Word has just come down from estimating: They want an updated copy of your safety plan by this afternoon so it can be included with a bid going out by 4:00 p.m. Ever happen to you? If not, it will.
More and more contracts are being awarded to those companies that not only can do the work, but do it safely. This means you have to be prepared. You need a plan, a "safety plan."
Writing a safety plan is not rocket science. If you can follow an outline, have a basic working knowledge of safety and the work your company does, you can do it.
A living document
Every safety plan should be a living document that can be easily adapted to the specific safety and contractual needs of each project. The larger and more complex the project, the larger and more complex the safety plan. Each task in a project should be reviewed to identify known hazards, and your safety plan should provide general guidance for those hazards that are unexpected or unpredictable, what to do about them, who does what during an emergency, how they do it, and when they do it.
Your plan objective should state that your company intends to take any steps necessary to protect its employees, and others, from accidents and hazardous conditions in the workplace. Mention you will follow OSHA regulation "29 CFR 1926, Safety & Health Regulations for Construction." Each section of your safety plan should detail how you are going to provide this protection.
Section 1: The safety representative
Clearly state that the primary safety responsibility for each worker falls on the supervisor in charge of that particular worksite, that he has completed mandatory safety and first aid training, and he has the authority to stop work should a hazardous situation occur.
State that these same foremen or supervisors have the authority to spend money to eliminate imminent danger to workers, others, and property. Also identify the company's safety representative, who is responsible for safety related training and the verification of worker compliance with safety regulations.
Section 2: Medical treatment
Spell out the specifics of who provides medical services, when and where these services will be provided, and how and when emergency personnel shall be summoned.
Section 3: Safety inspections
Clearly state that the supervisor of each worksite shall conduct continuous safety inspections of the work area and that any problems will be immediately noted and corrected.
Section 4: Safety indoctrination
Spell out how new employees are briefed on safety issues prior to going to the worksite. Clearly state how all employees have been issued personal protective equipment (PPE), trained in proper use of PPE, and familiarized with those situations that require its use.
Section 5: Continuous safety training
Detail how and when your company conducts safety training, toolbox talks, etc., including who gives them and when. Also state that every employee is empowered to bring any safety related concern to the attention of management, and indicate how and when management reviews those problems.
Section 6: Housekeeping
Worksite neatness is a prime indicator of your attitude toward safety. Indicate here who is responsible for clean-up and when these activities should occur.
Section 7: Protective equipment
Detail what PPE is issued to each employee. State that each employee is responsible to have her PPE when needed, who is responsible for ensuring proper PPE use, and how to replace worn, damaged, or lost PPE.
Section 8: Accident reports
Each accident, no matter how slight, should be reported to the site foreman or supervisor. It should have its own file that should contain all information about the accident, and what steps were taken to eliminate the hazard. Identify who will conduct the accident investigation, how he can be called, and where the records will be kept.