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Site Specific Safety Plan: FAQs Answered

Site Specific Safety Plan
  • Creating a thorough site specific safety plan is one of the first steps when starting a new construction project.  At Safety International, we are trusted safety experts and have created dozens of site specific safety plans for our clients.  In this post, we’re answering the most frequently asked questions about the site specific safety plan, including the required components and our expert tips on how to write a successful plan.

    Site Specific Safety Plan FAQs

    What is a site specific safety plan?

    A site specific safety plan (SSSP) is essentially a written plan outlining the who, what, where, why, and when of the project.  It should be completed for every construction project in order to outline the entire scope of work and exactly how you are going to keep employees safe.  It should also outline the safety chain of command and assign responsibilities for safety management contacts.

    Is a site specific safety plan required by OSHA?

    Site specific safety plans are not an absolute requirement by OSHA but if something were to go wrong on the job site, you could get into trouble if you don’t have an OSHA site specific safety plan.

    Most commonly, the site specific safety plan will be required by the general contractor for a construction project.  Subcontractors and tiered subcontractors will then be required to complete a construction safety plan before they can begin work on the job.

    Who is responsible for creating a site specific safety plan?

    The safety manager on the job is usually responsible for creating the site specific plan.  At Safety International, we act as the safety representative for many of our clients and are often responsible for creating the site safety plans.

    What should be included in a site specific safety plan?

    There is no one correct way to write a construction site specific safety plan or required format that must be used, as each plan will differ depending on the type of project and scope of work.  However, each project specific safety plan should have the same general components.  Here’s an outline of the most common components of an example site specific safety plan:

    Project Overview

    This should include the basic details of the project including the company name, as well as the job location, address, and start and completion dates. It should also include contact details for the management contacts such as the foreman, project manager, superintendent, competent person, and safety representative.

    Scope of Work

    This section should include the scope of work detailing the specific type(s) of work that will be performed on the project. It should also include the size of the crew assigned to the job.

    Safety Representation

    List the name, title, and phone number for the main safety contact on the job.  The safety representative should have the knowledge, experience, and ability to recognize potential hazards and have the authority to take immediate corrective actions to eliminate the potential hazards.

    Medical Services and First Aid

    This section should outline safety policies for first aid administration as well as the location of the nearest hospital or medical facility.

    Site Specific Safety Requirements

    This section will be the meat of the SSSP and should outline all the potential hazards, as well as the safety procedures in place should an incident occur.  You’ll want to include sections outlining:

    • Personal Protective Equipment: List the personal protective equipment that will be provided to employees including head protection, eye and face protection, high visibility clothing, hearing protection, clothing and foot protection, hand protection, and respiratory protection.   It might also include disciplinary action for employees that do not comply with the PPE requirements.
    • Fall Management: Outline a site specific fall protection plan including the use of guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers, and travel restriction systems.  You’ll also want to include information on fall protection training and frequency of inspections.  It should also list any lifts, scaffolding, and ladders that will be used on the project.
    • Special Hazards and Considerations: Describe any special hazards and considerations that might be unique to this specific project including but not limited to confined space, hazardous environment, or respiratory dangers.
    • Incident Reporting: Define when and how safety incidents should be reported on the job including whether it should be a verbal or written notification.
    • Emergency Preparedness: Include a step by step outline of who is to be notified in the event of an emergency situation.  This will typically start with calling 911, and then notifying the appropriate management contacts. It might also include information on how employees will be notified of emergency procedures for natural disasters.
    • Hazard Communication: Specify information on potential hazardous chemicals, availability of chemical safety data sheets, and waste containment procedures.
    • Housekeeping: Explain procedures for site cleanliness and sanitation, and rules for employees to follow the housekeeping requirements on the job site.
    • First Aid Kits: Provide information on the availability and location of first aid kits.
    • Heavy Equipment and Contractor Vehicles: List all heavy equipment that will be used on the project and include information on inspections, documentation, and maintenance.
    • Fire Protection: Describe your fire safety plan and locations for fire distinguishers.  This section might also include smoking policies on the job site.
    • Toolbox Talks and Safety Training:  Include required safety trainings for employees involved in the project and frequency of training sessions.
    • Inspections: Document who will perform job site inspections and define frequency.
    • Disciplinary Action: Detail company policies for disciplinary actions for employees in respect to performance, safety, attendance, tardiness, attitude, or workmanship.


    At the end of the SSSP, it’s a good idea to include a signature section where the management contacts can acknowledge their understanding and acceptance of the site specific health and safety plan.  This adds a level of accountability for the project safety requirements.

    Does the site specific safety need to be revised?

    The site specific safety plan does not necessarily need to be revised as the project progresses.  More commonly, the Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is the document that will need to revised if there are changes to the project or scope of work.

    Tips for creating a successful site specific safety plan

    1. Don’t reuse old plans: A new site specific safety plan should be created for every project. Simply copy and pasting information from old plans or generic safety programs usually won’t provide the necessary level of detail for a new project plan.
    2. Be as specific as possible: True to its name, the SSSP should be as specific as possible and should not just be a copy of general corporate safety programs.
    3. Take your time:  Be sure to take the time to really research and become fully aware of all the hazards your employees might face on the job.  The more time spent planning upfront will help to minimize accidents and enhance work site safety.

    I hope this helps to answer any questions you might have about the SSSP.  Feel free to use this outline as a site specific safety plan template. If you need any assistance with safety representation or creating a site specific safety plan, feel free to contact us today.

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