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Few would argue that Construction Safety Training is a vital component of assuring the safety and well-being of all those involved on a construction project. It is not enough to say that Workplace Health & Safety is your number one priority and have everything written out without actively enforcing it on the worksite. Over time the public has begun to take notice of the importance of safety rules and regulations in the workplace. Safety rules and regulations cannot be overlooked when it comes to trying to stop accidents and fatalities on the job.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration are not only focused on a safe work environment they are also geared to make sure employers comply with the regulations. This chapter seeks to demonstrate the importance of the health and safety campaigns in relation to the techniques in which they are delivered along with implementing the campaigns in offering training courses to provide adequate knowledge to ensure health and safety in the construction sector is kept at a high standard.
6.1 Safety Posters
The reasons for providing health and safety posters are obvious enough. Almost all jobs have their unique hazards capable of causing minor to major accidents. Installing workplace safety posters is a fundamental part of any safety campaign in a working area. Safety posters play an important role in:
Alerting personnel to take adequate safety precautions at specific hazardous locations at their workplace
Prompting workers to put on safety gear
Outlining steps to be taken in the event of an emergency situation like a fire or an explosion
Alerting personnel to handle carefully, containers holding dangerous substances
Instructing personnel on ways to dispose of dangerous waste
Work personnel, though aware of the essential dangers of their workplace, tend to be slack and complacent at times. Being smug at workplace can cost precious lives and loss of person-hours. Health And Safety Posters may not be a fool proof method to avoid accidents but it helps nevertheless. A catchy visual display is a constant reminder that safety comes first.
When we think of safety awareness posters, many of us think of the posters that are mostly text and a collection of small crossed out images that have become common in workplaces since such warnings became compulsory. However, through the use of more interesting and less overwhelming styles, posters are still able to convey their point without coming across as dull or uninteresting as many previous styles have been. When relating to safety posters in a construction industry it is important to catch the eye of not only the worker but also the public to ensure they understand the hazards.
Examples of such techniques to catch the target audience are as follows:
Utilizing Humour and Cartoon Characters:Â Many employees appreciate having safety information available to them but aren't able to focus on safety awareness posters that are full of cramped text. To combat this, a more engaging approach was developed. These posters are often humorous while conveying the safety warning in a simple manner that is easily remembered.
Safety Awareness Posters in Break Areas:Â While yes these posters are often found tacked to a wall in the break room, they are also being used more effectively at eye level. This is achieved by creating tabletop versions ofÂ workplace safety awarenessÂ posters.
Colourful Images and Fonts: Earlier, the majority of safety awareness posters utilized larger text, red bars and crossed out activities to convey their point. Now the message is more interestingly conveyed through colourful images and text which are both interesting to look at in shape and colour. This is more effective because colour is more likely to capture the eye than large areas of small text that were more common till a few years ago.
Pictures over Text: Information has its place but if the point you wish to convey can be made through the use of one or a few appropriate images, it is certain to be more effective and also more appreciated by employees. Large posters that utilize images with a brief statement can attract the eye, engage the mind and save employees' time.
Breaking up of Text Blocks: Where instructions are absolutely necessary, it helps to keep the reader focused if those instructions are broken into smaller portions and given example illustrations to show what might otherwise be written.
6.2 Training Courses
Chris Mee Safety Engineering (CMSE) is a leading provider of Health and Safety training courses at venues all over Ireland.Â At CMSE they pride themselves on the quality and value of all the training courses that they provide. Â Their instructors are practical, highly qualified and experienced in their respective training areas.Â
They are FETAC approved for quality confirming their high standing in the Irish Health and Safety Training sector.Â They provide many NEBOSH, IOSH, FAS, REIA, SEI, Canadian Standards Association, Road Safety Authority training courses. They are also accredited by these bodies and many more. Their training will provide the best knowledge in ensuring health and safety is employed in the construction industry.
6.3 Fás Safe Pass Scheme Ireland
The Safe Pass Health and SafetyÂ Awareness Training Programme aims to ensure that all construction workers in Ireland have a basic knowledge of health and safety. Safe Pass is a one-day programme run by FÁS to enable them to work on construction sites without being a risk to themselves or others who might be affected by their actions.
