A guide to implementing a construction safety management plan


Construction is a risky field. As a project manager, you have an obligation to ensure not only the safety of your workers but also the safety of the public from hazards that may arise as a result of your work. That’s why it’s important to implement a construction safety management plan (CSMP). If you’re planning to implement one, here’s what you need to know.

Construction safety management plans are an important part of any company’s approach to occupational health and safety.

They help workers, supervisors, and employers to be safe on the job, and they can also help protect a company from liability in the event of an injury or accident.

While construction safety management plans may seem intimidating at first, they’re actually quite straightforward. And by following the guidelines below, you can easily develop your own construction safety management plan.

But before we continue, let’s take a look at what a construction safety management plan is.

What is a construction safety management plan? 

A construction safety management plan (CSMP) is a comprehensive framework that is used to facilitate the management of health and safety issues at a construction site. It is a plan that works to cover the safety policies of the site, as well as any rules and regulations that are in place regarding safety. 

It encompasses a wide range of safety activities for every stage of the project lifecycle from planning to project completion and handover. Its scope includes on-site hazard control and analysis, health and safety training, inspection and supervisions, incident reporting and investigation, emergency preparedness, etc. 

The benefits of implementing a safety management plan for your construction site

There are a host of benefits related to implementing a safety management plan for your construction site. With a safety management plan in place, you can ensure that your employees are as safe as possible, you can reduce your workers’ compensation costs, you can increase your productivity and efficiency, and you can protect your business’s reputation.

How to implement a construction safety management plan

A safety plan should be the starting point of any construction project, and it should be developed alongside the construction schedule. A safety plan should include policies and procedures, safety guidelines and requirements, and the step-by-step actions required to implement the safety plan.

The following elements are important in the implementation of a construction safety management plan:

Develop WHS safety policies and procedures

Start off by developing a safety policy. A safety policy is a written statement that describes your company’s commitment to safety and helps communicate this commitment to employees, contractors and customers. 

Your company’s safety policy is its code of conduct for ensuring your team’s safety. Set out the rules and regulations that the workers and management need to follow in order to stay safe at the worksite. It’s important that you share the safety policy with your employees, so that they can learn about how to stay safe on the job. 

Additionally, in order to keep your employees safe, you need to have a set of safety procedures that you follow on a regular basis at your construction site. These procedures should be established in order to ensure that your employees are working in a safe environment. That way, you can ensure their safety while they’re working for your company.

Safety and health training  and supervision

All employees should receive safety and health training before being allowed to work on a construction site. Safety and health training should be given to everyone who will be working on a site whether they are a supervisor or a worker. Safety and health training and supervisions should be ongoing and should be compulsory for young and new workers added to the site.

Hazard Identification

This process involves finding any potential hazards that may be present at a site and creating a list of those. There are a number of different ways to identify hazards, all of which will depend on the circumstances of the specific site.

A hazard is any potential source of harm. Hazards are often divided into three categories – biological, chemical, and physical. We can also categories hazards by their origin – human, natural, and artificial.

Risk assessment

Every site has different risks; it is important to be aware of what they are and how to manage them. Before starting a construction project, the team should assess the site to see what risks it might have.

Risk assessment is the process of identifying and prioritising actual and potential threats to a business and then deciding what actions to take to minimise their impact.

Risk assessment has to be done on the construction site before any work is done. The supervisor on the site has to draw up a risk assessment schedule for the work being done on that particular day. The schedule has to be approved by a competent person before work can begin, e.g. an engineer or a qualified person.

Risk control

Risk controls are controls that you put in place to reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring. When you’ve identified a risk, you’ll need to implement some sort of control.

A simple approach to risk control for construction health and safety is the “right people, right place, and right time” rule. This means you have the right people in the right place at the right time to do the right thing for the right reasons. This is the basis for the risk control for construction health and safety.

Generally control activities would either seek to avoid the risk (example, halting construction entirely), or reduce the chances of risk having a detrimental impact(Use of PPE).

On-going safety inspection 

Safety inspections are a vital part of the health and safety process. If you are a builder or contractor, you need to carry out on-going safety inspections to ensure the health and safety of your building site. This will ensure that any problems with the health and safety aspects of the site are identified and dealt with as they arise.

Incident reporting and investigation

It is very important to report an incident if something has gone wrong. If you don’t report the incident, it’s almost as if it never happened. 

Incidents can occur on a construction site that involves injuries. All incidents need to be reported to the health and safety representative, management and regulators so that they can be investigated and dealt with. 

The investigation will determine whether the incident was preventable, and whether the cause of it was due to a failure on the part of the company, or whether it was due to factors outside the company’s control.

The incident should be documented with dates and details of the incident. The incident should be investigated to identify the cause of the incident. The incident should be reported to the senior management of the company

Ideally, construction site managers should be able to review and analyse incident reports in order to make informed decisions about the safety of workers and the issues that need to be addressed.

Safety audit and review

A safety audit is a review of all the safety measures and procedures in place at the site to ensure that they are up to date and adequate. Use safety audits to systematically examine practices and identify areas of improvement. In construction, safety audits are done to ensure that the work site is safe and that employees are adhering to important safety standards.

Use and WHS management system for your construction site

A great way to ensure the safety of your workers and to protect yourself from being held liable for any injuries or accidents is to deploy a WHS management system.

It is a proactive approach to construction safety management. Rather than simply responding to safety incidents, they are designed to ensure your construction site is a safe environment for employees and the community, and to reduce the likelihood of injuries happening in the first place.

Workplace Health and Safety management systems exist to help you keep your construction site safe. The idea is to help you avoid injuries and accidents by creating a system that includes prevention strategies, safe work procedures, training, regulatory compliance, incident reporting and emergency plans.