How To Set Up A Construction Health & Safety Plan

Every construction safety file will have a health and safety plan. This is the main document for managing your health and safety on site. Your client will request it from you before construction begins. This is a dynamic document and will change and grow as the project progresses and should be updated on a regular basis.

We’ve put together a short guide to help you put together your own health and safety plan for a construction project. 

The health and safety plan is developed from information received from the following sources :

  • Principal contractor 
  • Client 
  • Health & Safety Act and Construction Regulations

What to Include in Your Health and Safety Plan?

The following should be included in your health and safety plan:

Project Information:

In this section of your health and safety plan you should include the project information. In other words list your clients name, principal contractor, address of the site and any other relevant information pertaining to the project.

Project Management:

This step will help you manage and run the day-to-day issues on site. Information is provided on particular risks, coordination of contractors, statutory inspections, and training requirements.

Record Management:

This section provides an index of records that need to be documented and managed on site, and a range of templates and registers to help you complete this work.

Responsible Persons:

Identify competent people on site who will take responsibility for completing the various elements of the Construction Stage, Health and Safety Plan, and other related duties. Decide on a suitable person to oversee and manage each role or activity and brief them on their responsibilities. Ensure that you list all the responsible persons on the project in this section. 


Risk Assessments:

You should state what risk assessments are carried out and what measures are put in place. Mention who the appointed risk assessor is and the type of review plan you have in place. 



Compile a complete list of appointed persons on the project. You should mention their qualifications. Competency letters and certificates should be attached to the appointment letter in your file under the appointment section. Mention in your plans that these certificates and competency letters can be found there. 


Definitions and Roles:

You should clearly state what certain terms mean in your health and safety plan. Below are a few examples. 

“Client” means a person for whom a project is carried out, in the course or furtherance of a trade, business or undertaking, or who undertakes a project directly in the course or furtherance of such trade, business or undertaking.

“Competent Person” means a person where, having regard to the job they are required to perform and taking account of the size or hazards (or both of them) of the undertaking or establishment in which they do work, possesses sufficient training, experience and knowledge suitable to the nature of the work to be completed.

“Construction Stage Health and Safety Plan” is a suitable safety and health plan for the project, which the PSCS must develop prior to the commencement of construction work. The plan must explain how the key safety and health issues will be managed. It must be relevant to the particular project and should be developed from the Preliminary Design Stage Health and Safety Plan prepared by the PSDP. The plan provided here is a blueprint for managing and co-ordinating safety and health during the construction phase of the project.

“Construction Work” has a very broad definition that includes a range of everyday activities. Among the work activities or tasks on a building or structure that are classified as construction work are: alterations, converting, fitting-out, commissioning, renovating, repairing, upkeep, decorating, maintaining, de-commissioning, demolishing, dismantling and assembling. As many maintenance activities are clearly classified as construction work, the term applies to most workplaces at some stage.


“Contractor” means a company or person who carries out or manages construction work for a fixed or other sum and who supplies the materials and labour (whether his / her own labour or that of others) to carry out such work or who supplies the labour only.

“Designer” means a company or person engaged in work related to a design of a project.


Health & Safety Related Training:

If your company has been appointed to do high-risk work on the project like roof sheeting (working on heights) you need to address the related training your workers will undergo before commencing any work on the project. You should also mention the experience your team has in working at these high-risk tasks. 


Work Tasks On-Site:

In this section, you will advise what type of work your company will do on-site. List and discuss each task. Answer questions like – are these tasks high risk and if they are how you will handle them on site. What training will you provide for your workers?

Final Thoughts 

Your health and safety plan is a summary of the entire safety system you have in place. In your health and safety plan, you need to explain and motivate how you will carry out your work tasks in the safest way possible. The foundation of your safety system is based on the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Construction Regulations.

 Next, you need to comply with the health and safety specifications from the principal contractor as well as the client. Remember, that the principal contractor or the client may require more than what is expected from the Occupational Health and Safety Act. They are in their full right to reject your safety plan if it does not meet their requirements. So our advice is to get familiar with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and read the safety spec from the principal contractor and the client before setting up your safety plan. 

Here Is Our Time Saving Tip

If you're looking to set up your own safety file, we recommend utilizing a safety file template. This can significantly save you both time and frustration, potentially saving hundreds of hours of work.

Alternatively, if you encounter challenges in creating safety documents for a construction project, such as your risk assessment, safe work procedure, fall protection plan, etc., don't hesitate to schedule a consulting session with us.