(Feedback Please)- The Purpose Of A Health And Safety Plan.

Paul Naybour

The purpose of a health and safety plan on a project is to make everyone aware of the scope of the project, how the health and safety of the project affects them and also how the health and safety plan affects others including non-project related personnel i.e. the public.
It is also there to provide a communication and reporting system that can be used by anyone and without fear of retribution or recrimination
Included in the plan will be a means of record keeping for materials and events that are connected to the project i.e. COSHH and PUWER and LOLER.
The plan will also identify roles and responsibilities involved in the project and also any specific project related process.

Reporting Mechanisms. 
One of the components of the project plan is to create a reporting and communication procedure that can be used by anyone without fear of retribution or recrimination. I.e. transport for London and the Rail industry use CIRAS (Confidential incident reporting and analysis system) a process to report incident’s and concerns about facilities, equipment, procedures or conditions.
There is also the Public interest disclosure act 1998 which covers the case of whistle blowing for staff to report concerns about activities they feel maybe illegal or irregular.

Staff on a project should be encouraged and entitled to training. This could range from health and safety awareness to the use of specific equipment, software or plant.
In construction training via a site induction is given to make you aware of the particular risks associated with that project. Trained personnel may also have to have relevant current certification to use and operate plant and equipment. For example I.P.A.F certification for the use of powered access equipment sometimes known as Mobile elevation working platforms, or PASAM for the erecting and adjustment of mobile scaffold towers.
First aid training should also be included to suit the needs and the number of staff on site.

Included in the health and safety plan would be the identification and detailed information regarding risks involved in the project. Having this information accessible to all gives people the opportunity to protect themselves from coming into contact with the identified risk. For example the use of PPE (Although used as a last line of defence) when worn on site gives us some protection from possible risks, 
Hard Hats protect from falling objects
Gloves protect from sharp objects or dangerous substances coming into contact with our hands.
Safety or impact glasses protect from foreign objects entering into our eyes.as well as many other general and specific PPE we also have use of other protection from risks such as Breathing equipment, Warning signs, exclusion zones, physical barriers and risk assessed safe systems of work

Roles and responsibilities 
It’s important to know who is responsible and for what on any project. For example:-
Emergency Contacts
This information will be included in the health and safety plan and also on notice boards around the site and in the welfare areas, it will contain emergency contacts, including:-
Names of personnel on site who are First Aid/CPR Trained
Police, Ambulance or Fire Brigade, Sometimes this could be a designated site number, i.e. at Heathrow airport for emergency response it is quicker to use the airport emergency’s services rather than the general 999 service.
Local Hospital or medical centre number
Health and safety/environment advisor/ expert
Contractor’s representative
Telephone or radio communication equipment shall be available for emergency calls.

3 thoughts on “(Feedback Please)- The Purpose Of A Health And Safety Plan.”

  1. Hi Ian, for me the purpose of the Health & Safety plan is to ensure that staff work in a health and safe environment; and that they return home to their families after work without injuries. This is a responsibility of the employer, PM and sponsor, depending on project contractual set-up industry and so on.

  2. Unfortunately lots of company tend to only act on having a decent health and safety plan after the fact which can be costly. In the same vein we do get plenty of proactive companies though who are looking for safety training with manual and material handling training, and refresher courses.

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