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Training on Construction Sites

CDM (GB) Knowledge Base


The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 lay down that work activities on building sites shall not be carried out unless the persons carrying out the activities have been adequately trained in safe methods of doing so. Operations that require a higher level of training and competence are:

  1. The erection of any scaffold or part of a scaffold, any boatswain's chair, cage, skip or similar plant or equipment and any subsequent additions or alterations.
  2. The erection of any means of support for any part of an excavation.
  3. Work on a sloping roof.
  4. Operations requiring work by a steeplejack.
  5. Work in any excavation.
  6. The construction, installation, or alteration of a coffer dam or caisson.
  7. Work in any coffer dam or caisson.
  8. The planning and carrying out of any demolition or dismantling work.
  9. The use of explosives.
  10. The driving of any vehicle other than a road vehicle and any excavating or materials handling machinery.

There is a particular requirement in the Regulations for the training of new employees in health and safety when they are recruited.

General health and safety training is required for people at all levels including managers, supervisors and site workers.

Induction Training

The CDM2015 regulations require that contractors and principal contractors need to have the correct skills, knowledge and experience to undertake the work. It is the duty of the Client (and Principal Contractor) to ensure that all employees working on a new site, particularly young people and those new to the industry, receive specific health and safety training and information about the site.

It is the specific duty of the Principal Contractor to ensure every site worker is given a suitable site induction. The induction should be site specific and highlight any particular risks (including those listed in Schedule 3 of the CDM2015 regulations) and control measures that those working on the project need to know about. The following issues should be considered when undertaking any site inductions:-

  • Outline of the project
  • Senior management commitment to health and safety
  • The management of the project
  • Key personnel and the employees immediate line manager
  • Any site specific health and safety risks
  • Control measures on the site including;
    • site rules laid down by the client or principal contractor
    • traffic routes
    • permit to work systems on site
    • hearing protection zones
    • security arrangements
    • use and storage of PPE equipment
  • Arrangements for house-keeping and materials storage
  • Facilities available, including welfare facilities
  • First aid arrangements
  • Emergency procedures, including fire precautions
  • Arrangements for workforce representation and consultation including the role and identity of safety representatives
  • Additional training planned such as "toolbox" talks
  • First-aid arrangements
  • Accident and incident reporting arrangements
  • Arrangements for briefing workers on an ongoing basis, eg toolbox talks
  • Arrangements for consulting the workforce on health and safety matters
  • Individual worker's responsibility for health and safety

Verification of Training

The principal contractor is required to verify that all persons who are to work on the construction site have all the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise to carry out any works. This may well will involve verification of an individual's training and qualifications.

There are many industry training schemes available and we have listed some below. However the HSE does not define specific schemes within the CDM2015 regulations:-:

  • Construction Site Manager's Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is run by CITB. This requires successful completion of the 37-hour course with a training provider accredited by CITB and an examination in which course members are required to reach, or exceed, a minimum level of achievement.
  • Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) maintains a central record of people who have been deemed to be competent in their occupation and have passed the recognised health and safety test within the last 5 years.
  • Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is affiliated to CSCS and is the recognised card scheme for the plant operators.
  • Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) card is affiliated to CSCS, managed by the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation and the training administered by CITB. A CISRS card is evidence of satisfactory completion of approved training and assessment and applies to all operatives who are at any time required to erect, substantially alter, or dismantle scaffolding.

Toolbox Talks

Toolbox talks are short awareness talks, normally given by site supervision, on a health and safety subject relevant to the current work types on the site. These talks would normally be of short duration (10 - 30 minutes) and should be designed to raise awareness of health and safety hazards, risks and controls.