Written By: Robert E. Sheriff, MS, CIH, CSP, resident
November 12, 2018
There are two tiers of safety inspections regardless of the type of construction project.
First Tier – Initial Site Inspection at the Start of the Project.
This inspection is more of a Program Audit than a site safety inspection. The audit focuses on Overall Safety Management, Security, Anticipated Hazards, Postings and Training, and, if necessary, a Site Specific Health and Safety Plan (HASP), but it should occur at the project site when work has begun or about to begin.
Essential Elements Include:
- Safety Policy Statement
- Written Safety Program for Contractors and Subcontractors
- Assignment of Management and Safety Responsibilities
- New Hire or New Site Workers Orientation
- Employee Safety Rules
- Posting of Required Signs and Notices
- Accident/Injury Report System including First Aid/CPR
- Safety Committee/Tool Box Safety Meetings
- What To Do If OSHA Arrives
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Hazard Communication Training of Site Personnel
- Site Specific HASP including Job Hazard Analysis
- Emergency Evacuation Plan
- Chemical Inventory and SDS’s
- Site Security – Both On and Off Work Hours
- Environmental/Community Awareness
The most important factor in the First Tier Inspection/Audit is to make sure all policy and activities have been anticipated and addressed. These efforts must be addressed long before the site work begins. But the FIRST TIER SITE INSPECTION is when all these preparations have been implemented at the start of the project—usually within the first few weeks of setting up at the work site.
Don’t wait until someone is injured, or OSHA shows up, or the neighbors file a lawsuit, to look at the safety elements required for a project.
We can offer our services for such inspections/audits. Feel free to e-mail or call us—hopefully early.
Tier 2 – Progress Inspections at Construction Sites.
The first question is HOW OFTEN? Many times that is determined by the General Contractor, or the property owner, or the government. Although most construction project identify the need for safety inspections, it is left to the Contractor, or sub-contractors to establish the details- and frequency of the site inspections. Contractors or sub-contractors should consider the liability issues when deciding the detail-and frequency of inspection-AND Whether they should be done by in-house or Third Party inspectors. The more complex the project, the more often inspections should be scheduled. For a building construction project where many trades are involved, inspection should be bi-weekly at least. For a paving or roadway construction, it may not be necessary to have a full time person or even bi-weekly inspections AFTER the Initial (Tier 1) inspection, and possibly one(1) or two( 2 Tier 2 inspections.
You may need input from a Safety Professional for advice of inspection frequency- and a conversation with the property owner for an agreement on frequency.
Our primary service areas for Construction Site Safety Inspections are: NJ, NY, NYC, PA, CT, DE, MA, RI, Wash DC, WI, MD, MI, IL, VA, IN, GA, AL, NC, SC, TN, TX, OK, DC, AR, we can service most other areas of the U.S. but with some added travel charges.