Every safety plan should be a living document that can be easily adapted to the specific safety and contractual needs of each project.
December 10, 2019
Construction Safety Planning
Construction projects vary in what qualifications will be necessary with the bid proposal. Estimating a project then finding out a safety plan is required at the last minute can increase the chance that your firm from not winning the bid. Adding a safety plan now can help you prevent this costly mistake later.
In Arizona a “safety plan” is not always required when you have less than 10 employees, however the pre-qualifications for many companies can require it. With that being said, you have to be ready to do the work with safety a priority no matter the size of your company or your sub-contractors.
Everytime you are working on a job site there is a risk of injury. Putting a plan into place can help decrease reckless accidents. Knowledge of the project scope of work and the contractor trades can help you outline a working safety plan.
Dynamic Safety Plan
A dynamic safety plan can be changed and revised per project to meet the contract requirements. Specific safety needs vary from basic to a highly detailed safety plan. Commercial Construction costs of a project tend to increase the complexity of a safety plan. Identifying hazards that are not readily known as common practice help predict potential pitfalls and create an exit strategy if a safety alert does take place. It is important during an emergency contractors to know who to go to and what to do if something does occur.
The plan’s end goal should be comprehensive to your employees that they know during an “emergency” that you have done what is necessary to protect them. You can start with OSHA regulation “29 CFT 1926, Safety & Health Regulations for Construction.” The outline of each section should propose detail on how you will provide protection for the team & others.
Safety Section 1: Appointed Safety Personnel
Make known to the team the safety responsibility for each worker falls on the site supervisor in charge of that particular jobsite, the supervisor has completed mandatory safety and first aid training, also the supervisor has the authority to halt work if an emergency situation occurs.
Also make known that these same foremen have the authority to use company funds to eliminate danger to any worker, persons, or property. Also identify the company’s safety representative, who is responsible for safety training and where the verification of worker compliance safety regulations are located.
Safety Section 2: Medical Service
Write down a detailed list of who provides medical attention, when and where these services shall be provided, and how and when emergency personnel shall be attained.
Safety Section 3: Inspection
The safety plan should be clear that the supervisor of each jobsite will conduct safety inspections of work areas and they shall also be aware of any issues that arise and any problem will be written in the safety report and noted these incidents shall be corrected immediately.
Safety Section 4: Safety Instruction
Detail the process of which new hires are educated on possible safety issues prior to going to the jobsite. Spell out that all persons on the jobsite shall be required to have been issued personal protective equipment (PPE), each person issued PPE will be knowledgeable of the proper use of equipment, employees and all persons on the jobsite shall be familiar in what scenario requires which specific PPE.
Safety Section 5: Continual Education
Entail how your general contracting company offers training on safety. List who and when these events take place. Employee’s and persons related to jobsite should engage with management on any safety questions or concerns. An agenda should follow as to how those issues are managed and reviewed to provide relief of the problem.
Safety Section 6: Housekeeping
Your worksite is a direct reflection on how you view safety. A clean jobsite is much safer and it indicates a sense of mindfulness. Creating a detailed list of who is responsible for clean-up and times should be posted.
Safety Section 7: PPE
PPE equipment should be issued to each employee. There should be a written and signed document pertaining to the inventory of such items. The person whom is issued the equipment should have proper training and have there PPE equipment readily available as needed. Damaged or lost PPE should be reported to management to replace items.
Safety Section 8: Accident Evaluation
All accidents or infringements on safety should be reported to the site supervisor. There should be a filing system in place that contains all information about the accident, and what steps were taken to rectify the situation. Each accident should be investigated, the person handling this matter should be readily available and be privy to the whereabouts of storing new accident reports.
Safety Section 9: Jobsite Alerts
Provide a map of worksite zones that carry warning devices used by your company and when they should be activated. Deploy a list of any employee trained in specific tools, they shall be able to initiate the use of the work zone safety equipment.
Safety Section 10: Fire Equipment
Label fire protection equipment designated on the site, state who is responsible for deploying fire emergency personnel, and make sure that your employees understand they are not responsible to fight fires unless they are trained in doing so. Precautions shall be in place when working with fueling/storing flammable liquids.
Safety Section 11: Equipment Inspection
List procedures and schedules for inspection times, testing, and specifications according to material manufacturer, or local, state, and federal standards. Equipment shall be tagged for inspections and there should be detail on how deficient equipment is dealt with. Responsibility for these inspections, replacements, and records shall be easily accessible.
Safety Section 12: Lockout/tag-out
Meet with your team on lockout/tag-out procedures, providing information on how and when the procedures will be used, ascertain who is permitted to remove any lockout tags. Please remember in addition to this you are still required to have a detailed lookout/tag-out policy in place.
Safety Section 13: Hazard Planning
Communicate the elements of hazardous materials on your worksite. Hazardous Planning: Chemical Inventory, Written Hazard Policy, Labels, MSDS Sheets, and MSDS Training. Create a detailed inventory of all hazardous chemicals located on each worksite. Have available MSDS forms, where there are to be filed and which employee will work in this area. A hazard communication policy should be developed for specific information and harmful materials.
Safety Section 14: Subcontractors
It is your responsibility to inform subcontractors that are hired on you project that they are required to adhere to your safety plan. This document can be a part of the award and signed for confirmation they and their employees will abide by your safety program.
Safety Section 15: Safety Regulations
Post a safety notice that spells out that your company complies with all local, state, federal regulations and that you standby the commitment to uphold OSHA and other agency regulations.
Safety Section 16: Quarterly Review
Determine key personnel that will spend time every quarter, bi-annually or annually to review your safety plan. However some guidelines may need to be reviewed prior to a project that requires more sensitive detail to maintain quality on their project.
Further details ahead…
Putting a safety plan in order requires a lot of time and hard work. It won’t be an easy task to pull all the details together. So we recommend that you work with other friends in the business and ask them to share some of their ideas, research online about the safety plan, delegate it or hire it out to be written. Whichever works best for you as long as the plan is committed to safety and adheres to your location. Those who work with you will be much happier and safer for it.
Brandee Ogunjobi is the CEO, for Real Estate Partners Construction; Phoenix, AZ. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.realestate.partners