The Building Manual Blog

What is a Health & Safety File / Building Manual?

Are you complying with the Construction Design Management Regulations 2015? Do you know your responsibilities?

A Health and Safety File (HSF) is required for all projects involving more than one contractor (as per the Construction Design Management (CDM) Regulations 2015). The law applies to the whole construction process on all construction projects, from concept to completion; and what each Dutyholders must or should do to comply with the law to ensure projects are carried out in a way that secures health and safety.

The Health and Safety file should contain the information needed to allow future construction work, including cleaning, maintenance, alterations refurbishment and demolition to be carried out safely. The scope, structure and format of the file should be agreed early between the client and the Principal Designer at the start of the project.

The Building Manual contains the information that is required for the operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of a building. The building manual is prepared by the contractor with additional information from the Structural Engineers, Suppliers / Sub-contractors and the Principal Designer. It is a requirement that is defined in the First Stages (or known as Preliminaries)   section of the tender documentation where its contents will be described, although there may be additional requirements regarding mechanical and electrical services in the M&E specification.

Do you have the know-how experience to produce an appropriate HSF/Building Manual?

So when you are required to produce HSF/Building Manual, have no fear simply because TEAM SPHERE are here! With over 15 years of producing HSF/Building Manuals (some files running over 23 volumes!) Vicky Woodward our GradIOSH Safety bod and her team of incredible safety minions have infinite experience in producing high quality manuals which exceed our client’s expectations.

Working closely with Construction firms and producing over hundreds HSF/Buildings Manuals, We pride ourselves on providing a custom-built service. We ensure the HSF/Building Manuals meet the CDM Regulations and the client’s requirements i.e. how they would like it to be presented, ensuring they can find what they need when they need it.

The best part of the production of HSF/Building Manual is that the price is dependent upon the risk, time taken, scope and size of the project. We take on the onerous task of gathering and compiling information from sub-contractors and suppliers and present it in the format required by your Client/Principal Designer, saving you valuable time at the end of a project. So it makes sense that you don’t delay to make an enquiry and receive the service you need.


Thank you for spending your precious time reading our blog.


Team Sphere. 


Calling all Estate & Letting Agents in Leicester – have you got your contractor control systems inplace

Protecting your business is essential, having the right controls in place will help you to do justhat at. Sphere RHSM Ltd has the experience and knowledge to provide advice and action when you need it, We are local and based in Kettering. Just ring 0116 202 9679 and we can furnish you with the information you require.

Below is a case which shows exactly what not to do. The fines & costs are not insurable, neither is the loss of reputation.

The HSE issue warnings to Lettings & Estate Agents after preventable contractor death

Health and safety chiefs have warned companies to take precautions when hiring self-employed workers following the death of a 79-year-old man.

Contractor Roger Jary, from Welshpool, Powys, died after falling through a carport roof in 2010.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said estate agent Morris Marshall and Poole (MMP) admitted health and safety breaches and was fined £75,000.

Morris Marshall & Poole have made determined efforts to ensure that everything possible is done to prevent a similar accident occurring in the future”

Mr Jary was hired by MMP to carry out minor repairs to a carport and a gutter of a rented bungalow in Welshpool, which the company managed for the owner.

But the HSE said MMP failed to ensure the work was properly planned and organised or if Mr Jary was competent to carry out the work.

Chester Crown Court heard on Tuesday that Mr Jary fell through the plastic roof of the carport on 10, August 2010.

The HSE said MMP admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974.

It said the firm was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,153.95.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Chris Wilcox said: “Roger Jary might be alive today if simple safety measures had been put in place.

‘Shocked and saddened’
“Morris, Marshall and Poole had a duty to ensure the safety of those they employed, whether working directly for them or not.

“If your business is managing properties then you must ensure that anyone you engage to maintain those properties is competent and carries out their work safely to ensure their safety and that of others.”

After the hearing MMP expressed its “sincere condolences” to Mr Jary’s family and friends.

Sphere RHSM based in Cambridge can offer a simple contractor control solution which allows the respective Agent to be confident that their Contractors have the requisite safety documentation and responsibility statements in place.

This contractor cosystem system is available to all our Clients has been trialled and used to defend two Clients in the last nine months. It even helps to protect you from enforce action, Prohibition & Improvement Notices.

For information on protecting your business in Leicestershire please ring 0116 202 9679 our team are waiting to help.


A successful risk assessment in five easy stages – 0116 202 9679

At Sphere RHSM Ltd we have lots of experience in helping our business partners risk assess and safeguard their business, by protecting employees through simple risk assessments. Based in Kettering and near to Leicester we are always happy to give some free advice, just ring us.

I have put the basics of a risk assessment down for you to read through. If your business is based in Leicester then please feel free to arrange a 1-2-1

First rule is not to overcomplicate the process. In many organisations, the risks are well known and the necessary control measures may already be in place. You probably already know whether, for example, you have employees who move heavy loads and so could harm their backs, or where people are most likely to slip or trip. In all cases, you should make sure that you involve your staff or their representatives in the risk assessment process. They will have useful information about how the work is done that will make your risk assessment more thorough and effective. But remember, you are responsible for seeing that the assessment is carried out properly. If you work in a larger organisation, you could ask a health and safety adviser to help you with your risk assessment.

