Project Safety Plan Template: Creation and Implementation

April 18, 2023
Front-end Planning
Detail Engineering & Design
Fabrication & Construction
Safety & Quality

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In this webinar, Ariel Schrader and Brian Cooper review the necessary components to include in a project safety plan while showcasing examples of how project safety plan templates can be applied across the project life cycle. 

Click here to view the webinar.

To navigate the blog, use our index:

What Is a Project Safety Plan?

A project safety plan is a written document that outlines safety procedures, rules, and regulations to help identify potential hazards and mitigation steps. While all organizations will have company-wide regulations that all employees must follow, project safety plans are specifically related to a particular project, location, or task. 

Project safety plans protect workers from injuries and accidents. They also provide a level of organization to help establish a chain of command and emergency responses.

Depending on the organizational standard, the person responsible for filling out the project safety plan template may differ per project or company. For more information on the definition of project safety plans, refer to the webinar here.

What Value Does a Project Safety Plan Provide?

A project safety plan provides workers with the information they need to make quick decisions and ensure an efficient onboarding process.

As a project progresses, workers should reference the project safety plan for the necessary information to ensure the processes are being followed properly. For more information on the value a project safety plan template can add to capital projects, refer to the webinar here.

Creating a Project Safety Plan Template 

The elements of a project safety plan template.

To ensure a thorough project safety plan for project execution, there are six core elements to incorporate: 

Company Safety Standards

The company safety standards may differ from company to company, but these standards will be identified in a high-level list of key safety rules and procedures. This can include:

  • Safety policy statement
  • Stop Work Authority
  • Lifesaving rules/cardinal rules
  • High-level Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements 

These need to be governing rules of what to expect from employees during the duration of the job. 

Required Security Access, Certifications, and Training

It’s important to address what the client's safety standards are for accessing the site and other necessary information. A few things to identify:

  • What does the badging process look like?
  • Are there specific drug tests or background checks that have to be done in a certain amount of time prior to showing up to the site for work?
  • Are there special training requirements to ensure workers are knowledgeable on specific risks that may take place on this work site?
  • Are there any certifications that are required to conduct the work?

Addressing these upfront with the client can help mitigate risks later in the project. 

Scope of Work and Description of Site Conditions

This element sets the foundation of the project safety plan template. Make sure there is a full understanding of the scope of work and the site conditions. These can help define the means and methods for creating procedures. Some of these considerations are:

  1. Where is the project located?
  2. Is this a greenfield or brownfield site?
  3. What is the nature of the work?
  4. Are there any specialized scope elements?

Risk Assessment and Control of Specific Hazards

It’s important to identify tasks, equipment, and site conditions that are applicable to the project to help aid in risk assessment and the control of specific hazards

It’s also important to involve the clients as well as multiple individuals with different skill sets to get multiple perspectives identifying as many possible hazardous tasks as possible. Identifying tasks can lead to the identification of hazards. 

Step 1: Identify the tasks.

Step 2: Decide who might be harmed and how.

Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on the precautions.

Step 4: Record your findings and implement them.

Step 5: Review your assessment and update if necessary.

The risk assessment matrix is a key tool in pursuing an effective assessment. This calculation can provide contractors with the proper assessment level per risk.

Risk = Probability x Severity

Risk assessment matrix to help create a project safety plan template

Crisis and Emergency Preparedness Plan

Emergencies and crises can happen at any job site. Unfortunately, some emergencies such as natural disasters cannot be controlled. Despite not being able to control the issue directly, there are ways to prepare workers in the event of an emergency, such as:

  • Fire
  • Medical (minor vs. severe)
  • Weather events
  • Spills/releases
  • Security threats

Prior to a crisis or emergency happening, it's important to identify an occupational clinic near the job site. It’s also important to identify emergency exits, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), fire extinguishers, eye wash and hand wash stations, and other necessary elements to be utilized within safety procedures in the event of an emergency. 

A List of Responsible Persons With Contact Information

In the case of an emergency, it’s important to have a point of contact to communicate information to all necessary parties for support as well as a designated leader to guide the masses during high-stress situations. Having these persons identified prior to an emergency helps provide a level of organization to ensure the risk is mitigated quickly and effectively. 

Be sure to include both internal and external contacts. These will vary from project to project. When an emergency occurs, external contacts can include clients, doctors, family members, and others to ensure that the correct people are receiving the correct information they need to provide support for guiding the next steps. Internal communication can be to supervisors, co-workers, human resources, and others to ensure each worker is safe and receiving proper instructions quickly. Some sites do not have cell phone service or a direct line of communication outside of the facility. Therefore, identifying the closest person(s) of contact can help relay the information in the best way to employees who are not able to be directly contacted.  

To learn more about the elements of a project safety plan template, hear answers to frequently asked questions, and view examples, refer to the webinar here

Implementing a Completed Project Safety Plan Template

It’s very important to communicate the project safety plan to all the parties involved. Clients and employees both need to fully understand the project safety plan. Project safety plans can range from a couple of pages to a large comprehensive document depending on the size of the project and the number of regulations necessary. 

A best practice is to have every employee sign the project safety plan in acknowledgment that they have read the procedures after sitting them down and going through them together. This can be done in training. It’s also important to keep the plan on-site for easy reference. 

Routinely talking about the project safety plan can help ensure that all parties involved recall the procedures and regulations. To learn more about implementing a project safety plan template, hear answers to frequently asked questions, and take a look at a real-life example of risk assessment, refer to the webinar here

Implementing a Completed Project Safety Plan Template

For every project, H+M Industrial EPC provides project safety plans that include the following elements: 

  • Company safety standards
  • Required security access, certifications, and training
  • Scope of work and the description of site conditions
  • A risk assessment and control of specific hazards
  • A crisis and emergency preparedness plan
  • A list of responsible persons with contact information

For more than 35 years, H+M Industrial EPC has been continuously looking for ways to improve safety procedures and standards to ensure all of our workers return home safely and our projects are completed efficiently. 

H+M has been recognized as the Best in Class for Safety Excellence from the 35th Annual Houston Safety Excellence Awards. If you are interested in starting a project, contact us today!

About the Author

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To find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of turnkey projects and how H+M Industrial EPC can meet your capital project needs, contact us through our website today.

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For over three decades, we have provided best-in-class capital project management services to Energy and Chemical industries through our proven EPC approach. We are dedicated to providing trust, experience, and efficiency through all stages of engineering, procurement, and construction--on budget and on time.

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