The Construction Employers Federation (CEF) believes that every person starting work on a construction site in the morning has the right to return home at the end of the day uninjured and as healthy as when they started.
Construction has always been identified as a high risk industry and whilst it must be recognised that one fatality is too many there is no doubt that the industry is a much safer environment to work in now than any other time in the past.
The CEF, through its related companies, provides a vital service that supports companies in ensuring they meet their health and safety requirements and keep their workforce safer. The mainstay of this support is Safe-T-Cert, the third party accredited health and safety management system.
Safe-T-Cert, which has operated for over 15 years, is supported by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), one of the most respected health and safety organisations in the world.
There are currently around 600 companies in Northern Ireland alone who have been certified by Safe-T-Cert. These companies must undergo an annual audit which includes:
- A review of their health and safety documentation- to ensure all the relevant procedures are in place,
- A discussion with senior management- to ensure health and safety is treated as a priority from the top of the organisation down, and
- A site visit- to ensure what the documentation says actually happens in practice on site
Safe-T-Cert audits are carried out by a team of health and safety experts who use their construction experience to provide a report outlining targets to be achieved in advance of the next audit so companies continually improve their health and safety management system. The audit is construction specific and can be tailored to the needs of companies of all sizes.
Recognising that companies are increasingly working in Great Britain, Safe-T-Cert has become a member of the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) forum, which provides mutual recognition of similar schemes. As a result, Safe-T-Cert is now accepted as an alternative to many of the more well-known national schemes.
For those companies working closer to home, Safe-T-Cert fulfils the local government health and safety requirements allowing member companies to tender for work opportunities across the Public Sector.
Safe-T-Cert is complemented by the Construction Skills Register (CSR) and the Site Safety Inspection Service (SSIS).
CSR is a register of construction workers who have completed the industry-approved CSR health and safety training course and competence assessment. Candidates must complete a minimum of one-day basic health and safety training which is delivered by a network of accredited training providers based throughout Northern Ireland. Successful candidates receive a photographic identity card that has become the industry standard in Northern Ireland for providing evidence that the employee has received basic health and safety training, a legislative requirement. These cards are essential for all construction operatives, especially those working on public sector sites.
Site Safety Inspection Services offers an independent inspection and report on health and safety performance on a construction site. The short inspections, carried out by highly qualified and experienced experts in construction health and safety, include identification of unsafe acts or potential breaches of health and safety legislation. Current users range from companies who have limited internal health and safety resource to larger companies who use the services to support their existing systems. Inspections are competitively priced and CEF members benefit from an automatic reduction of 50% on the full inspection price.
For more information on any of these services please contact CEF on 028 9087 7143 or visit www.cefni.co.uk