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SMSTS Health and Safety Courses and Electricity

Electricity is a key subject area taught on CITB Site Management SMSTS courses as it has the potential to cause serious injuries or death if suitable precautions are not followed.

The most obvious way in which working with or near electrical cables or machinery can be made safer is to switch off the supply of electricity before starting any work if this is possible. With no electricity flowing, wires can be safely touched and worked on, although machinery may need to be 'earthed' to discharge any static electricity which remains and could cause a spark or shock. It may also be necessary for a permit to work system to be put into place to ensure that the electricity is off and remains off until work is complete and it is safe to switch the power back on. Often though it will be impractical for the electricity to be switched off, for example turning the electricity off to an entire town whilst a small construction site operates near the power lines, in which case suitable precautions need to be undertaken in order to avoid the risk of injury or death from electricity.

On a construction site, a number of the tools being used will run off electricity rather than batteries. This means that there is a risk of electric shock from faulty or damaged equipment; most often damaged cables and plug casings. The tools used on a construction site will often be subjected to a lot of rough handling as they are used, stored and transported around from place to place. Damaged plugs and cables caused by actions such as overstretching the cable, accidentally cutting the protective sheathing of the cable, carrying the tool by the cable, accidentally bashing the plug whilst it is plugged in or putting a heavy item on top of the plug whilst it is being stored and causing the casing to crack can all lead to the bare wire being exposed which can cause an electric shock to the operator.

Whilst health and safety courses and training can make workers on a construction site aware of the dangers that electricity can pose to their safety, it will only be truly effective in reducing accidents if it is combined with common sense and a suitable working environment of reporting faults and not taking risks by using damaged equipment.

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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