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How To Write A Good Safety Plan

Safety plan or HSE plan is a document which stipulates the modalities necessary to achieve any set safety objectives.

I can authoritatively say “A project without a good safety plan is a failed project”.


At the end of this article, you will understand the importance of developing a good HSE plan, and also acquire the necessary information needed to develop a good HSE plan.

Lets start with the importance of a HSE Plan:

Why Do You Need A Safety Plan?

The safety plan helps identify hazards which could cause harm, draw out measures to manage the risk accompanying the hazard, allot responsibilities, and also plan emergency response in case of any failure in the safety management system.

Invariable, without a good plan, none of the above is possible. I believe you now see why I said, “A project without a good safety plan is a failed project”.


It is worthy of note that safety plan is project specific. This means that, there is nothing like a general safety plan, instead we have project safety plan. It is design to suit the project at hand. For example, construction safety plan cannot cover for drilling project safety plan.

We draw out safety plan for the project at hand. It could be a road construction project, tank farm project, drilling project, manufacturing project, erection project, etc.

Also, safety plan is not a static document, it is subject to review. The review time is always stipulated inside the plan.

Lets now move to the important contents of a HSE plan:

Components Of The Safety Plan (Content Of HSE Plan)

To design a good HSE plan, important aspects has to be covered, they include:

1. Heading of the plan:

Heading of the plan will cover the date of which the plan was designed, name(s) of people who were involved in preparing the plan, the recipient (who was the plan meant for), who approved it, and the plan number.

Plan number is important for reference purpose, especially in a large organization where many plans may be developed for different projects.

See heading sample

                            SAFETY/HSE PLAN
Date: Prepared by: Received by: Approved by: Plan No.:

2. Reviewing of the plan

The duration for the plan review must be stipulated. However, this duration of review is not static, it can be changed if need be. Based on need, the plan can be set to be reviewed within six (6) months interval or a year interval.


Read Also: How to write a good Health and Safety policy

3. The objective of the HSE plan

Often, the objective captures the HSE policy statement. Specific objectives can also be captured at this point.

4. Safety target

The plan must contain safety target. The target serves as a focal point where the plan is geared toward achieving. It is generally just a few words.


Year 2019 safety target – ZERO LOST TIME INJURY

5. Responsibilities

Here, responsibilities are allotted to the different categories of staffs in the organization. Senior management which involves the MD, Directors, Head of Departments, etc, are mostly in charge of providing the resources needed for the actualization of the safety objectives.

On the other hand, lower management, like the Managers, Superintendents, and Supervisors are to ensure the implementation of the safety plan. Employees are also allotted responsibilities.

6. Regulations, Standards, Rules and Procedures in force

Depending of the specific plan develop, there are always safety regulations, standards, rules or procedures covering that aspect. At this point, the plan has to highlight which of these legal documents there are answerable for.


  • Work at height regulation
  • COSHH regulation
  • Regulations concerning mining activities, etc.

7. Training of personnel

Based on the training need, different training will be recommended for different staff ranging from the senior management staff, junior management staff to the employees.

Also, the kind of training will also be determined with the frequency. It may be internal training or external training depending on the need.

8. Emergency Drill

Emergency is one thing that must not be overlooked. No matter how strong the safety culture could be, sometimes controls do fail. When control fails, the last resort is on the emergency management system.

To be sure of the emergency management system, there should be a routine emergency drills. This drill does mainly three (3) things;

  1. Test the operational functionality of all the emergency equipment.
  2. Ascertain the preparedness of the emergency responders.
  3. Discover possible failures in the system.

Some emergency drills that should be carried out are:

  • Fire drill
  • Evacuation drill
  • Man overboard rescue
  • stretcher drill with casualty, etc.

9. Permit to work system

Permit to work system can be introduced if there are high risk and non-routine activity that will be carried out on the course of the project. This should be communicated to both staff and contractors, highlighting the routine activities and permit required activities.

Some permit required activities may include:

  • Hot work
  • Confine space entry
  • Work at height, etc.


Read Also: 

10. Safety audit and risk analysis

Planned inspection/audit together with risk analysis should be stipulated in the plan. Interval for the audit should be set.

11. Incident investigation and reporting

There should be a channel created for reporting all incidents after proper investigation is done.

There should also be a plan for proper implementation of recommendations after every incident.

12. Safety meeting organization

This covers the act of creating a forum where safety issues are discussed. This forum should have a senior management representative, junior management representative, and the employees representative.

The meeting may be weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. Different kinds of meetings are covered in this section based on the need. It may be safety committee meeting; health, safety and welfare committee meeting, management safety meeting, etc. Minutes and attendance of these meetings should be documented.

Other components of the Safety plan could be:

  • Environmental policy
  • Lifting procedures
  • Rules for handling chemicals
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Personal health, etc.

This list of component is not absolute, it could vary based on the project in question and the set objective.

However, most of the component here are very important aspect which should not miss in the HSE plan.


Read Also: NSC (National Safety Council) – All you need to know


I believe you have learnt something, we will be happy to receive feedback from you.

See HSE plan sample – EISA Annex 14 HSE Plan


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