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Overhead or Buried Cables and Pipes

On a construction site or demolition site, amongst the many dangers that are present, one of the most significant is the risk of accidentally coming into contact with a live electricity cable or pipe carrying water, sewage, gas etc. The result of this can be serious injury or death to the workers involved and those nearby, as well as damage from any resulting fire, explosion or flooding. A comprehensive site survey performed before work starts should highlight any live services that exist and this, combined with the information gained from attending safety training courses can help to ensure that the chances of an accident or incident occurring are minimised.

Big construction sites will have a number of large vehicles moving about, and involve the use of tall items of machinery such as cranes or tipper trucks. Where overhead electricity cables are present, the vehicle may catch the cable. In fact, the vehicle does not even need to touch the cable, as 'arcing' may occur where the gap is small enough for the electricity to jump. Not only does the driver/operator of the machinery risk electrocution but also those who are nearby, again through arcing or jumping. In some ways this is more of a risk than direct contact with the wire, as operators may calculate the height and think there is no danger because the vehicle is not high enough to be able to contact the cable. Not only can the electricity cause death or serious injury such as severe burns, but the spark can also trigger fires or explosions if it ignites combustible fuel. A large explosion or fire has the potential to take many lives, which is why workers need to receive training and be aware of dangers so that not only can they avoid harm to themselves, but also do not cause an incident which affects their colleagues or nearby members of the public.

Whilst overhead cables are easy to see providing that sufficient attention is paid, the existence of cables and pipes which are underground may not be known about until they are struck. Depending upon the material being conveyed by these pipes or cables, the results of this can vary from a minor inconvenience which needs a repair, right through to a major incident and fatalities. A site survey is imperative in order to identify the location of these services before work starts, and suitable control measures put in place to ensure that supply is turned off before work commences which could cause damage.

Construction Site Health and Safety Training Courses

Three of the most popular and well-respected health and safety qualifications for construction site workers are the NEBOSH National Construction Certificate and the CITB SMSTS and SSSTS courses. These courses cover the main hazards that are present on a building or construction site, and will give attendees the information needed to work more safely on site to prevent injury or death to themselves or others.

For more information on the training available, please call one of our health and safety advisors on 0844 800 3295 or contact us online with your requirements by clicking on the "Contact" tab at the top of the page.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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