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What is a Safety File ?

What is a Safety File?

The Safety File is a record of information, prepared by the project supervisor design process for the end user, which focuses on safety and health. The information it contains will alert those who are responsible for the structure and services in it of the significant safety and health risks that will need to be addressed during subsequent maintenance, repair or other construction work including demolition.

Who prepares the Safety File?

The Project Supervisor for the Design Process prepares the Safety File and presents it to the Client when the project is complete.

Who provides the material for the Safety File?

Some of the material for the safety file comes from the information, which the designers and the project supervisor construction stage and contractors are required to provide.

What information should be included in the Safety File?

Relevant information may include:

  • construction drawings, specifications and bills of quantities, used and produced throughout the construction process

  • the general design criteria

  • details of the equipment and maintenance facilities within the structure

  • maintenance procedures and requirements for the structure

  • manuals, certificates, produced by specialist contractors and suppliers which outline operating and maintenance procedures and schedules for plant and equipment installed as part of the structure, typically lifts, electrical and mechanical installations and window cleaning

  • details of the location and nature of utilities and services, including emergency and fire-fighting systems

What are the duties of the Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP) relating to the safety file?

The PSDP must prepare the safety file and deliver it to the client on completion of the project. It must contain relevant safety and health information, including any information provided by the PSCS that must be taken into account during any construction work carried out following completion of the project.

What are the duties of designers relating to the safety file?

Designers must:

  • take account of any safety file

  • provide the PSDP with any relevant information in writing, about the project, that is necessary for the project supervisor to prepare the safety file e.g. aspects of the design that could create risks during future construction work or maintenance

What are the duties of the Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS) relating to the safety file?

The PSCS must:

  • coordinate arrangements among contractors to ensure the provision of relevant information, in writing, necessary for the project supervisor for the design process to complete the safety file

  • monitor the implementation of the arrangements

  • take any necessary corrective action if the contractors fail to provide the relevant information to the PSDP

  • provide in writing to the PSDP all relevant information necessary for that project supervisor to complete the safety file

What happens to the safety file when the project is finished?

On completion, the safety file must be delivered to the final owner of the structure to which the safety file relates.

What are the duties of the client relating to the safety file?

The client must keep the safety file available for inspection by any person who may need the information in order to fulfil their duties or to carry out construction work on the structure to which the safety file relates.

I am building a domestic dwelling for a client who is also a developer, who should I pass the safety file to?

The safety file should be passed on to the local authority, or to a management company if the project involves the building or domestic dwellings for a client who is also a developer, if the completed development is taken “in charge” by the local authority or by a management company.

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