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Your Site Safety Management Plan Vitals

Posted by Andrew Watters on

If you’re in management, then you can probably remember the early 70’s TV show called “Emergency” (and if you’re not old enough, then congratulations on your rapid promotion). Remember paramedics John Gage and Roy DeSoto? They would race to the rescue in their small red fire truck, sirens blaring; then calmly but quickly drag out their equipment, walk briskly into chaos, and take instant control. Radioing “Rampart”, they’d immediately report on the patient’s vitals, and until they reached the hospital, those patient ‘vitals’ would continue to be monitored. Site safety has it’s vitals too, and here we’ll identify who’s responsible for them, what those are, and how you can monitor and manage them.    

An effective Site Safety Management Plan (or SSMP) equips you to address the Work Health and Safety (WHS) management requirements of your construction site.  If your project is worth $250K or more, you must have one; if it’s worth less, then you should still have one.

The implications of getting WHS management wrong are potentially fatal, both to your personnel and your business.

Vital 1: Is it Site Safety or WHS Management?

Understanding is a vital. So let’s start with the issue of labels.

Officially, the terminology has changed for all states other than WA and Victoria. For these, what was once a Site Safety Management Plan, is now called a Work Health and Safety Management Plan (WHSMP). For WA and Victoria however both the older name and standards remain.

The solution and standards we speak of in this article are relevant in all Australian jurisdictions.

Much of the industry still uses the phrase ‘Site Safety Management Plan’ (SSMP), even where the phrase has officially changed, so for this article that is the phrase we’ll stick with.

Vital 2: Who’s Responsible?

It is critical to understand who is responsible for the planning and management of safety on site. Anyone watching “Emergency” quickly learnt that the paramedics worked within a strictly defined authority and systemised structure. Where lives are concerned you’d expect nothing less.

At the end of the day, if management, staff or subcontractors aren’t clear on who is responsible for what, both injuries and lawsuits are almost inevitable. For example, while contractors frequently submit Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS’s), it is the Principal Contractor who both sets and is accountable for the standard.

An effective plan will help you:

  • Legally and effectively establish a standard,
  • Tender for and select compliant contractors,
  • Prove you exercised due diligence and duty of care in your planning, and
  • Assist you to implement the standard you have set.

As we stated above, since 2011, the Principal Contractor for a $250K+ project MUST ensure a Site Safety Management Plan is prepared before the project commences. What is also important to appreciate, is that he/she is also responsible for the ongoing implementation of it.

Vital 3: Covering All the Site Safety Planning Issues

Our paramedic heroes worked as a team. They covered each other’s backs because there was a lot at stake and the challenges they faced were complex. Your site safety planning needs are complex and numerous also. There are 106 pages to the WHSMP template we offer and there is not one page of filler. It’s all necessary!

There is much to take account of, and the issues addressed are exhaustive and detailed. They include:

  • WHS policy creation, management structure, accountability and responsibility.
  • Induction processes, training and subcontractor management.
  • Hazard reporting, risk assessment and corrective actions.
  • Incident as well as injury management, reporting.
  • Emergency contacts and response protocols.
  • Hazardous substance storage, use and management.
  • WHS schedules, monitoring and auditing processes.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements.
  • Plant and Equipment standards, selection, use and management.
  • Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS).
  • Generic site safety rules.
  • Communication protocols.
  • Review processes.
  • As well as corrective actions relevant for almost all the above.

Depending on your circumstances and project, your Site Safety Management Plan (Work Health and Safety Management Plan) will also require a variety of schedules. All of the examples below can be purchased individually, or they can be more economically secured as inclusions within your management plan purchase:

The Occupational Safety Solutions Work Health and Safety Management Plan (WHSMP) template covers all the areas of responsibility and all the above listed schedules. By purchasing, customising and then implementing it, your site safety management needs will be entirely addressed!  

Vital 4: Customisation Potential

Just like Gage and DeSoto, our onsite “Emergency” stars implemented what doctors and specialists had previously established as standards. They customised and made theory work on the ground - wherever they were. Your Management Plan needs to do the same.

The challenge is to implement the standards of the AS/NZS 4801 Occupational Health and Safety Management System Specifications for both the WHS Act 2011 and WHS Regulations 2011. If you think that sentence was a challenge, try creating a site safety plan without support!

You must, like Gage and DeSoto, implement universal standards as well as respond to the specifics of your project and site safety issues. Compliance is not easy, which is why our template is designed to do the hard work for you and guide you through the customisation process.

The site safety management solution we provide:

  • Comes in a fully customisable Microsoft Word format,
  • Provides guidance notes to help you enter the project specifics that apply to you, and
  • Includes a variety of schedules and tools for the ongoing implementation of the plan.

To better appreciate the structure and customisation potential of the Site Safety Management Plan (WHSMP), simply click here to view the template.

Regardless of what system you are under (OHS or WHS), the WHSMP template solution will help you meet and exceed both your legal and ethical obligations for work site safety.

Andrew Watters of Occupational Safety Solutions has stated, “Our WA and Victoria clients, who still operate under the older OHS systems, have never had to change the template. We understand our plans exceed the standards of both the old and the new systems. We are absolutely certain that if people follow the management plan, they’ll be 120% covered.”

To learn more about, or to purchase the Site Safety Management Plan template (WHSMP), follow the link or phone 1800 304 336. We look forward to providing you with a convenient, effective and extremely affordable solution to your site safety planning needs.

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