Health and safety training for the construction industry
It goes without saying that following health and safety rules in the workplace is essential, but did you also know that as an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure your people have the correct information and training to do their job safely? This blog post looks at health and safety training and what it means for the construction industry.
Why is health and safety training necessary?
More than 120 people died in work-related accidents in 2021/22, and a quarter of those were linked to the construction sector. Many more are injured at work every year, and sadly, some of these accidents could have been prevented.
Health and safety training equips people with the right information and skills to keep themselves and their colleagues safe in the workplace. It’s also a way of developing a positive attitude to health and safety so that people don’t turn a blind eye when important rules are disregarded.
Employers have a legal duty to safeguard the well-being of their employees, but every person in the business must also take responsibility for their actions, which is why they must have access to the proper training and information.
Going through the training process is also an effective way to identify gaps in a company’s health and safety procedures and find areas for improvement.
Is health and safety training a legal requirement?
According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers are legally bound to provide their employees with whatever information, instruction, training, and supervision they need to do their job safely.
Other regulations cover specific areas of work, for example:
- Asbestos awareness
- Driving for work
- First aid
- Working at height
- Working in confined spaces
The Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2015 relate specifically to health and safety in the construction industry. These legal guidelines set out what people involved in construction must do to protect themselves and anyone the work affects, including subcontractors and the public.
If you fail to comply and someone is injured, you risk being prosecuted under criminal law, and you could also be sued in a civil lawsuit by the victim.
Who needs health and safety training?
When it comes to the construction industry, everyone needs health and safety training, whether you’re the boss with several years under your belt or a junior member of staff who only joined last week.
The HSE offers the following guidance to business owners who are arranging training for their staff.
- Managers and supervisors need to know where they fit into the bigger picture and what’s required from them. They need to know how to identify and control risks and manage health and safety in the business.
- The people working for you (including those who are self-employed) need to know how to do their job safely. They also need to know what the health and safety policies are and how to raise any safety concerns they have.
There will also be people in your organisation who need training specific to their needs.
- New people joining the company
- Employees changing roles or taking on new responsibilities
- New, inexperienced, or young employees
- Anyone who has a responsibility for health and safety
- Anyone needing a CSCS card
When you’re organising training for your employees, don’t forget about yourself. You must have an overview of the health and safety requirements in your own organisation and if you need any help, you know where to get it.
Where can you get quality health and safety training?
For some health and safety courses, you will need the help of an external training provider. This is usually the case when it involves some kind of expertise, or equipment, that you don’t have in-house.
At Majestic Site Management, we offer a range of courses, including:
- Health and safety awareness
- Site supervision safety training scheme
- Site supervision safety training scheme refresher
- Site management safety training scheme
- Site management safety training scheme refresher
- Directors’ role for health and safety
These courses can take from one day to five days to complete. We run training days regularly from our premises in West Yorkshire, but for larger groups, we can deliver the courses on-site or at another suitable venue.
We also run courses online that can be purchased individually via the website or in bundles of five for a 20% discount. From asbestos awareness to electrical safety, we cover a wide range of construction-related courses.
For larger companies, we offer a yearly subscription that gives their staff access to all of the courses we offer for twelve months, which is priced according to the size of the business (i.e. number of employees).
It’s also possible to buy multiple licences for several members of staff who need to take the same course – this is cheaper than buying single units. For example, you may need twenty licences to cover twenty people who all need access to the same online course.
Health and safety training – the key takeaway
Failure to manage health and safety in any workplace can put people at risk, but the stakes are higher in the construction industry. We can see that reflected in the HSE’s figures for fatalities at work in 2021/22.
Workplace safety isn’t just the responsibility of the upper tiers of management. Everyone in the business has a role to play, including subcontractors who must prove they can carry out their work safely.
Employees and sub-contractors at every level need to know the risks involved in what they’re doing and how to control them. Access to the correct information and training is a key part of this.
Lee Marsden, Managing Director of Majestic Site Management, is committed to helping business owners and managers improve site safety with cost-effective training that is easy to access.