Discussion in the High Tech Construction industry about the effectiveness of Safety Management and Site Specific Safety Plans (SSSPs) has continued for a number of years. Safety management of a High Tech Construction Site is dependent on people effectively administering the Site Specific Safety Plan. The Site Specific Safety Plan should be, as the name suggests, specific and unique to the construction site for which it is intended. The SSSP is supposed to be the governing document for Safety, Health, and Environment on the construction site for all activities.

The elements of a successful SSSP implementation include not only the common safety specifics for a construction site, but instructions for those responsible for implementing the plan backed by top level management. The site Construction Manager (CM) is responsible for the overall site safety management and all that enter the construction site. The CM and Area Managers are supported by the Safety Staff and together form the site safety team. Subcontractors are responsible for their own employees and site areas of responsibility and should have an SSSP for their operations. The SSSP cannot cover every eventuality that will arise, but the SSSP can provide the structure for establishment of the positive safety culture necessary for site success.

The safety management of a High Tech/Semiconductor site presents some unique challenges not found during standard facility construction. Due to the nature of the work that will take place in the High Tech/Semiconductor facility, the time line for obtaining permits must be understood and followed so construction will not be held up. Needed permits will include air, waste water discharge, storm water, etc. Further, the Risk Management Program (RMP) for the EPA must be prepared and filed prior to start-up.

Safety, in this document, means the field of Safety, i.e., Safety, Health and the Environment. The construction site provides challenges to the safety professional in all of these areas. Inspection of the construction site prior to the start of any construction operations is essential.

Initial Site Safety Survey and Analysis

The construction site must have a Baseline Safety Assessment completed prior to any construction activities taking place. The assessment should begin with a broad view of the site for general issues. Elements of this initial assessment should include but not be limited to such items as:

  • Property lines and construction site boundaries

  • Prevailing winds and general seasonal weather conditions

  • Utilities; above and below ground

  • Flood plains, drainage, waterways, erosion control

  • Soil conditions

  • Site access, roads

  • Neighboring areas

  • Construction noise impact

  • Proximity of Emergency and Fire Support

  • Impact of construction traffic on the local area

  • State and local codes and regulations

  • Customer expectations on site

  • Contractual obligations for the site

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