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This is What Makes a Top-tier Construction Safety Management Plan

Construction safety rules are written in blood. If you’re planning a construction project, you may not want to “create” any such rules of your own.

On site, a strong safety culture starts with all staff knowing the safety expectations and their duties and commitments. In this post, we will discuss construction safety management plans and what your project manager should include in this document to keep your project accident-free.

1. Safety organization

All site personnel must know who’s in charge of safety. This recognition of the command chain can help the site react efficiently when a safety hazard becomes apparent.

To this end, the Construction Safety Plan should clearly state which supervisor is responsible for ensuring safety and has the authority to stop work as needed. The Plan must also single out the safety representative and list their duties.

Crucially, the Plan must be clear that everyone on site, including subcontractors, should adhere to the safety policies. This document also needs to state that the management expects all local, State, and Federal safety laws to be followed by everyone on site.

2. Medical response
This section must detail the availability and location of all first aid kits. It should also mention who the designated first responder is, list this person’s first aid credentials, and describe how they will be summoned if a safety incident occurs.

3. Inspections

Frequent inspections are vital to ensuring safety compliance from site staff. These inspections should include all work areas of the site, as well as all equipment. The Safety Plan needs to make it clear who will perform these inspections, how often they will occur, which areas will be assessed, and how violations will be handled.

4. Safety briefing

With subcontractors coming and going, most sites see frequent worker turnovers. New workers must be briefed on all aspects of site safety, and the Construction Safety Plan must state the procedures for their indoctrination. This includes safety training, PPE use, and any hazardous situations expected on the site.

5. Safety training

Because safety training is ongoing, the plan for safety needs to be current on all scheduled training dates. The Plan must outline the time, location, and instructor for each training event. The document must remind all staff to come ready to share their safety concerns during these meetings.

6. Keeping the site neat

Messy sites are full of hazards, and tidiness is not only a crucial safety measure but also a reflection of the site’s safety culture. The Safety Plan needs to be clear about the site’s housekeeping duties: who performs them, when, and what the expected standards are.

7. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

A quintessential pillar of safety, PPE is required for all site staff and visitors. These requirements must be made clear in the Safety Plan. What’s more, the Plan needs to list all the PPE issued to staff and visitors, including:

  • hard hats
  • safety harnesses
  • safety goggles
  • safety boots
  • reflective vests
  • safety gloves

The plan must explain what activities require this gear, how it should be used, and how often it needs replacement.

8. Reporting

This section defines the post-accident reporting requirements. All safety incidents must have their file and report, regardless of severity. The reports typically cover:

  • the details of the accident,
  • investigation findings, and
  • what was done to eliminate the safety hazard

The Safety Plan must identify who will assume control over accident investigations, prepare the accident report, and where the records will be kept.

9. Work zone warning devices

Depending on the project, these may consist of temporary road signs, barricades, and signals. The Safety Plan should list the available devices, explain when they’re needed, and describe the training site staff must take before using them.

10. Fire protection

Fires can inflict tremendous damage on building projects. Unfortunately, construction sites are full of potential fire hazards. A quality Safety Plan must:

  • list precautions during fueling and other hazardous activities
  • list the on-site fire protection equipment and its locations
  • identify the person responsible for calling emergency services

Because few, if any, staff are trained to fight fires, the Plan must urge site personnel not to attempt suppressing the fire. As well, the Plan should establish fire evacuation routes and an assembly point in a safe place away from the site.

11. Lockout/Tagout procedures

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures are set in place to ensure that electrical equipment is de-energized while site staff performs work in its vicinity. The Safety Plan needs to reference the LOTO procedures and include all hazardous energy sources, isolation points, and staff responsible for placing and removing lockout tags.

12. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Building sites often store hazardous chemicals. To ensure their safe use, relevant Material Safety Data Sheets must be made available and updated regularly to reflect the substances present on site. The plan for safety must inform site personnel of the MSDS locations, the person responsible for their maintenance, and whom to ask questions related to hazardous substances.

13. Safety plan review procedures

A construction site never stands still. As the building grows, the safety requirements must adapt to the changes. To this end, the Plan should establish how often it gets reviewed and by whom.

Final thoughts
Lost time can be made up, budgets can be tightened, but your site’s personnel only have one life. You have to send them home alive and healthy at the end of every shift. That’s why construction safety is the most vital aspect of any project. A construction safety plan helps get everyone involved onto the same page regarding safety standards and expectations. To get a top-notch plan drafted for your project, be sure to get professional assistance from a seasoned construction management professional.

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