The archive Store at the top of the yard at [site name], was not conducive to retention of paper records, i.e. damp.
Some Context to the Finding
Construction projects generate a lot of paperwork and there are legal and contractual obligations to retain such documentation. The civil engineering company had an effective process for achiving project documentation and made use of a dedicated storage container in their yard.
Unfortunately, during a routine surveillance visit, the assessor identified that, due to lack of adequate heating, records were becoming damaged by damp, meaning that the company failed to ensure that they were "adequately protected (e.g. from loss of confidentiality, improper use, or loss of integrity)."
Action taken to address the finding
It was not possible to install heat into the storage container, nor did the company have any additional space that could have been used. The age and quantity of the documents meant that scanning project records was not considered to be a viable option.
The best option was therefore to source a specialist provider of document storage solutions; one that would ensure that documents were protected from the elements, but could be readily accessed by the company as needed.
Lessons to take from this finding
When archiving documentation, it is important to ensure that records will be adequately protected.
Storing documents requires space, heat, and light, and may require sizeable storage facilities. These things all cost money.
Sometimes it may be preferable to outsource document storage to a specialist organisation.
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