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Building a Solid Construction Safety Plan

Albert Cormier
August 4, 2023

Thousands of employees work in the construction industry daily and are exposed to many risks. Employers must ensure workplace safety for their workers. Unsafe site conditions can lead to injuries, fatalities, and high costs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of worker deaths occur in construction sites yearly, resulting in an economic loss of more than $170 billion.

These alarming statistics demonstrate the need to develop a solid safety plan for construction sites. A site specific safety plan should include procedures and policies that ensure the safety and health of workers, contractors, visitors and bystanders. When you develop a safety plan, workers can be more active in identifying hazards and taking preventative measures to reduce injuries and fatalities. The plan can also help reduce liability costs.

Elements of a Safety Plan for Construction

Hazard Identification and Assessment

Before beginning any construction project, a comprehensive list of potential hazards should be identified. This includes slippery subfloors and underlayments, hazardous materials, machinery and moving vehicles and environmental exposures such as extreme temperatures or loud noises. The list should be communicated to all workers before beginning any work. Proper hazard identification requires you to fully understand the scope of the construction project and the associated risks. Also, assess the severity of each hazard and develop a plan to control or eliminate it.

Site Conditions and Location

Every construction safety plan should be specific to the construction site. Ensure the plan includes information about the current location of the site, potential hazards due to its specific terrain or environment, and any other significant safety issues. Most construction sites are outdoors, so evaluate weather conditions and take necessary measures to protect workers from extreme temperatures or other hazardous environmental elements. For indoor sites, check the type of subfloor and underlayment so that proper safety measures can be taken to reduce the risk of slips and falls.

Access to the site should be clearly marked and secure. Indicate the appropriate entry points, rest areas, parking locations and movement of workers. Ensure each worker coming onto the site is properly badged and has the required security clearances. Vehicles and equipment must also have necessary clearances and follow specific delivery routes.

Site Rules and Regulations

Develop a set of safety rules every worker must follow at the construction site. These should include any necessary attire, information about using tools, displaying warning signs and handling hazardous materials. Since Occupational Safety and Health Administration {OSHA) does not address smoking at construction sites, you should also include a policy on smoking. You can designate specific smoking areas or make the job site entirely smoke-free.

Establish additional site-specific rules or regulations and communicate them to staff and contractors. Ensure all workers understand their responsibilities for carrying out the safety plan. Also, document any violations or incidents to ensure the accountability of workers in following the safety plan for construction.

Safety Training

Safety training for all workers is essential in implementing a successful safety plan. Training should include hazardous materials, specific tools or equipment, emergency procedures and fall prevention. Also, implement an orientation safety program to ensure all workers are familiar with the safety policies and regulations before working on-site. Establish an ongoing training program to ensure workers stay up-to-date on safety issues.

Workplace safety training should also cover risk management procedures. Establish a system to identify and assess risks, develop preventive procedures and regularly monitor the effectiveness of safety measures. This will ensure all workers understand their roles in making the job site safe and how they can contribute to reducing potential hazards.

Monitoring and Incident Reporting

Employers must monitor worksites for unsafe conditions or practices and document any incidents to reduce the risk of future injuries. Designate a supervisor responsible for conducting daily safety inspections as part of your construction safety plan. This will help ensure all safety protocols are followed and hazards are eliminated.

Also, ensure there is a process for reporting any incidents or violations of the safety plan. All workers should be trained to properly report an incident and use the appropriate forms to document the event. Proper documentation can help reduce liabilities in a lawsuit or other legal action.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Workers must understand the risks and how to protect themselves. Provide any necessary PPE for construction workers and ensure they understand how to use it properly. This includes hard hats, safety goggles, respirators, shoes, gloves and hearing protection. Document all PPE provided, and ensure they are properly maintained and replaced when necessary. Also, ensure workers have access to first-aid supplies in an emergency.

Hazard Controls and Safe Practices

The construction safety plan should also include procedures to control any identified hazards. This includes using the appropriate tools, maintaining machinery, safe lifting techniques and other best practices. Also, use warning signs or barricades to alert workers of potential dangers in the work area. Establish a system to label and store all hazardous materials safely and properly.

Employees must also understand the importance of maintaining a clean and orderly work area. Clutter can present hazards, so ensure workers are trained on proper housekeeping practices, such as picking up debris or using appropriate safety equipment when cleaning up hazardous materials. They should avoid lifting heavy objects and always use the right tools and safety devices.

Responsible Persons

Each worker should understand their responsibility for following the safety plan, and supervisors must ensure all workers are aware of their roles. Designate personnel responsible for monitoring compliance with the safety plan and investigating violations or incidents. Inform workers of their right to report potential hazards without fear of punishment. Employees, such as safety officers or managers, should also know who to contact in an emergency.

Emergency Contact Information

Include emergency contact information in the safety plan. This should include local authorities, such as the fire department or police station, ambulance services and hospitals near the construction site. Provide workers with access to a phone or other communication device to quickly alert the appropriate personnel in an emergency. Place the emergency contact information in visible locations around the site and in any safety-related materials.

Additionally, designate a meeting area for workers in case of emergency, such as an evacuation plan or shelter-in-place drill. Make sure the meeting area is safe and accessible.


If you are looking to ensure the safety of your indoor job site, West Coast Deck Waterproofing is a reliable contractor for you. We offer many services, including deck waterproofing, epoxy floor installation and concrete sealing. We'll ensure your space is safe and you comply with all safety regulations.