Site Safety Health and Loss Prevention Programs

Fundamental elements in the construction process include a unilateral commitment that all work to be performed will be planned to minimize the potential for personal injury, property damage, and loss of productive time, and a system of prompt detection and correction of unsafe practices and conditions will be implemented.

As a means of maintaining a safe working environment at the construction site and adhering to all required safety codes, a complete site safety, health, and loss prevention program should be instituted. Such programs serve to exercise all available means and methods of controlling and/or eliminating hazards and risks associated with construction, thus minimizing personal injury, conserving property, achieving greater efficiency, and reducing direct and indirect costs. The program should conform to all federal, state, and local health and safety requirements, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. The program should address those elements that are specific to this site and have the potential for negative impact on the safety and health of workers and other personnel on site.

Following are some key elements that should be included in the site safety, health, and loss prevention program:

• A review of the project to be constructed, the construction environment, and processes to be utilized, culminating in the development of a formal hazard review analysis

• A safety indoctrination program for staff, supervisory, and trade personnel

• A fire protection and prevention plan

• Educational programs

• Safety meetings

• First aid program and facilities

• Identification and monitoring of all potential hazardous conditions or practices

• Establishment of procedures for use of all mechanized construction equipment

• Provisions for a prompt response to safety recommendations, violations (if any), and complaints

• Thorough and effective accident investigation, reporting, and corrective action procedures

For very large projects, these elements should be monitored through a safety, health, and loss prevention checklist program administered by a site safety, health, and loss prevention officer (SSO). This officer should be empowered to have access to all necessary information and make necessary corrections as appropriate. As such, the SSO must have the complete cooperation of the entire Construction Team, inclusive of senior management, supervisors and all employees. In cases where the project magnitude does not justify the expense of a full-time SSO, the Site Superintendent or a principal assistant may fulfill this critical function, but under the supervision of the company's SSO.

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