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SMSTS Course Syllabus - Electricity

One of the areas which is given particular attention on the syllabus of an SMSTS course is the topic of electricity. In fact, electrical safety is covered in many health and safety courses, not just those focusing on construction site safety, due to its presence in just about every place of work. Electricity can cause serious injury or death to a person in a number of different ways, which is one reason as to why it poses such a threat.

For starters, electricity can cause burns or cause a heart attack if the current is sufficiently high. Even a low level of current can produce a shock which causes a person to recoil or knocks them off balance, which could lead to a fall if they are working at height, or an injury if they end up stumbling into a nearby object such as knocking a free-standing storage cupboard over which then falls on them or the items spill out onto them.

The speed of electricity is one of its characteristics that makes it so dangerous. Coming into contact with a bare wire by either touching it directly with the skin or it being conducted through a metal object will result in a virtually instantaneous electric shock, making it impossible to react in time to prevent it once contact has been made. This is why prevention is so critical when it comes to electrical safety in the home or in a place of work.

In fact, direct contact does not even need to be made. Electricity has the potential to arc (jump) to a material that comes near to a cable. The distance will depend on conditions such as the level of voltage and atmospheric conditions, but is a significant risk on a construction site where highly conductive metal machinery parts such as cranes and excavator buckets will come close to electricity cables and power lines.

As well as directly causing death and injury, electricity can also be dangerous by causing a fire or explosion. An electrical spark can ignite flammable dust or gas and explode; with one of the most common examples on a construction site being a spark from the static electricity on a metal fuel storage tank where fuel for the machinery and equipment is contained.

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme SMSTS course syllabus also covers excavations, which is relevant to the risk from electricity as the source of an electric shock is not limited to overhead power lines, but can also come from electrical cables buried underground which are struck by a person or the metal tools they are in contact with whilst digging down and excavating.

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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