Keeping site management personnel’s safety knowledge up to date
With the increased safety legislation for construction sites, and the need for supervisory personnel to keep their knowledge of these and other safety procedures up to date, full ongoing professional training is vital.
A key component of effective training and continually updating it is the Site Management Safety Training (SMSTS) course followed by refreshers at least every five years, although three is recommended.
What does an SMSTS course provide?
Run by professional training organisations, a CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) recognised SMSTS training course equips those in charge of construction site safety, such as construction or site managers, with full knowledge of current legislation including:
- Health and Safety at Work Act
- Control of Asbestos Regulations
- Working at Height Regulations
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment
The correct safety procedures to follow in certain circumstances are covered such as:
- When using scaffolding
- Working in confined spaces
- Using electricity
Other safety aspects including risk management and hazard control are also covered.
The course structure
The original course is a full working week – five days – and each delegate has to attend the course in full; any missed days means they have to start the course again.
The delegates are assessed throughout the course as they work their way through various case studies and exercises, culminating in a multiple choice examination at the end. Assuming successful completion, the delegate is safety certified and – armed with up to date and relevant training – can fulfil a safety supervisory role on a construction.
Who should take the training?
Construction site managers are the obvious beneficiaries of an SMSTS course, although other personnel such as quantity surveyors, project managers and directors can benefit. Indeed, any personnel in charge of a team of workers and involved in planning work with a need to maintain safety standards will gain.
The refresher course
As said above, once safety knowledge is acquired through the full SMSTS course then maintaining and keeping it up to date is vital as safety legislation alters on a regular basis; new laws come into force, and improved safety procedures are developed.
The same training organisations who deliver the full SMSTS course can provide refresher training, so it’s a good idea to forward plan for three years from the date personnel take the original course and set dates for refreshers.
While you’re at it, checking on the safety training status of other personnel is a good idea and, if their knowledge needs updating, book them on a refresher course.
Running a professional construction site
Key personnel in charge of output on a construction site equipped with the latest safety training is a sign of a thoroughly professional set up.
It can help benefit the construction company in various ways:
- Reliable, skilled contractors will be attracted to work there knowing their safety is taken seriously by qualified people
- Output levels are more likely to be maintained through not having to suspend work to investigate preventable incidents and accidents onsite
- Money will be saved in lost production or – in worst cases – legal and compensation expenses due to preventable incidents
Unfortunately the construction industry is one of the most hazardous to work in with approaching 60,000 non-fatal injuries to workers each year, so in order to try and address this and minimise risk more stringent legislation and enhanced safety procedures have come into force over the years.
The SMSTS training is a sure way of ensuring personnel involved with maintaining safety on site are as effective as possible in minimising risk.
Why full site safety training for site supervisors is important and the need to keep it up to date with regular refresher courses as legislation and procedures change.