Health & Safety File Responsibilities – Who Is Responsible For What?

What Is A CDM Health & Safety File?

The Health and Safety File is a requirement of The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015, and is a record of information for the Client, or End User, regarding a site or structure, which focuses on health and safety. The information it contains will alert those who are responsible for the structure of the key health and safety risks that will need to be dealt with during subsequent maintenance, repair, cleaning, demolition, and construction work.

It can also provide information for future projects/works and is useful to:

i) Clients who have a duty to provide information about their premises;
ii) Designers during the development of future designs;
iii) Those preparing pre-construction information for future work; and
iv) Principal Contractor/Contractors preparing to carry out or manage this work.

The CDM Health & Safety File can provide significant benefits to the Client by minimising the cost of future work. It is a key part of the pre-construction information that the Client is required to provide for future projects under the CDM Regulations. The File should therefore be kept up to date following any relevant work, surveys etc.

When Is A Health & Safety File Required?

The CDM Health and Safety File is only required for projects involving more than one Contractor. It must contain relevant information about the project which should be taken into account when any construction work is carried out on the building, after the current project has finished. Information included should only be that which is needed to plan and carry out future work safely and without risks to health.

Who Develops/Prepares The Health & Safety File?

The Principal Designer must prepare the File, and review, update and revise it as the project progresses. If the Principal Designer’s appointment continues to the end of the project, they must also pass the completed File to the Client to keep. If the Principal Designer’s appointment finishes before the end of the project, the File must be passed to the Principal Contractor. The Principal Contractor must then take responsibility for reviewing, updating and revising it and then passing it on to the Client.

What Are The Responsibilities In Relation To The Health & Safety File?

All Duty Holders under the CDM Regulations 2015 have specific duties in relation to the Health and Safety File. These are summarised below:

  • Clients – The Client must supply any relevant information for inclusion within the Health & Safety File. At the end of the project, on receipt of the complete Health & Safety File from the Principal Designer/Principal Contractor, the Client must make it available for inspection upon request.
  • Designers – All Designers have to provide information relevant to future cleaning, maintenance, construction and demolition work to the Principal Designer before completion of a project; including information regarding foreseeable health and safety hazards and risks that remain.
  • Principal Designer – The Principal Designer must prepare, review, amend or add to the Health & Safety File as the project progresses and issue the complete document to the Client at the end of the project.
  • Principal Contractor – The Principal Contractor is responsible for ensuring that relevant health and safety information is prepared and collated from appointed Sub-Contractors for inclusion within the Health & Safety File. Should the Principal Designer’s role cease before completion of the project, then the Principal Contractor takes responsibility for completing and issuing the File to the Client, or End User.
  • Contractors – Contractors have responsibility for ensuring that information requested by the Principal Contractor is promptly issued for inclusion within the Health & Safety File.

Need Help?

If you need support and assistance in coordinating and compiling the Health and Safety File for your project, or simply cannot afford the time to put a File together, then please contact one of our CDM Consultants today to talk through your project. Call Marpal on 01332 668877 or email us at [email protected].

Marpal - CDM Consultancy - Long CTA