Starting a new construction project requires planning and preparation. Setting up your site office and getting the correct paperwork in place is important before project commencement. 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 site, and 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 important. 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 practice.
So what are the 22 essential items for your site office? Let's take a look...
Just in case of any mishaps. 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.
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.
No one should start work without a proper induction. Inductions are a legal requirement for every construction project. Construction site induction forms are a record that these have been done.
Make sure your workforce knows the arrangements in place. Your health and safety policy should be made available on site so it can be referred to when needed.
Every construction project needs a construction phase plan, under the CDM regulations. It details the health and safety arrangements for your project. Find out more in construction phase plans explained.
Risk assessments need to be carried out for your activities and those of any subcontractors appointed. Risk assessments are a legal requirement. Make sure they are suitable for the work and followed on site.
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. Find out more about method statements in construction.
This information will include architects drawings, structural calculations, specification, and the scope of works. You need to know what work you are doing, and what exactly has been agreed on.
Site surveys will include service locations, asbestos surveys, ground investigations etc depending on the project. They will help you know what hazards are present, and where they are, so you can deal with them (or avoid them) on site.
Make sure you control any high-risk activities such as hot works or confined spaces. 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.
You need access to training records on site so you know who is trained to do what in your team. Make sure your workforce has the right training for the job.
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.
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.
Keep a record of who is on site at all times. 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.
Your construction site notice board is somewhere to display important information to your team, including the next 5 essential items.
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.
You should get these on the notice board, as evidence of your insurance for the work and your team.
What should people do in an emergency situation? Display your fire and emergency plan in a visible place and make sure it is understood.
Keep your project on track. Display the site programme and keep it up to date with actual vs planned progress.
Keep a daily record of progress and plan what needs to be done. A site diary will help you plan for the days and weeks ahead.
Raise health and safety awareness with on-site safety training. To help you comply with legal requirements, and to grow a positive health and safety culture on site.
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.