Site Health & Safety

Safety Plan & Safety Plan Details
For most construction projects, the client has the responsibility to appoint:
• A planning supervisor to co-ordinate and manage health and safety during the design and early stages of preparation; and
• A principal contractor to co-ordinate and manage health and safety issues during the construction work.
Note :- For self build or direct labour projects; the building owners are responsible for preparing and maintaining the site safety plan.
The health and safety plan will need to be added to, reviewed and updated as the project develops, further design work is completed, information from the subcontractors starting work becomes available, unforeseen circumstances or variations to planned circumstances arise, etc.
The health and safety file is simply a record of information for the client or the end user, which focuses on health and safety. The information it contains will alert those who are responsible for the structure of the key health and safety risks that will need to be dealt with during subsequent maintenance, repair and construction work.

Preparing the health and safety file
Putting together the health and safety file is a task that should ideally be a continual process throughout the project and not left until the construction work is completed. When the client’s requirements are known, procedures may need to be drawn up by the planning supervisor so that all those who will be contributing to the health and safety file (eg designers and contractors) are aware of:
• What information is to be collected;
• How the information is to be collected, presented and stored.
Throughout the project those who carry out design work (including contractors) will need to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that information about any feature of the structure which will involve significant risks to health and safety during the structure’s lifetime are passed to either the planning supervisor or to the principal contractor for inclusion in the health and safety file.

Contents of the health and safety file
It would be fair to say that the contents of the health and safety file will vary depending on the type of structure and the future health and safety risks that will have to be managed. Typical information that may be included in the health and safety file includes:
• A record of all “as built” drawings and plans used and produced throughout the construction process;
• The design criteria;
• General details of the construction methods and materials used;
• Details of the equipment and maintenance facilities within the structure;
• Maintenance procedures and requirements for the structure;
• Manuals produced by specialist contractors and suppliers which outline operating and maintenance procedures and schedules for plant and equipment installed as part of the structure;
• Details of the location and nature of utilities and services, including emergency and fire-fighting systems.

Future use of the health and safety file
Once the project is finished and the health and safety file has been handed over by the planning supervisor, the client should keep it available for those who need to use it. Usually this will include maintenance contractors, the planning supervisor and contractors preparing or carrying out future construction work on the building.
Method Statements
The method statement is a prescriptive tool to be adhered to by all site operatives when completing an activity or process that has been examined and assessed by the project team at pre construction stage. The method statement sets out the guidelines to minimise the risk posed by activities on site, delivering advice from the beginning of works to completion. The most common examples of method statements are for activities regarding working from heights and use of plant and machinery. The key to the success of both the risk assessment and the method statement is that of education. All site operatives must be aware of their obligations under the method statement This education will most likely take place during the site induction process which will normally be carried out by the site safety officer.

Risk Assessments
All activities performed on site; whether by the main contractor, or on site subcontractors, must be reviewed and assessed for the level of risk of accident or emergency as a result of the activity. The level of risk is can be calculated using the following formula:
Level of Risk = Likelihood x Severity
By grading both likelihood and severity on a scale of 1 to 3, 1 being best case scenario and 3 being worst, a risk level is awarded as High, Medium or Low through applying the result to the table below:

Severity Graph

If the result of the formula produces a score in those areas sectioned in yellow, the risk is deemed to be low. If the result is in an orange zone, the risk is deemed to be medium, and finally those in red are of a high priority. The higher the Risk factor, the greater the importance to control the risk becomes. To provide appropriate control of the risk, an appropriate method statement is produced.