Dáil Éireann - Volume 589 - 07 October, 2004
Written Answers. - Health and Safety Regulations.
Mr. Deasy Mr. Deasy
52. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he has satisfied himself that the system of training and accreditation for safety passes and training schemes operated by FÁS is the best means of ensuring that persons working in the construction sector are adequately, independently and verifiably trained in health and safety matters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23623/04]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: Adequate and appropriate occupational safety and health training is an essential element of achieving and maintaining effective safety and health standards at all workplaces, including the construction sector. This is reflected in relevant legislation including the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Bill 2004, which is designed to update and replace the 1989 Act, as well as the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 1993 and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2001. The latter regulations, inter alia, implement the construction safety partnership, CSP, plan recommendations relating to safety training in the construction sector.
Arising from this, FÁS, with support from the other components of the construction safety partnership — the Construction Industry Federation, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and the Health and Safety Authority, developed the FÁS safe pass safety awareness programme and the construction skills certification scheme.
 The overall aim of the safe pass health and safety awareness training scheme is to ensure that all construction site personnel, including new entrants, will have a basic knowledge of health and safety and be able to work on site without being a risk to themselves, or to others who might be affected by their acts or omissions. The safe pass scheme is managed by FÁS on behalf of the industry and is structured to ensure that the social partners are actively involved in all aspects of the scheme. The construction skills certification scheme provides training and certification for a range of occupations in the industry such as plant operatives, including mobile crane operators and excavator operators, scaffolders and so on.
To ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of its system of training and accreditation for safety passes and training schemes, FÁS has introduced a new standard in its operational procedures in regard to the construction skills certification scheme, CSCS.
Under this new system a provider who wishes to be approved to deliver and assess a CSCS programme must first apply to the services to business section in FÁS to be registered as an approved training organisation. Applicants are required to specify the technical and pedagogical qualifications of the trainer in respect of each programme for which approval is being sought. The application is brought before the FÁS-Enterprise Ireland national register of trainers committee for consideration. If the application is accepted, the trainer is required to attend a CSCSpractical and theoretical assessment to determine competence to train in the specified area for which approval is being sought. If the trainer successfully attains the required standard, his/her organisation must then apply in writing to the manager of the curriculum and quality assurance department to become an approved assessment centre.
The new standard provides a system of checks and balances to ensure that the quality of health and safety training in the construction sector is adequate and verifiable. This process came into operation on 1 January 2004 and all trainers approved prior to January 2004 are required to meet the new standard. The procedures are being applied to all FÁS approved trainers-assessors.
Dáil Éireann 589 Written Answers. Health and Safety Regulations.