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Understanding the EM 385 manual for employees and contractors on military projects.
The EM in EM 385 is an abbreviation for ‘Engineers Manual.’
If you are a contractor working on military projects, you must familiarize yourself with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Safety and Health Requirements Manual EM 385-1-1. The EM 385 manual is designed to guide the development, management, and implementation of a safety and occupational health (SOH) program.
The manual also reviews your responsibilities for maintaining your safety, stressing that you must:
The requirements mentioned in the EM-385-1-1 standards manual are mandatory for anyone working in the US Army Corps or on military contracts.
While some EM-385-1-1 requirements are similar to OSHA requirements, the latter does not cover specific health issues about the Army Corp. These include site inspections, safety management, and employee training.
While you might be familiar with OSHA’s construction safety requirements described in CFR 1926, the rules laid out in the EM 385 manual are generally much stricter—even if they are similar.
One of the most noticeable differences is the requirement in the manual for a written Accident Prevention Plan (APP), which like the name suggests, is a written plan that details how you will prevent accidents from happening on specific construction projects. Also different from OSHA is the requirement that you identify company officials responsible for safety with the APP so that if anything does happen, Department of Defense Personnel know who to contact.
The EM 385 manual also has more rigorous training requirements than OSHA. Contractors working on a construction site for the military need to be aware of additional hazards they might face and how to protect valuable information and equipment.
Similar to OSHA, the training depends on your level of responsibility:
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