In the contracting world, an important consideration of any project is the health and safety of your workers. By the nature of the work, contractors are at greater risk for losses that could potentially damage the business.
Establishing a site safety plan helps contractors take a proactive approach to examining risk exposure on the jobsite, protecting the wellbeing of workers and your company and improving workplace communication.
What is a site safety plan?
Also known as a site-specific safety plan, a site safety plan is a written, comprehensive plan that outlines how a contractor will manage risks on the worksite and the health and safety requirements for the project. Beyond safety, a site safety plan is also required by law in some states before a project can begin.
While OSHA does not require a site safety plan, OSHA does require that employees and their supervisors be trained in specific hazard and control measures associated with their tasks. A site safety plan can be a valuable tool to provide this training while helping you remain compliant with the law.
Benefits of a site safety plan
Overall, it’s a good idea to have a site safety plan in place for these reasons:
- Safety and wellbeing of workers — it reduces the likelihood of accidents
- Improved workplace morale and lower turnover
- Better company reputation and more business for the company
- Easier to recruit new workers
- Better quality products and services and higher customer satisfaction
- Increased productivity and fewer project delays
- Avoid costs associated with workplace accidents
- Prevent damage to materials, machinery and property
- Stay up to date on the proper use of new techniques, materials, technology and equipment
- Provides legal protection in case of accident or injury
- Required by law in some states
Imagine, for example, if steps weren’t taken to reduce falls on a jobsite — one of the most common causes of worksite injury. Not only could this hazard endanger the wellbeing and safety of your workers and likely cause project delays, but your company could also suffer from having a dangerous reputation.
Creating a site safety plan helps you identify potential fall hazards ahead of time, so you can take actionable steps to lessen these risks for workers, improve the safety of your worksite and create a plan you can communicate to your entire team.
How to make a site safety plan
As the contractor in charge, it’s your duty to be actively searching for, preventing and solving workplace hazards. However, you don’t have to do it alone. If creating a site safety plan feels overwhelming or you’re not sure where to start, OSHA has tools to help you get started.
At Brown Insurance Group, we work closely with you by coordinating risk control services to help you identify potential risk management challenges and develop solutions, including the basic setup of a site safety plan. Additionally, we'll work with you to develop a workplace safety program, provide OSHA-compliant workplace safety training, and more.
While building your plan, you’ll need to think through each element of the job and develop your site safety plan accordingly. In general terms, a site safety plan should cover:
- The type of work your company does and the names of management and experts on this project
- Potential safety hazards on this specific project or jobsite
- Steps that are in place to address and limit these hazards and how you’ll protect workers from and respond to emergencies, accidents and illness on the jobsite
Since job sites can vary, revise your safety program to be site-specific. OSHA recommends using a “find and fix” approach to these workplace hazards. Since your workers are familiar with day-to-day operations, keep in mind they’re also well-positioned to identify potential safety and health concerns and program shortcomings — like unsafe conditions, close calls and actual incidents — and can provide helpful insight in the creation of a site safety plan.
Once your plan is complete, share your site safety plan with every worker, including subcontractors and temporary staff, to make sure everyone understands the safety measures in place and what to do if an accident or illness occurs onsite.
Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve had a site safety plan in place for years, it’s important to monitor your performance and look for ways to continuously improve the health and safety of your worksite to best protect your workers. As work progresses, implement routine audits to help you adapt your site safety plan to an evolving worksite and your company and workers’ safety needs.
Reposted with permission from the original author, Grange Insurance Company.