The main and first area for the risk assessment is to work out how people could be harmed. Walk around the workplace and look at what could be expected to be a risk. Feel free to ask your employees or their representatives for their opinion. Manufacturer’s instructions or data sheets are useful in specifying which chemicals and equipment has been used and the sheets spell out the hazards. Your accident and ill-health records are a good source of information. When you work in a place every day it is easy to overlook some hazards.

Deciding who might be harmed and how is the second area to consider during your risk assessment. For each hazard you need to be clear about who might be harmed; it will help you identify the best way of managing the risk. This simply means identifying groups of people (eg ‘people working in the storeroom’ or ‘passers-by’). In each case, the risk assessment should identify how they might be harmed, i.e. what type of injury or ill health might occur and where it may occur.

During the risk assessment, the third stage is to evaluate the risks and decide on the control measures. Having spotted the hazards, you then have to decide what to do about them. The law requires you to do everything ‘reasonably practicable’ to protect people from harm. For instance, placing a mirror on a dangerous blind corner to help prevent vehicle accidents is a low-cost precaution. Failure to take simple precautions can cost you a lot more if an accident does happen. This is where your risk assessment can help identify these areas where accidents may occur.

It is important to record your findings and make sure you implement them during the fourth stage. Writing down the results of your risk assessment and sharing them with your staff, encourages you to do this. HSE inspectors acknowledge the efforts of businesses that are clearly trying to make improvements. Making a plan of action based on your risk assessment will help you to deal with the most important things in the right priority.

To review and update is the final and fifth stage. Workplaces very rarely stay the same. Sooner or later, you will bring in new equipment, substances and procedures that could lead to new hazards. It makes sense therefore, to review what you are doing on an ongoing basis by completing a new risk assessment. Once completed, are there improvements you still need to make? Ask your workers to see if they have spotted a problem? And of course, make sure your risk assessment stays up to date. Make sure you learn from accidents or near misses to avoid further accidents and incidents as the HSE are sure to provide improvement notices or prohibition notices for a lack of a workplace risk assessment


Heads up Business Leaders – do you use sub contractors, if so this advice could save you £50K

If you work solely on your own and do not employ sub-contractors then stop reading this, you have more important things to do – but – if you employ sub-contractors, even on a limited basis you will need to know what is in this months Safety Blog.

You can get free monthly safety information by emailing or 01536384437

If you think that you don’t need paperwork for organisations employing less than four persons – think again! Insurance will not cover these costs or you loss of reputation!

In the last nine months we have had three enquiries where small 1 & 2 man operations have been either, claimed against, have had HSE action taken or had been summoned to court. The linking factor with all 3 – accidents befalling their sub contractors, lack of safety documentation and incorrect safety advice.

All 3 organisation had experienced an accident on their site. All 3 had called out the emergency services and all 3 had then been contacted by the HSE. One of the organisations was a Client, a Carpentry company who had taken out a contractors control package, the other two, not Clients, had believed that they didn’t need any form of safety documentation for their roofing and painting operations.

These incidents occurred on both business & domestic premises. In the past the HSE did not look to penalise work on domestic properties, but that landscape has changed as you will see.

Guess who we could defend and who has not been summonsed? 
Yes you are right our Client did not get any form of enforcement notice, either a HSE prohibition or improvement notice. We were able to successfully protect him and his business.

The other two, well that’s a different matter. You see the Government does not help small business, its true you don’t need documentation for organisations with less than four employees – UNTIL – you have an accident or incident and then the first thing that you will get asked for is – you got it right, your risk assessments, method statements, training certificates, employers liability certificate and possibly a safety plan.

So how did we help?
The first thing we did was talk to the owners and give them our opinion based on over 10 years of face to face knowledge. This as you can imagine was not what they wanted to hear, but it was welcomed as it was something they had not been able to get from their other sources. Then we outlined a simple route map to get them from being non-compliant to compliant in the shortest possible timeframe. Finally we advised that they admit liability and state what actions they had taken to prevent recurrence. This course of action will hopefully reduce the fines, but not the court costs.

In reality both these two organisations had spent years relying on ineffective advice and incorrect safety management systems.

Our Carpentry Client can sleep at night knowing he has the systems in place to protect him and his business. The other two organisations have spent the last four months not knowing their liability, worrying about what to do next & there next step to safeguard their business. The disappointing fact is that one of the organisations looks like his fine will be £40K and HSE costs £10K.

If you employ sub contractors you will need to prove that either you have adequate H&S systems or that they have their own.

If you would like more information on this topic then please ring 01536384437, our team are waiting to help. You can also email .

What is the cost?
What both these two organisations don’t realize is that for as little as £100 per month (ex VAT) they could have had the proper safety management systems in place.

So who do you know who says I don’t need this form of business protection and who could benefit from this service?

If you are interested or know someone who could benefit from this service then please email or call on 01536384437.