Construction training to safeguard against common site hazards
In an industry where the risks are as towering as the structures being built, prioritising safety is non-negotiable. Construction sites buzz with a huge range of activities, each presenting its unique set of hazards. For those aspiring to be part of this vibrant sector, equipping oneself with the necessary knowledge and skills through comprehensive training courses is imperative. There are a range of training courses that are as such essential for safety when working in construction.
Uncontrolled noise on construction sites is not merely an annoyance but a significant health hazard. Consistent exposure to noise above certain levels can lead to hearing loss and other hearing-related health issues. The legal exposure limit for noise in the UK is currently regulated by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and the maximum levels are:
- Daily or weekly exposure of 87 dB(A)
- Peak sound pressure (maximum noise) of 140 dB(C)
Lower exposure limits
- Daily or weekly exposure of 80 dB(A)
- Peak sound pressure of 135 dB(C)
Upper exposure limits
- Daily or weekly exposure of 85 dB(A)
- Peak sound pressure of 137 dB(C)
- Noise & Vibration training: This type of training courses helps to enhance your understanding of noise and vibration sources and learn efficient ways to control them. Legal requirements of noise exposure, noise and vibration risks and the symptoms of any resulting conditions are also covered.This type of training is assessed via theoretical multiple-choice test.
- Noise Awareness courses: These help to develop an acute awareness of noise hazards and learn proactive measures to shield against them. Typically set out over a range of modules, these cover aspects such as health risks, legislation and PPE.
Though it may seem insignificant, dust stands as a formidable adversary on construction sites, posing respiratory and visibility threats as well as adding to the risk of fire and explosions.
Common sources of construction dust include the use of cement, limestone and marble as well as during processes such as cutting wood or bricks. The 3 main types of construction dust are:
- Wood dust
- Dust containing silica
- Other types containing materials such as metals
Dust Protection Training Solutions
- CITB - Health & Safety Awareness: These courses cover construction dust to help you equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to navigate safely in environments where dust is constantly present.
- CITB SMSTS: Designed to help delegates gain managerial insights into maintaining safety standards concerning common hazards on construction sites, including dust.
- CITB SSSTS: Ideal for supervisors, this course imparts knowledge on monitoring and managing hazards such as dust effectively.
- SPA Safety training – Core & Mineral Products: Aims to train delegates on identifying and controlling hazards specific to mineral products (such as clay, chalk, limestone and brick), including the dust element.
- Abrasive Wheels training: This helps delegates to learn safe practices for using abrasive wheels in construction, where dust is a significant by-product.
Danger from Machinery
High-power machinery operating on construction sites can be a source of severe injuries or even fatalities if not handled with caution and proper training.
The main risks from heavy machinery come from moving parts and crush hazards as well as electrocution, vibration, noise and even the risk of fire/explosions. Whilst not one of the most common causes of construction accidents, machinery accidents can and do happen regularly, so it is imperative that all operators are fully aware and trained!
- CPCS Training (various plant machinery options): The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is a comprehensive training scheme that covers a wide range of plant machinery including heavy plant, cranes, lifting equipment and elevated work platforms. Each category results in the CPCS Red Card (Trained Operator), from which the individual in question can then start to work towards the Blue (Competent Operator) Card (but must have a Red Card in the relevant categories first).
- Individuals can apply to sit CPCS courses, but the process is very different to that when booking with a CITB registered construction company. Please see our guide to booking CPCS training as a Private Individual here: https://www.bookmycourse.co.uk/articles/cpcs_training_and_the_private_individual_11008/
Falls from Height
A leading cause of fatalities on construction sites is falls from height. Safeguarding against such mishaps demands meticulous training.
- Working at Height training: Courses that fall under this category cover various aspects of working at heights, offering tools and knowledge to ensure safety. Options include harness training, working at height awareness, tower safety and undertaking first aid at height.
- IPAF training: The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) have their own range of globally recognised accredited training courses to help delegates gain insights into the safe use of powered access equipment. Courses cover different types of powered access equipment including MEWPs, PAVs and Safety Harnesses.
- PASMA training: The Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ & Manufacturers’ Association Ltd (PASMA) help delegates acquaint themselves with the safe use of mobile access/mobile scaffold towers. There are also Working at Height essential courses and options dedicated to low level access.
- CISRS training: The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) is an industry recognised training scheme enabling aspiring scaffolders or those already in the scaffolding industry to learn the safety nuances of scaffolding work. Courses are available for all levels from basic to advanced.
Your Path to a Safe Construction Career
No stone should be left unturned regarding safety in the construction sector. Through a diverse range of training courses, you can equip yourself with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate potential hazards safely. Remember, a well-trained individual is not only an asset to their organisation but also a guardian of safety on site.