WHAT IS A OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN?
In terms of contractors and sub-contractors the OHS management plan is exactly what it says it is…it is a plan that is compiled and contains all relevant information to ensure the management of health and safety of employees, the public and the impact on the environment.
An OHS management plan is site specific – this means that it not a generic copy and paste exercise. The Occupational Health and Safety Management plan is audited against the minimum requirements as prescribed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations or the OHSAS 18001 standards and other relevant legislation, depending on the client’s safety requirements.
The Occupational Health and Safety management plan is also operations specific and provides crucial information about the Who, What, Where, When, Wow and What thereafter, of your operations.
The Occupational Health and Safety management plan is the basis of your Occupational Health and Safety operations and forms part of the Project safety file. The plan in conjunction with the rest of the safety file is evaluated pending the approval/ of your authorisation to start with the contracted work.
As part of compliance in terms of the law, Occupational Health and Safety management plans are more and more requested as part of tender submissions. Principle clients are placing emphasis on the basic compliance and adherence to the act and legislation relevant to the advertised tenders.
The Occupational Health and safety plan is a working document, as operations change so does the information contained in the plan. It always contains information relevant to the contracted work and when the scope of work changes, so does the plan. The plan is written for specified site conditions, dates, and personnel, and must be amended if these conditions change.
The plan is prepared based on the best available information regarding the physical and chemical hazards known or suspected to be present on the project site and which is associated with the activities. Whilst, it is not possible to discover, evaluate, and protect in advance against all possible hazards, which may be encountered during the completion of the project, adherence to the requirements of the Health and Safety management plan will significantly reduce the potential for occupational injury.
The Health and Safety management Plan provides a general description of the levels of personal protection and safe operating guidelines expected of each employee or subcontractor. Supplements are generated as necessary to address any additional activities or changes to site conditions which may occur during field operations.
Once generated, each supplement will be inserted and reviewed/ acknowledged by field personnel prior to the start of the applicable activities The plan must be compiled and signed by management and communicated to every employee associated with the project. Proof of this communication forms part of the safety file.