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Site Safety & Health Plan

     The SSP {Site Safety Plan} (Click here to download) is a necessary document mandated by OSHA {Occupational Safety and Health Administration} on every hazardous materials scene. Recently, on site inspections of this document for hazardous materials teams have intensified. The SSP must be filled out to the best of your ability and “POSTED” near your “Command” center. The failure to post on a vehicle, command board, or where ever you have space has earned more than one team a hefty fine. The most important feature of an SSP is its ease of use. If your document is too wordy or ambiguous to use, it won’t be. Many items can be included on your SSP, but if you confine yourself to the basics mandated it will be a useable tool and your response more manageable. Included in this SSP are the core requirements. You can add as much as you want, just remember, it must be functional to be used.

     First and foremost, you will need a response time log. This document replicates your station log book, and is valuable for after scene reports, cost recovery, contractor liability, and insurance claims. With this section you will be able to view the overall complexities that existed throughout the event. Also, problem areas found can be removed for future responses.

     The 2nd page is used to record overall site conditions. Location, area affected and exposures reveal the “Big Picture” of what has already occurred. An early report of weather conditions can affect your response capabilities and tactics, especially if the chemicals involved are reactive to light or rain. Onsite control recognizes the site responsibility, your Command Post, and contact number. The “immediate actions” include options for the initial arrival as well as providing the “Big Picture” when hazardous materials responders reach the scene. Valuable product information can be gathered by the first arrivals. Without the aid of a “Technician”, Engine Companies can determine whether a plume is rising or falling, if product is flowing across the ground surface or into it, and if it is entering the sewerage system.

     Once your Hazardous Materials Responders arrive, the chemicals data can be gathered. If it is a fixed site, NFPA 704 M data can be listed. Once Identification {ID} is determined, physical form, toxicology, and the materials physical properties are recorded. Decontamination should be listed, but only type, level of protection and the number of workers in the line are necessary. Radio channels for communication during the event should be listed to avoid confusion. Every Entry team should have auxiliary hand signals incase radios fail. These can vary for your operation, but they should be simple and consistent.

     Finally, the “Authorization for Operational Command” should be acknowledged by the big three, IC, Safety, and Site Security. This serves as written proof of an existing SSP filed for your hazardous site. The bottom section can be used as a site map indicating the immediate exclusion zone with its hazards. Posting this document not only satisfies OSHA requirements but offers later arriving responders updates to the current time. If you opt for a water-proof version, be sure to include these basic elements for overall clarity among responders.

                                    Haz Mat Mike

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