Whether you are a developer, an owner’s rep or a consultant you know how important safety is on a construction site.

Regardless of the type of project every safety plan begins with thoughtful inquiry prior to the start of construction.  Rafn’s template is flexible and customizable for all unique situations, however the basic steps stay the same as a Superintendent thinks through the creation of a solid safety plan.  It can take 30 to 40 hours of planning to ensure that a Site Specific Safety Plan is solid.


The first step is to get to know the project.

To drill down to big events that can create safety issues.  For example: Big steel deliveries, concrete pours, utility placements.  Understand what type of equipment will be on site, when and for how long.  What are the idiosyncrasies of the site?  Are there unique or one-off elements or installation methods that need to be considered?


Next is considering the physical attributes of the site.

Such things as excavations, retaining walls, tiebacks, underpinning, ground improvements, steep slopes, etc.  Consideration is given to neighboring structures, adjacent public spaces and utilities. Plans for pedestrian right of ways are necessary for almost every type of project even if to accommodate visitors, inspectors and emergency personnel.  Thought needs to be given to both how people will get in as well as how people will get out.  Requesting a site visit from emergency services ahead of time can be helpful in unique situations.

Site logistics may vary for every phase of construction and different material deliveries.

Occupied spaces under construction may require changeable temporary partitions to allow access in different ways and at different phases.  A plan for task specific fall hazards are needed in advance of every task to ensure that the right training and equipment is on site.

JHA’s (Job Hazard Analysis) are another task specific planning activity.

It may be planning how certain materials will be maneuvered into place, or training for a new tool, or how to handle heavy materials.  Working in confined spaces also requires specific planning and training to be accomplished safely.

What are some of the daily, repetitive tasks that may also present specific hazards?

Some equipment like roto-hammers or scissor lifts might be used over and over but perhaps in different situations.  Making sure not to overlook the obvious is one of the Superintendent’s jobs.  As is ensuring that every person assigned a task has been properly trained and / or certified to do that task safely.

Finally, a process to collect feedback from workers to make adjustments to the plan along with ensuring that each week’s toolbox talk is relevant to what is happening on the site is an important and ongoing planning task.  Allowing everyone to go home to their families at the end of every day is the result of a solid plan.  At Rafn we are Serious About Safety.