If you are involved in construction in any sort of way, you’ll likely hear the phrase ‘construction phase plan’ mentioned. In this blog, our experts outline what is required in a construction health and safety plan, who’s responsible for it, and what a construction phase plan should contain.
What is a Construction Phase Plan? A construction phase plan is a key document that ensures the health and safety on site for a construction project. The plan outlines the key stakeholders, the possible risks on the site, and the plan to prevent or eliminate these risks. A phase plan also includes chosen communication methods and contact details of the workers involved.
Read on to find out more about what a phase plan is, how important they are in construction, and who is responsible for implementing the plan on site.
What is a Phase Plan in Construction For Health and Safety?
A construction phase plan is required for every construction project under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (sometimes referred to as the CDM 2015). The document outlines all of the possible safety concerns associated with the construction project taking place, outlining all of the safety procedures in place to prevent risks. Construction phase plans (CPP) also include a file with relevant H&S documents.
The phase plan must be developed before any construction takes place, with regular reviews and updates as needed when the project progresses. This is due to the rapidly changing nature of a construction site, whose risks change as structures are built, for example.
Construction phase plans were introduced in 1994, but have been revised since, with the latest revision happening in 2015.
What Main Headings Should a Typical Construction Phase Plan Contain?
According to hse.gov.uk, a construction phase plan must detail all of the risks, procedures, and details of a planned project. The level of detail you go into must correspond with the risks associated with the project, either on-site or within the surrounding areas. To ensure you are complying with regulations, we’ve outlined the suggested headings below.
The first section of your CCP should outline the overall plan and main details of the project. This acts as the context for anyone looking at your phase plan. This will include:
- Your name and company
- The client’s details and contact information
- The contact details of other key stakeholders (e.g. designers or architects)
- An outline of the project at hand
- Key dates include projected start and finish dates
- The location of your hygiene and rest facilities
It is important that the details of everyone working on the site are recorded, no matter how big or small their job may be. In your construction phase plan, you should include:
- Details and contact information of builders, plumbers, electricians, and other relevant contractors
- Details of the principal contractor (basically, the one in charge)
- Your chosen communication channels for keeping everyone updated on site
- Management structure and responsibilities
- Plan for ongoing monitoring and updating of health and safety
- Relevant health and safety documents and procedures
- First aid provisions
This will be the largest and most detailed section of your construction phase plan. With each criterion outlined below, you should include if the hazard is present, and how you plan to prevent the risks associated with them:
- Collapse of structures
- Dust & asbestos
- Falls from height
- Risks to the public, client, or anyone else not working on the project
- Other dangers on site, and anything else that may require supervision
If you are looking for health and safety documents to use on your construction site, explore our free range of downloadable samples and templates. On the page linked, you’ll find a list of free health and safety documents, posters and company handbooks available for you on our website.
When is a Construction Phase Plan Required?
A construction phase plan is required before a construction project starts, no matter how big or small the project is. The document is vital as it demonstrates that health and safety have been thought about, and ensures all staff on site understand the correct procedures for minimising and preventing risks.
Do All Projects Require a Construction Phase Plan?
Yes, all projects require a construction phase plan, even if there is only one person involved in the project. However, if your construction job is planned to last longer than 500 days, or more than 20 people are working on the site at any one time, a simple construction phase plan isn’t adequate, and instead you’ll need to notify HSE. For larger projects, it is likely that you will need a more detailed plan.
Who is Responsible For Completing the Construction Phase Plan?
The primary contractor is the one responsible for completing the construction phase plan, and is usually appointed by the client. Although one person is in charge of the construction phase plan, the write up should be based on pre-project information provided by the client, as well as any relevant details from key designers and architects.
If there is only one contractor involved in the project, a plan still needs to be completed to comply with regulations. For example, if a self-employed plumber is installing a new bathtub, they should write up the plan and follow it.
Does a Client Have To Approve a Construction Phase Plan?
Although the client doesn’t have to formally ‘approve’ the plan, they do have the responsibility of making sure that the construction phase plan is filled out with adequate and accurate information to ensure the project goes ahead safely. This has to be done before any work takes place on the site, including any setup of the site.
Why is Health and Safety Important in Construction?
Although it may seem like a construction phase plan isn’t required, particularly for one-man bands, the documents ensure every possible risk has been thought about, and the steps to minimise them have been taken. Below, we’ve outlined why health and safety documents are important in construction:
Prevent Injury on Site
This might sound obvious, but some injuries can happen unexpectedly, especially if you haven’t had time to think about all of the possible risks on site. If one of your employees gets injured due to your lack of care, it is likely you’ll be liable. This will result in hefty fines and you will get into legal trouble for not following regulations.
Laws & Regulations
As mentioned above, ensuring you meet compliance and legislation requirements is vital for ensuring the safety of your staff. Not only that, but if you are found to not be following regulations properly your business reputation may suffer, impeding on the contracts you’ll get in future.
Protecting the Public
Construction isn’t just hazardous on site, but there could be a danger to the wider public too. This could come from nearby pedestrian footpaths, pollution of local rivers, or producing excessive noise. Following correct health and safety procedures will ensure that you prevent injury or illnesses, whether that be directly or indirectly.
Health and Safety Safety Packs From HSE Docs
If you want to ensure the health and safety of staff and contractors on site, you must have all of the correct documents in place. This will include a phase construction plan, but this may also include Risk Assessments, COSHH Assessments, or general company Health & Safety Policies.
If you’re looking for all of the relevant health and safety documents for your construction project in one place, look no further than HSE Docs. We offer over 100+ H&S documents at a brilliant price with our complete Construction Health & Safety Pack. The pack is fully customisable and is also recognised by local authorities and principal contractors, suitable for CDM sites, and approved by H&S managers.
If you have any questions about our health and safety documents, or if you just need general advice, get in touch with a member of our team who will be happy to help you!