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Course 833 - Developing a Construction Safety Management System

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Procedures and Practices


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Construction companies should make sure that safe job procedures and safe work practices are developed to address significant hazards that may present significant risks/liabilities to them. To determine the need for safe job procedures and work practices, conduct a comprehensive hazard analysis prior to the start of work on each worksite. It’s important to note that the Job Safety/Hazard Analysis is an excellent process for determining safe job procedures and safe work practices.

Create Safe Job Procedures

Safe job procedures are a series of specific instructions presented in steps that outline the preferred method for performing a task. They guide a worker through a job task from start to finish one step at a time in chronological order.

Safe job procedures are designed to reduce the risk to employees by minimizing potential exposure. There may be many safe job procedures in a more complex construction process. Repetitive procedures are called “routines.” One or more procedures are included within each process.

Create Safe Job Procedures (continued...)

Scaffolding installation
Scaffolding installation is an example of a task that should have a safe job procedure.

Sample Procedures include:

  • Scaffold installation
  • Setting up guardrails
  • Installing an appliance
  • Pouring cement
  • Laying shingles

Specific Safety procedures that are required by OSHA should be put in writing such as:

Lockout/Tagout procedures should be put in writing.
  • Lockout/Tagout,
  • Handling hazardous chemicals
  • Using fall Protection equipment
  • Confined space entry procedures
  • Use of respiratory protection, dust masks, etc.
  • Protection from floor holes and other walking-working surface hazards
  • Safe use of hand and power tools
Testing fall protection equipment is an example of a safe work practice.
Testing fall protection equipment is an example of a safe work practice.
Photo courtesy:Honeywell Safety Products, Manufacturer of Miller Fall Protection Products

CSMS Safe Work Practices

Finally, safe work practices are generally written methods outlining how to perform a task with minimum risk to people, equipment, materials, environment, and processes. A particular task, job, or procedure may include one or more safe practices.

As with procedures, safe work practices help to ensure worker exposure to hazardous situations, substances, and physical agents is controlled in a safe manner.

Below are just a few examples of safe work practices:

  • Testing fall protection equipment prior to each use
  • Three-point control rule for climbing ladders
  • Wearing proper gloves for the job
  • Placing fire extinguishers
  • Ensuring proper ventilation
  • Using the “Buddy system”

OSHA’s Spin on Safe Work Practices

Safe work practices include your company’s general worksite rules and other operation-specific rules. For example, even when a hazard is enclosed, exposure can occur when maintenance is necessary. Through established safe work practices, employee exposure to hazards can be further reduced.

Depending on the type of industry and the operations, work practices for specific OSHA standards or to recognize hazards may be required.

Some of these specific areas include:

  • Respiratory Protection [29 CFR 1910.134].
  • Lockout/Tagout [29 CFR 1910.147].
  • Confined Space Entry [29 CFR 1910.146].
  • Hazard Communication [29 CFR 1910.1200, 29 CFR 1926.59].
  • Blood borne Pathogens [29 CFR 1910.1030].
  • Hearing Conservation [29 CFR 1910.95].
  • Laboratory Chemical Hygiene [29 CFR 1910.1450].

This list is not all-inclusive. Refer to the specific OSHA standard for information and guidance on the required elements for these individual programs.

Information and Training

Keep written safe work practices in a central location where the work is performed. Make sure they are readily available to the workforce, and review them from time to time during safety meetings.

The best way to train safe job procedures and work practices is the time-tested “show and tell” method. To do that, develop a Job Safety/Hazard Analysis each hazardous procedure, and use it as your training plan.

Keep formal documentation that shows employees have been trained on safe job procedures and work practices. The documentation should verify that employees had an opportunity to perform the safety job procedures and work practices under direct supervision, and that they have successfully demonstrated adequate knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Should you Reference or Repeat

Developing safe job procedures and practices is an ongoing challenge. We recommend that you start by covering the most hazardous procedures first, and then continue by incrementally adding procedures and practices as needed.

If OSHA standards clearly cover a procedure, go ahead and reference it so you don’t have to repeat it. Generally OSHA standards are “performance-based” and do not provide detailed procedures, so be careful in evaluating the need to develop your own procedures.


Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. What are procedures that are repeated regularly called?

2. Safe work practices describe how to perform a task with minimum risk to which of the following?

3. What are a series of specific instructions presented in steps that outline the preferred method for performing a task?

4. Which of the following procedures must be put in writing to comply with OSHA standards?

5. What helps to ensure worker exposure to hazardous situations, substances, and physical agents is controlled in a safe manner?

Have a safe day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.