Employers are required by law to ensure that employees on construction sites in Ireland carry Safe Pass cards. As a result, employers must ensure thatÂ all employees are properly trained. The health and safetyÂ awareness training provided under the FÁS Safe Pass Programme complies with the provisions of the Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
Aims of the Safe Pass programme
Raise the standard of safetyÂ awareness in the Irish constructionÂ industry
Ensure that all construction site workers undergo basic health and safetyÂ awareness training with the view to making a positive contribution to the prevention of accidents and avoidance of healthÂ hazards
Maintain a register of construction site and local authority workers who have received such health and safetyÂ training
Provide all Safe Pass participants with a FÁS Safe Pass registration card that will indicate that the holders have attended a formal course in health and safetyÂ awareness.
Safe Pass Registration Cards
You will be issued with a Safe Pass Registration Card once you successfully complete the one-day Safe Pass training programme.
This card lasts for 4 years from the date of the training course.
You must then undergo a further Safe Pass training course when your Safe Pass card expires.
Content of the Safe Pass programme
The training modules in the Safe Pass Programme are:
Promoting a safetyÂ culture
Duties and responsibilities at work
Accident reporting and prevention
Working at heights
Excavations and confined spaces
Working with electricity, underground and overhead services
Personal protective equipment
Use of hand held equipment and tools
Safe use of vehicles
Noise and vibrations
Health and hygiene
6.4 Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The importance of health and safety at work cannot be overstated. The employer has both a moral and a legal obligation to ensure that his employees work in both a safe and healthy environment.
The Health and Safety Executive aims to be an ideal organisation in terms of health and safety management and performance. Part of achieving this is making clear plans and campaigns each year about core health and safety. These plans set out the key activities they want to do and the targets they have set themselves.
Morally no worker should be forced to work in an environment where his welfare is at risk. It also makes good business sense to ensure that workers are both safe and healthy during working hours. Sick or injured workers lead to a drop in production and a subsequent loss of profits. Moral issues aside, there are strict laws and regulations governing health and safety at work, and should an employer misbehave these requirements he could find himself being prosecuted and having to pay out large sums in compensation.
The HSE are in change of health and safety regulations in the workplace. The HSE not only enforce these regulations, but will also prosecute employers when they are contravened. While this is very necessary, it puts an enormous strain on employers whose first concern, quite naturally, is to run their businesses as efficiently as possible.
While the HSE produces plenty of information on the regulations, which are often updated, the typical busy employer or manager often has little time to read through them, let alone fully understand them. It is because of this that agencies have emerged that advise employers, managers and key employees just what the law demands and how to comply by keeping your work premises and practices as safe as possible. These agencies also run courses on various aspects of health and safety, many of which are certificated.
6.5 Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
Another one of these courses is the IOSH Working Safely Certificate. This course meets the HSE's requirements as a safety certificate. It defines and identities risks and hazards and looks at ways of improving safety performance. The course also looks at safe systems of working, and considers personal responsibility for safety in the workplace, as well as the protection of staff in the working environment.
The IOSH Certified 1 day Working Safely course is designed to train people to contribute to health and safety in the work place and to help people to understand their health and safety responsibilities
On completion of the course, delegates should be able to:
Understand the need to work safely
Explain the consequences to both the individual and their organisation if they fail to work safely
Can define the terms 'hazard',' risk' and 'risk controls'
Explain the importance of risk assessment
Give examples of risk assessment from everyday life
Appreciate the role of workplace precautions
Use appropriate workplace precautions
Describe a health and safety management system
Identify lines of communication with respect to health and safety in their place of work
Identify safety signs and signals
Use emergency and accident plans and procedures in their place of work
Know how to report accidents, incidents and near misses, and who to report them to
List ways in which individuals and organisations can minimise pollution and waste
The fact that such courses exist emphasises the importance of health and safety at work in the modern world.
6.6 Conclusion & the Importance of Safety Training in Construction
Construction is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in, with high injury and fatality rates around the world. Training staff in identifying and avoiding work site hazards is a vitally important way of reducing the number of incidents in construction. Training should be updated regularly to ensure that all workers are fully knowledgeable on the risks posed on a daily basis.
Training is an important method of alerting employees to workplace hazards because, without this information, workers may feel that their safety is at risk, and become demoralized and unwilling to work in such conditions. Training is also a good way of fulfilling legal obligations, because attendance can be taken at a training course, and therefore the company can prove that they have taken adequate steps to prevent accidents or injuries.
With on-going training, employees are more aware of the hazards they face. As a result, workers can identify risks before they cause harm or injury, and take safe and sufficient steps to either remove the hazard, or minimize it. The rate of accidents, injuries and fatalities within an organization will become lower, giving workers more confidence that they are working in a safe environment, and thus boosting productivity and loyalty.