&S File because much of the information that it requires is sourced from the same people and places as the information in the O&M Manuals.
For example, operation and maintenance instructions from manufacturers are usually in close proximity to the safety data sheets and when we get Installation information from subcontractors, we might as well also ask them about any residual risks encountered during their works.
So, because of this main contractor clients often instruct us to put the H&S File together at the same time as the O&M Manuals and because we will already be getting information from various sources for the O&Ms that also have the H&S File info, there is only a relatively small charge to include the H&S File within our remit.