2nd April, 2024

22 Essential Items For Your Construction Site Office

Setting up your construction site office and getting the correct paperwork in place is important, it's where people go when they arrive on site, and where you run your project from. Your site office needs to contain plenty of information for your team - here are 22 essential items.

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Starting a new construction project requires planning and preparation. Setting up your site office and getting the correct paperwork in place is important so you know have the right items at hand when you need them.

Your site office is the first place workers go to when they arrive on your site. And it's the last place they visit before they leave. It's the place visitors report to. It's often where site meetings take place.

It's quite an important place!

If your site office is in order, the rest of the project will follow.

But construction site office requirements aren't easy to remember. Your site office might not be as spacious as your head office, but it needs to contain plenty of information for your project team.

You need to make sure that your cabin has the required documents and items for your workforce to be productive, and safe, and to ensure you have the records needed to comply with regulations and best practices.

So what are the 22 essential items for your site office? Let's take a look...

1. First Aid Kit

Construction sites need first aiders, and as a high-risk workplace, accidents are more likely to happen (statistically).

The contents of your first aid kit should be based on your first aid needs assessment, and you may need more than one.

Of course, we don't want accidents to happen, but construction work is high risk, and we need to make sure we comply with first aid requirements.

2. Accident Book

If an accident does happen, we need to make sure this is filled in. Having an accident book on site is essential, so you can keep the right records.

3. Induction Forms

No one should start work without a proper induction. Inductions are a legal requirement for every construction project.

If you carry your inductions out on site, in person, construction site induction forms are a record that these have been done.

If you create your inductions on HASpod, then you will have certificates for your records instead!

4. H&S Policy

There are quite a few health and safety documents needed in construction, and a health and safety policy is one of them.

Your health and safety policy isn't specific to the project - but it applies to all of your business activities and projects.

Your health and safety policy should be made available on site so it can be referred to when needed, and to make sure your workforce knows the arrangements in place.

You might have subcontractors and other workers on the project who haven't seen it before, and you can cover the important parts in your site induction.

5. Construction Phase Plan

Every construction project needs a construction phase plan, it's a legal requirement under the CDM regulations, and details the health and safety arrangements for your project.

Find out more in construction phase plans explained.

6. Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are a legal requirement, so you will need them on your construction project. They need to be carried out for your activities, and those of any subcontractors appointed.

Your risk assessments should be project specific, suitable for the work, and followed on site.

Need help creating risk assessments? Use our risk assessment templates, pre-completed for construction activities, and editable for your projects.

7. Method Statements

Method statements are instructions for how you are going to do the work safely. They are often required for higher-risk activities and are common in construction work.

For many activities, a method statement will be needed with your risk assessments, and you should keep a copy on site so that workers can agree to and follow them.

You can find editable method statement templates for your activities too!

8. Contract Documents

Construction projects are all different - you'll need a copy of the contract documents to know every detail of what's been specified. You need to know what work you are doing, and what exactly has been agreed on.

This information will include architects' drawings, structural calculations, specifications, and the scope of works.

9. Project Surveys

You'll be dealing with an existing site or existing building, and you'll need to know what hazards are present, and where they are, so you can deal with them (or avoid them).

Site surveys will include service locations, asbestos surveys, ground investigations etc depending on the project.

10. Permits to Work

Another health and safety document you'll in construction is a permit to work.

Permits to work are issued by a manager or supervisor and allow a person or group of people to carry out a task, under strict controls. These are often used for high-risk activities such as hot works or confined spaces.

You can use our permit to work templates to control your high-risk activities.

11. Training Records

You need access to training records on-site so you know who is trained to do what in your team.

We've discussed inductions, but you'll also need to keep copies (or have access to) training certificates and records for any other training like asbestos awareness, first aid, manual handling, abrasive wheels, and competency evidence for specific roles like CSCS cards and the site management safety training scheme (SMSTS).

12. Spare PPE

Extra items of PPE are always needed throughout a project. PPE can become soiled or damaged. Visitors might need to borrow a hard hat or hi-viz vest if they are being escorted on site.

It's useful to keep a few extra items of:

13. Fire Extinguisher

In case of fire in the site office or compound, you need a suitable type of fire extinguisher close to hand. You may also need these throughout your site.

Always make sure your fire extinguishers are inspected and serviced as needed to keep them ready for action!

14. Site Register

You should keep a record of who is on your site at all times, and make sure everyone used the site register to sign in (and out) from the site.

If there is a fire or emergency, you need to know who to evacuate. You may also use this record for HR and payment purposes.

Download and save the free construction site register form for your construction projects.

15. Notice Board

Your construction site notice board is somewhere to display important information to your team, including the following five essential items.

16. Health and Safety Law Poster

Available from the HSE and other suppliers. Employers are required, by law, to either display the HSE-approved law poster or to provide each of their workers with the matching leaflet.

If your construction site office is the place people go to when they arrive on the site, it's an ideal place to display this poster.

17. Insurance Certificates

You can display these on the notice board, as evidence of your insurance for the work and your team.

18. Fire & Emergency Plan

What should people do in an emergency situation? And how will they know what to do?

Display your fire and emergency plan in a visible place (like the notice board) and make sure it is understood. Remember to update your team if this plan changes as construction work progresses.

19. F10

For notifiable CDM projects, display the F10 notification form on site from commencement to completion.

Check if your project is notifiable with our free CDM notification calculator.

20. Programme

To help your project stay on track, display the site programme and keep it up to date with actual vs planned progress.

21. Site Diary

A site diary will help you plan for the days and weeks ahead. Keep a daily record of progress and plan what needs to be done.

22. Toolbox Talks

On-site safety training with toolbox talks is a way of raising health and safety awareness and drawing attention to site hazards and safety rules.

Toolbox talks can help you comply with legal requirements, and to grow a positive health and safety culture on site.

Get started with 100 toolbox talk topics, or download 30+ free toolbox talks for construction.

Having the correct items at hand throughout your project will help the smooth running of your project, and also help you comply with the legal requirements of managing a construction project. Many of the essential items above are required by law, and others are good practice.

If you need help getting started, you can find hundreds of health and safety document templates ready to edit and download on HASpod.

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This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.

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