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H&S Qualification for Working on UK Construction Sites

27 June 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970
The British Safety Council's Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment is aimed at people seeking work or already working in non-skilled roles in the construction industry.

Designed to be delivered by employers, private training providers, schools and colleges, it provides ‘essential’ knowledge and understanding of health and safety hazards and precautions. Successful completion of the qualification enables learners to apply for the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) Green Card (Labourer), which provides access to UK construction sites as a non-skilled worker.

From 1 July 2014, anyone wishing to obtain the CSCS Green Card (Labourer) will have to either pass a Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment, or hold a valid Site Safety Plus Health and Safety Awareness Course certificate. They must also pass the Construction Industry Training Board’s Operatives Health, Safety and Environmental Test in the two years prior to applying for the card.

Most UK contractors and construction clients insist that workers on their sites hold the appropriate CSCS card for the tasks they undertake, making the CSCS Green Card essential for anyone seeking work as a non-skilled operative.     

“Construction is a high risk industry, accounting for over a quarter of all fatal injuries to employees in Great Britain, despite employing just 5% of all employees,” stated Alex Botha, CEO, British Safety Council (BSC). “The new Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment allows employers, training providers and colleges to provide non-skilled construction workers with an essential foundation in health and safety at work, which will help make construction sites safer and healthier for everyone.”  

Mr Botha went on to explain that delivering the qualification would be “very straightforward”. Once an organisation has applied for centre and qualification approval, it purchases the assessments and manages its candidates online. Centres deliver the learning using the teaching and student materials provided by the BSC, and candidates’ knowledge and understanding are assessed though a multiple-choice examination that can be either taken online or on paper. Online examination results are available immediately and the results of paper-based examinations are issued within two working days. Certificates follow by post within two working days.


Pictured: Alex Botha, CEO, BSC scheme will “help make construction sites safer and healthier for everyone” 

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 27 June 2014


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