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SMSTS - Can a Safe Construction Site Also Be Efficient and Productive?

With stories of strange and bizarre health and safety actions frequently cropping up in the media, there is the perception that the introduction of health and safety measures into a place of work will greatly slow down and hinder operations, with the subsequent increase in time and costs. This view is also shared by numerous construction site managers and supervisors who believe that their projects will be completed much faster without having to bother about health and safety.

There is no denying the fact that complying with some health and safety regulations and doing things 'by the book' will take longer. However, not only is it a legal requirement to perform certain actions, but dealing with the consequences of an accident which occurs due to insufficient health and safety measures such as a lack of personal protective equipment will take up a far greater amount of time than ensuring that employees are working safely from the outset.

Also, there is no reason why a safe construction site cannot also be an efficient and productive one at the same time. Rather than implementing safety procedures on an ad hoc basis, having workers attend health and safety courses such as the CITB Site Manager's SMSTS qualification from the outset and ensuring that they are well-versed in procedures such as permits to work will allow them to put these safety measures and best practices into operation with the minimum of disruption to their work. Not only this, but many studies have come to the conclusion that a workforce who feel that their employer is serious about their safety in the workplace is a happier one, who are then more productive and likely to take less time off or seek alternative employment elsewhere. Apart from avoiding the inconvenience and time spent looking for new recruits, it also lessens the requirement to keep training new workers either in health and safety or in certain aspects of their new job.

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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