What is the content of the Health and Safety File?

Appointment letters

The Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations requires appointments to be made. Examples include First Aiders, Health and Safety Representatives, Principal Contractor, Contractor etc.

Medical Certificates

The Construction Regulations, 2014, requires that all employees who perform Construction work be declared fit to do so. Medical Certificates are issued by an Occupational Health Practitioner.

Risk Assessments

The Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Construction Regulations, 2014, requires an employer to perform an assessment to ascertain what the hazards and risks are associated with a particular task or job. Employees need to be made aware of these risks.

Method Statements

A Method Statement is a document detailing how a particular task or activity will be carried out. It should detail the possible dangers/risks associated with your particular part of the project and the methods of control to be established, to show how the work will be managed safely. 

Safe Working Procedures

A Safe Working Procedure (SWP) is a document detailing how a task or activity will be carried out safely. It includes a description of responsibilities, PPE requirements, records to be completed etc.

Health and Safety Induction

Induction is the process whereby the employer makes the employee aware of the different hazards and risks associated with his/her job description, as well as other standard safety procedures and requirements from the company. An induction should always be the entry point for any employee and accurate records should be kept to proof compliance.

Health and Safety Plan

The Health and Safety Plan is a detailed document containing information with regards to the project, the health and safety management system, method statements, toolbox talks and other relevant information.

Inspection Records and Registers

Various Inspection Records and Registers are required to be kept as per Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations (incl. Construction Regulations). Examples of these include Health and Safety Inspections done by H&S Representatives, Excavation Inspection Register, Suspended Platform and other Equipment Inspection Register, Electrical Machinery Inspection Checklist (Daily) etc.

Emergency Plan

An Emergency Plan is a detailed document describing the procedure that will be followed in case of an emergency incident occurring, for instance a fire, bomb explosion, serious injury, chemical spillage etc.

Proof of Competency and Training

It is imperative that records be kept for all training conducted, including on-site/internal training provided by the Employer. Proof of Competency, such as certificates from training conducted at external training providers should also be kept and may be requested by the Department of Labour during site visits.

Scope of Work

The Scope of work is a document giving details with regards to what is included and excluded in the work to be done, equipment used and other details of the project that may have an influence on the Scope of Work.

Contractor list with details

The Construction Regulations require that a list with the Contractor’s contact details be included in the Health and Safety File.

Waste Management Plan

The Waste Management Plan is a document describing what waste streams are generated during the project and the disposal method/s thereof.

Other permits, notifications or authorizations.

Depending on the Scope of work, other documentation may be required by the Client for example Notification of Construction work.

What Is A Health And Safety File

A health and safety file is a file, containing various documentation and records, that needs to be kept in terms of the Construction Regulations, 2014. The Construction Regulations, 2014 requires every principal contractor, contractor (including sub-contractors) to have and maintain a health and safety file containing documentation and records to proof compliance to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 and Construction Regulations, 2014.

Principal Contractor or Contractor?

According to the Construction Regulations, 2014 the definitions are:
Contractor means an employer who performs construction work
Principal contractor means an employer appointed by the client to perform construction work

What is Construction work?

The Construction Regulations, 2014 defines it as:
Any work in connection with -
a) the construction, erection, alteration, renovation, repair, demolition or dismantling of or addition to a building or any similar structure;
b) the construction, erection, maintenance, demolition or dismantling of any bridge, dam, canal, road, railway, runway or water reticulation system; or the moving of earth, clearing of land, the making of excavation, piling, or any similar civil engineering or type of work