Operational Excellence

Writing a Construction Safety Plan: All You Need To Know

Written By: Joe Demski
April 14, 2022
5 min read

No matter the size or scope of a construction project, completing the job safely is a top priority. A thorough construction safety plan provides teams with direction to create a safe working environment for everyone on site. And when incidents do occur, a safety plan offers adequate guidance for responding to work-related emergencies.

Construction companies should consistently implement site-specific safety plans to protect workers from potential hazards and safety pitfalls. Writing a safety plan is complex, but this article will break it down so that you can create a site-specific plan for your organization.

What is a Construction Safety Plan?

A construction safety plan is a document that spells out the processes involved in identifying, preventing, and mitigating safety issues. This written document can be anything from a comprehensive safety initiative or specific to a particular activity or piece of equipment. Construction workers, project managers, and personnel can benefit from implementing a site-specific safety plan.

Most organizations compile all construction safety procedures and quality control guidelines into one manual. Here are some of the sections you might find in a construction safety plan:

  • Safety policy statement

  • List of responsible personnel

  • Safety and emergency contact information

  • Details regarding the job site’s location and condition

  • Description of the project scope from a safety perspective

  • List of identified hazards

  • Hazard control policies

Elements to Add to a Construction Safety Plan

The construction industry has the third highest fatality rate of any industry, so having a good safety plan is highly valuable for organizations. Workers and their families are right to be concerned about the safety of their loved ones in this profession. Because of this, construction professionals seek out positions with affordable life insurance options, company-wide safety plans, and specialized equipment safety training.

A well-designed safety plan for construction is crucial to protect workers and members of the community while a construction project is in progress. When a safety plan is established from the outset, employers can more effectively identify hazards and take preventative measures from the get-go.

These are a few critical elements to add to a construction safety plan:

Personal protective equipment

List any personal protective equipment (PPE) that workers should use while on the job site. Hard hats, protective eyewear, facemasks, earplugs, gloves, and steel toe boots are all examples of PPE that are commonly found at a construction site.

Construction site rules and regulations

Ensure a hazard-free workplace by including a list of rules to address safety issues. For example, while OSHA doesn’t specifically regulate smoking on construction sites, a construction company may limit smoking to designated areas as a precaution.

List employee roles and expectations

While it may not seem that important at first, having a list of on-site personnel can come in handy during an emergency. Workers need to have a clear understanding of their role in the project to be effective without compromising the safety of themselves and others.

Operating procedures and safety precautions

One effective way to manage risk on construction sites is to provide written operating procedures that workers can refer to on the job. It’s also good to post safety precautions and warning signage in areas with hazardous materials or where accidents could occur.

Consider extreme weather conditions

Some construction projects last for months or even years. Projects that span numerous seasons are likely to experience different weather conditions. Your safety manual should note whether or not workers can safely operate specific equipment during situations such as high winds or a rainstorm. Include considerations for extreme weather emergencies such as tornadoes, earthquakes, or flooding.

Emergency contact information

In an emergency, there is no time to waste. An easy-to-locate list of contacts in case of emergency can lead to a faster response and improve safety outcomes. Keep this emergency contact list in more than one location and make sure it is accessible to all workers, contractors, and other construction personnel.

Reporting instructions and procedures

An often forgotten section of a good site-specific safety plan addresses how to report accidents and what to do in the event of a safety incident. OSHA has strict requirements for documenting accidents and injuries, including detailed instructions for managers and employees to follow in your plan.

Construction Safety Plan Template

Federal OSHA standards require construction safety plans for certain workplace activities and materials in the US. Many state departments also have specific safety requirements, including a written safety plan.

Because safety plans prevent worker injuries, improve productivity and prepare workers for emergencies, construction companies often voluntarily create safety plans even when it is not required.

This construction safety plan template is a simple way to begin writing your site-specific safety plan:

Company Information

  • Name:
  • Address:
  • Phone Number:
  • Site-Specific Safety Plan Approved By:
  • Approved Date:

Site Information

  • Project Name:
  • Project Address:
  • Project Manager:
    • Contact Info:
  • Site Safety Officer:
    • Contact Info:
  • Site Supervisor:
    • Contact Info:
  • Contractor:
    • Contact Info:
  • Project Description:

Emergency Services Contact Information

  • Name of Nearest Medical Emergency Facility:
    • Address:
    • Contact Info:
  • Name Of Local Police Department:
    • Address:
    • Contact Info:

Subcontractors Covered

  • Subcontractor Name:
    • Role/Job Description Contact Info:
  • Site Rules
  • PPE:
  • Smoking:
  • Restricted areas:
  • Other rules:

FAQs

How do I write an OSHA safety plan?

Writing an OSHA safety plan is required for industry workplaces that deal with hazardous substances and certain equipment to ensure worker safety.

OSHA recommends that each written construction safety plan include elements such as:

  • Safety goals statement

  • List of safety management

  • Hazard identification

  • Hazard controls

  • Hazard safety practices

  • Emergency and accident response protocols

  • Employee training

  • Communication and reporting procedures

What should a site-specific safety plan include?

A site-specific safety plan for construction should include contact details, project information, and emergency contact info.

In addition to the company’s name and phone number, a site-specific safety plan should indicate job site details such as the project manager’s name, safety officers, EHS managers, and other key management personnel contact information.

Site-specific safety plans should also indicate which local emergency services to contact if an incident occurs.

Written By: Joe Demski

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