Project managment

Training

As part of the drive towards safer designs and safer sites there has been a big increase in training in the years since the CDM Regulations were introduced.
Staff and operatives at all levels are expected to have attained a suitable level of knowledge and competence for their role. For example a graduate engineer will be expected to know about the relevant legislation and regulations and understand the principles of risk control, while a senior engineer must be able to carry out risk assessments and apply control measures and advise his juniors.
The ICE has provided guidance on the health and safety competency levels expected for differing levels of seniority. The various duty holders under CDM have to be able to demonstrate both competence in their roles and that they have adequate resources available. This may involve demonstration of experience and track record from previous projects, personal levels of training, and top management commitment. Induction sessions are necessary for all those new to a design team or to a site, so as to explain to them any particular risks and the general safety practices in place. On site this could include use of personal equipment, site rules, permit to work areas, emergency procedures, welfare arrangements and specific training such as task based ‘toolbox talks’.
For those going to site for the first time the HSE publication Health and Safety in Construction (HSG 150) gives advice and guidance on safety in various work areas and has a useful checklist of common hazards.
There are many industry organizations providing safety training but a recent development has been the introduction of certification of staff under the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). This requires the passing of a basic test of health and safety knowledge as well as specific tests of competence in any area of specialism such as for machine operators. Some parts of the industry are aiming for full registration of staff on sites by the end of 2003.
The ICE have launched a Health and Safety Register for engineers who wish to demonstrate a defined level of competency in the application of health and safety within the construction process.

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