EM 385 Guide: Site Safety and Health Plan

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Site safety training in the construction business can literally mean the difference between life and death. It has to be at the forefront of every endeavor in a business that is known for its hazards. Construction material, tools and equipment each come with their own dangers that can be life threatening in untrained hands. The main kinds of accidents that can lead to serious injuries or death include accidents involving site vehicles, falling or collapsing material, overhead power line contact and falls. Most of these can be prevented with a quality site safety and health plan as well as protocols that should be maintained at all cost. With good planning and testing, these measures can ensure site safety for all personnel. A poorly implemented design can result in serious injuries, diseases and can also prove fatal. According to OSHA regulations, every US based employee has the right to a safe workplace. They also have the right to complain to OSHA if they think that safety is threatened in any way. OSHA also requires employers to ensure that workers are sufficiently trained to recognize an unsafe work site or situation when they see it. Violations can result in hefty fines and penalties as well as jail time in case a worker dies on a job site.

Worker safety is the employer’s responsibility

Ensuring that a work site is safe is the responsibility of the main contractor which cannot be overlooked. According to OSHA health and safety regulations for construction sites, the contractor cannot be relieved of this duty which is one of the clauses in their contract. In other words, they are not only responsible for worker safety, but also have to ensure that the site is maintained to reduce chances of accidents. In rare cases, this duty may fall on the heads of subcontractors which is not illegal. As per OSHA guidelines, the subcontractor will have to assume joint responsibility and will have to comply with the safety standards mentioned in the contract. This makes them partially responsible for worker safety but it does not mean that the prime contractor is free of all responsibilities. They will also be held accountable if a worker gets hurt or worse on their watch.

Importance of risk assessment

One of the main things that safety officers have to remain aware of on a construction site is fatigue and how workers manage it. With risk assessment, they are able to determine inherent risks on work sites and also determine what they need to focus on to ensure workers remain uninjured. They are also responsible for finding out if the business is doing anything to mitigate those risks and presenting training opportunities in case there are no plans. Most site accidents occur because workers are not sure how to take care of themselves on a jobsite or to prevent illness. However, regular training can address this issue along with persistent safety talks that can remind them to remain vigilant.

Most site accidents occur because workers are not sure how to take care of themselves on a jobsite or to prevent illness. Click To Tweet

Risk assessment can be separated into 2 parts – the hazards that can cause harm on a worksite and the chance that employees will be harmed do to an existing hazard. The second is accompanied with suggestions as to how employees can be trained to remain safe and how to prevent those dangers from cropping up later. Both these aspects should be given due importance if a contractor is to comply with HSE standards.

8-hour EM 385-1-1 USACE Safety & Health

360Training’s 8-hour EM 385-1-1 USACE Safety & Health course is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of EM 385-1-1 regulations. This course is essential for anyone who wants to be a SSHO or Site Safety Health Officer on a construction site since it covers the same topics as our 40-Hour EM 385 course. It also meets annual refresher training requirements and is acceptable as computer based training. Like all courses on 360training.com, this one is also based online which means you don’t have to take time from your busy schedule to take them. Just pick when you can take the course and learn all you need to learn about worksite safety and compliance. Our 24/7 support personnel can help you with any queries you have. Sign up for the training today.

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