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17th September, 2019

Construction Site Set Up To Do List

What documents do you need in your site office? Which paperwork needs to be completed? What information needs to be displayed? There are lots of things to remember for health and safety when setting up your construction site. This construction site set up to do list will help you get everything ready for your project.

One of the areas construction health and safety advisors will look at when carrying out a site audit is how well the site office is set up and that the paperwork is in good order. These records are evidence of what has been done, and when. The HSE will also want to see certain items in your site office should they visit your site.

Paperwork and documentation are important, not just to comply with regulations. These documents communicate important information to your team and keep a record of the procedures and safety checks in place.

Due to the nature of construction work, site offices are often set up in a hurry. Use this to-do list to make sure there is nothing you forget!

Information to Display

There's information that needs to be displayed on site, right from the start of your construction project. Get it right from day one.

  • Notice Board – Get a notice board up (most likely in the site office) to display important project information to your team
  • Health and Safety Law Poster – this needs to be displayed in all workplaces including construction sites
  • Insurance Certificates – get these up on the notice board
  • Fire & Emergency Plan – display the plan in a visible place and make sure it is understood
  • Traffic Management Plan - one way systems, safe turning spots and separate vehicle and pedestrian routes all make for a safer site
  • Safety Signage - this won't be on your notice board necessarily, but suitable health and safety signs should be displayed at the site perimeter and around the site
  • F10 – all CDM notifiable projects need to have an F10 and this should be displayed on site

Safe Methods of Work

You need to have your activities planned so they are carried out safely. You might not have documentation for the entire duration of the project ready at the site set up, but you will at least need to be prepared for the first tasks that will take place.

  • Risk Assessments – need to be in place for all activities on site (it's the law)
  • Method Statements – safe working procedures should be documented for high risk or complex activities
  • Permits to Work – control high-risk activities on site

Management Documents

These are the project documents you are going to need on every construction project. Get them in place as part of your site set up.

  • Construction Phase Plan – this CDM document is legally required on every construction project so make sure you have one in place
  • H&S Policy – if you employ 5 or more people you need a written health and safety policy and this should be easily accessible
  • Contract Documents – architects drawings, structural calculations, specification, the scope of works
  • Project Surveys – service locations, asbestos surveys, ground investigations

Safety Records

Paperwork and records are a good way to show you are meeting your health and safety duties. Here are some of the forms you will need at the site set up.

  • Site Register – signing in and out of site so you have a record of who is on your site at all times
  • Induction Forms – every person on the site needs to be inducted before starting work and you should always keep a record as evidence of this
  • Toolbox Talks – raise health and safety awareness with on-site safety training, make sure you have arrangements in place so you can start delivering toolbox talks from the start of your project
  • Training Records – ensure your team is trained and competent to do the tasks they are given
  • Site Inspections - regular checks to make sure rules are being followed and your site is in good order
  • Near Miss Reports - stop accidents before they happen and create a safer workplace with near miss reporting


PPE is important and should be available on site. Workers might be issued with their own, but what if it gets damaged at work, and what about visitors? Make sure there is plenty of PPE available on site for the activities. As a minimum this should include:

  • Hard Hats
  • Safety Boots
  • Hi-Viz

Also consider if you need other PPE for the project. Other PPE requirements will often include:

  • Ear Defenders - for noisy activities
  • Dust Masks - for activities that will create dust
  • Gloves - for handling sharp tools and objects, or hazardous substances
  • Eye Projection - where there is a risk of projectiles

Accidents and Emergencies

Of course, we hope that no accidents happen, and we plan safe working practices so they don't happen. But accidents do happen, and first aid provisions are a legal requirement.

  • First Aid Kit – every site office should have a first aid kit, your first aiders will need access to a kit
  • Accident Book – make sure this is filled in if an accident occurs, it's a legal requirement
  • Fire Extinguishers – in case of fire, have at least one in the site office or compound and more throughout the site where needed at accessible locations

Missing any documentation? Our health and safety templates will help get your project started. Complete the construction site set up checklist to check you have the correct signage, documents and welfare set up in place.

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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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