When the project is finished and the Health and Safety File has been handed over by the Principal Designer, the client should keep it available for those who need to use it. Usually this will include maintenance contractors, the Principal Designer and contractors preparing or carrying out future construction work.
Ideally, the Health and Safety File should be kept available for inspection on the premises to which it relates. It may be useful to store the Health and Safety File in two parts. One part will be more relevant for day to day use, eg operational and maintenance manuals. The other part will be for longer term use, eg drawings which will only be required when major alteration work is carried out. In addition the Health and Safety File could be stored electronically or on microfiche. In whatever form it is stored, it should be easily accessible.
On a project which involves work on part of a structure for which there is no Health and Safety File, a file only has to be created in relation to the construction work carried out and not for the whole of the structure. Eventually, as further work is carried out on that structure, the Health and Safety File will be added to and amended.
If the client sells all or part of the structure, the Health and Safety File, or the relevant parts of the Health and Safety File, should be passed to the new owner.