Health & Safety File for the 21st Century

(Not a lever-arch file in sight)

The promise of the paperless office has been making headlines for many years. The benefits of electronic storage have long been seen as a potential cost and time saving exercise, albeit not always easy to achieve.

Bradford Metropolitan District Council has had the dream of an electronic Health & Safety File since the HSE's original Construction (Design and Management) Regulations of 1994 came into being. Ai Solutions Ltd, suppliers of their ToolKit CDM software have worked with them to produce a Health & Safety file fit for the 21st century, integrating it with the Operations and Maintenance Manual and associated documents.

The key requirement of accessibility is delivered instantly by your normal internet browser to every user in any location. Property managers, designers, health and safety managers and internal and external contractors can achieve real benefit in planning and tracking their programmes and quickly finding essential information relating to ongoing health and safety management of every building and structure.

On top of that huge cost savings can be achieved in getting rid of mountains of lever arch files. In Bradford this ran to over a 100 linear metres of shelving and 100's of rolls of drawings.

The health & safety information, asbestos records and maintenance records of all of Bradford's many properties and buildings are available to anyone with permission to view. This information will always be up to date and will have an audit history. Maintenance contractors and designers will have the facility to download and update documents.

The Health & Safety File becomes a live and relevant tool of proactive management rather than a document prepared solely to meet legal requirements and measured by the number of pages in it and the layers of dust on top of it.

Trevor Olsson, the CDM Manager for Bradford District Council, says

"We have used the Ai Solutions CDM ToolKit™ since 1995 as the main tool for preparing and maintaining The Pre Tender Health and Safety Plan and The Health and Safety File along with all the other CDM documents and records.

"Over the years we have worked with Ai Solutions in the development of the ToolKit™ and have pushed for the electronic file. With the advent of the CDM 2007 Regulations, it became important to be able to manage the Pre-Construction Information on line, thus ensuring that designers all have access to the latest information from project inception to practical completion.

"Over the last few years pressure has been placed on Contractors and Designers to provide H&S File information electronically for easy insertion into the File. The latest development of the ToolKit CS™ will now allow us to make project specific documents available to all members of the Client, design and construction team. And the publication of the Health and Safety File electronically direct to the Building Managers PC. This will save the council hundreds of pounds in the production of the file on major projects, and will ensure that the H&S File is always complete and available when required".

The Health & Safety File finally comes of Age.

4th September 2007

For more information, call 01525 850080 or