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Construction phase plan

A construction phase plan (CPP) is a key document, outlining the health and safety concerns associated with a specific construction project. The plan should cover the site rules and necessary procedures that are in place to minimise or eliminate risks. 

By using a construction phase plan - sometimes also known as a construction phase health and safety plan - the whole onsite team can reach higher safety standards and project safety goals. 

What does a construction phase plan include? 

To cover all the necessary legal requirements, a construction phase plan generally includes: 

A project description 

This should cover the scope of work and important dates and deadlines. The project description should also list the project management team, such as the client, contractors and subcontractors, consultants, principal designer, key suppliers and others. 

Management of the work 

This section should be used to set out the management arrangements for the project and outline the health and safety procedures that are in place. It should include site rules, responsibilities and key management procedures such as security, selection of contractors, training, accident management, onsite liaison, induction and emergency procedures. 

Arrangements for controlling significant site risks 

Site safety and health risks should be detailed, along with arrangements to minimise or eliminate them. The construction phase plan should cover arrangements for site safety, particularly work involving structures, electricity and other services, excavations, deliveries, lifting operations, heavy machinery or plant use and demolitions. 

In terms of health risks, precautions should be taken against the removal of hazardous substances, manual handling, exposure to noise or UV radiation, and more. The plan should also take public safety and traffic management into consideration.

The health and safety file 

This is where the layout and format of the health and safety file should be documented, to ensure it’s clear how and when to access this critical information. 

Significant design and construction hazards 

In the event of changes to design or significant risks, this section should outline control measures and suggested work methods.  

When and how should a construction phase plan be used? 

Construction phase plans are legally required on all construction projects, regardless of duration or size, under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations - or CDM. 

Whether work is being carried out on a residential, commercial or industrial project, lasting for just a few hours or over a year, it’s crucial that every project has a construction phase plan. 

Construction phase plans must be completed before work starts on site. Work can’t legally begin without one in place. 

A construction phase plan should be treated as a live document and updated as work progresses. If designs, plans or project arrangements change, the plan should be added to as necessary. If unforeseen events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic occur, the construction site plan should be adapted to reflect changes and ensure the project can continue with minimum risk to the workforce. 

It’s often the case that there are project details which still need to be finalised before construction work begins. The most important requirement is that the phase plan is as up-to-date as possible for work that is about to take place. Any new or future developments can be added before work on those areas begins. 

Who is responsible for completing a construction phase plan 

According to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (2015), on projects with multiple contractors, the principal contractor is responsible for drawing up the construction phase plan. 

If a project only has one contractor, it’s their duty to produce the construction phase plan, or they should make arrangements for one to be created before work starts.  

Example of a construction phase plan 

The best way to understand a construction phase plan is to take a look at one.  

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has a useful example of a construction phase plan available online. This template could act as a checklist for any construction project, to ensure the necessary health and safety arrangements are made and it’s clear who is responsible for managing each task or area before work gets underway. 

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