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MCG leads industry commitment to health and safety training

The Major Contractors Group (MCG) has announced that, following a review identifying Supervisor Health & Safety training as an operational priority, all supervisors on their sites must attend ConstructionSkills’ Supervisors Safety Training Scheme as part of their commitment to Health and Safety training. The MCG said the decision demonstrated that supervisory Health and Safety training is an area to which industry must turn its attention.

With the MCG representing the UK’s largest construction companies, this is a significant move for the sector. It is estimated that, as a result of this commitment to a safer workforce, thousands of supervisors will receive health and safety training from ConstructionSkills by 2010.

The two-day Site Supervisors’ Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS), which is part of the ConstructionSkills’ Site Safety Plus (SSP) suite of courses, provides an introduction to health and safety, welfare and environmental issues. It is designed for those requiring an understanding of the current legislation that applies to them and their work activities.

It is intended that MCG companies will lead the drive to ensure that all supervisors achieve the SSP qualification by 2010. Those who have already achieved this qualification will be exempt until the renewal date, which is five years after certification, following which they will be required to renew the qualification. After the initial two-year period, MCG will implement a “zero tolerance” policy for those without this qualification on MCG sites, effective from 1 January 2010.

This latest announcement builds on the MCG’s implementation of a zero tolerance policy towards employees who are not CSCS accredited, which was brought into force at the beginning for 2007. The decision to introduce the SSSTS course comes following a MCG review of supervisor courses being offered in the market, and the selection of the ConstructionSkills course as the one best suited to meeting their on-site health and safety needs.

Vaughan Burnand, Chief Executive of Shepherd Construction and Chairman of the MCG Health & Safety Group said of the new initiative:

“By working together MCG members have made a tremendous contribution to improving conditions on site and in reducing the incidence of accidents and work related ill health. Our front line supervisors assume huge responsibility and we are very pleased to have been working with ConstructionSkills in the development of a course designed specifically to help these supervisors fulfil these responsibilities. The course has been designed not only to refresh their Health & Safety knowledge but also to enhance their skills in intervention techniques, managing behavioural change and communication.”

Kevin Fear, Head of Health Safety & Environment for ConstructionSkills, added:

“I am delighted to hear that the two day site supervisors’ course has been recognised by MCG companies as the benchmark standard course to provide an underpinning in Health & Safety competence. The MCG is clearly demonstrating leadership in this area and should be applauded for their contribution to making the industry a safer place.”

Gordon Crick, inspector of Health & Safety for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), welcomed measures such as those taken by the MCG, which prioritise health and safety. He said:

“The HSE recognises the vital importance of training for site supervisors and encourages all contractors to consider their approach in ensuring that the training needs of supervisors are given priority.”

The range of courses within the Site Safety Plus programme build on the well-respected ConstructionSkills Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS), which has been running for over twenty-five years and has come to be considered the standard for health and safety training in the industry. The courses are designed to provide an integrated programme of safety training from operative to management level. Both the SMSTS and the Supervisors Safety Training Scheme are shown as examples of competence within the CDM 2007 ACoP.

The SSP programme is delivered across the country through 130 training providers. The largest of these is the National Construction College, which is already planning to run more than 70 site supervisor courses across the country in 2008. All CITB-ConstructionSkills Levy registered companies can claim CITB-ConstructionSkills Grant of £35 per day to help with the costs, and a further £100 achievement grant.

For further information, visit www.cskills.org/sitesafetyplus or call 0844 844 1315 or email

For other NCC courses call 0844 8440466 or visit www.nationalconstructioncollege.co.uk

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