The Operations & Maintenance Manual [O&M Manual]

What is an O&M manual?

When asking what an O&M Manual is (or what it should contain), you’re likely to get a variety of answers. Some will say it’s the Manufacturer’s Literature. Others will mention Drawings or Certificates. Another will say COSHH Data Sheets. Few will give you the same answer. The truth is, all these things are relevant contents to an O&M Manual; yet, they’re not actually what an O&M Manual is.

An O&M Manual is a document which summarises the information required for the operation, maintenance, periodical testing, inspection and repairs to a building or project. Moreover, it guides the End User through that information; to help them pull together Planned Preventative Maintenance routines, Risk Assessments, Testing Schedules and Cleaning Schedules. The O&M Manual is a handbook on how to use everything properly, safely and keep it all in good order.

Why are O&Ms a pain for contractors and clients?

O&Ms are a prerequisite for practical completion, yet the resources and time required to gather all relevant information is often underestimated or left too late. As a result, clients are often left disappointed with poor quality O&Ms at handover and will postpone sign off if they deem the O&M Manuals incomplete.

This can reflect badly on the contractor and prevent valuable site staff from moving on to future projects as they fix any issues. In turn, there is a knock-on effect for building managers and facilities maintenance teams who are unable to maintain their building safely and efficiently.

Why Outsource?

Producing manuals in-house can be a drain on time and resources, distracting from the main task of construction. Outsourcing to a specialist provider like Safety For Construction has a number of tangible benefits to contractors and clients, including;

  • Ensures the Principal Contractor meets the Client’s expectations.
  • Allows contractor focus to remain on construction.
  • Helps ensure quality and consistent delivery.
  • End users receive concise, useful information on how to run and maintain their building.
  • Eliminates stress at practical completion.
  • Removes the burden from site teams.
  • Ensures there is a realistic budget for O&Ms in cost plans.

How We Help

At Safety For Construction, we believe the key to any successful project is the smooth handover between project team and end user. Our dedicated O&M team aim to take the pain out of O&Ms for our clients. We understand contractors do not always have the resources or time to produce quality O&Ms for every project. We also understand the frustrations of end-users who receive poor quality construction information at project handover.

By using our collaborative cloud based platform and managing the flow of information into the O&M Manuals, while reporting to all parties concerned, Safety For Construction bridge the gap between the Principal Contractor, their sub-contractors and the Stakeholders involved in the project. The Principal Contractor is provided with an overview of the O&M Manual development, confident in the knowledge that all the pieces are being collated in a logical, timely fashion, ready to be available for the hand-over date required.

About the Author

Matt McKeown

Matthew joined Safety For Construction as a Principal Designer and CDM Advisor in July 2016, with over 10 years’ experience working in health and safety across a variety of sectors including spending 5 years working in the United Arab Emirates. Matt now manages his own team of Principal Designers on projects nationwide.
Having worked with a diverse range of people throughout his career, Matt has honed his communication skills and ability to develop and maintain close working relationships at all levels of a project. Matt is a keen problem solver and uses his experience to offer pragmatic solutions in design and throughout a scheme.
In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors with his beloved French Bulldog, Marcel, and attempting to play golf. Matt has a keen interest in everything music and sport related and can often be found playing air guitar in his Man United themed bedroom.