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What training do construction workers need?

Two workers on a construction site

Having delivered high-quality eLearning to the construction sector for well over a decade, and with thousands of construction businesses already benefiting from our solution, we know a thing or two about workplace training for the sector!

But we understand that figuring out training requirements can be tricky. Knowing what is mandatory, if all staff require the same training, or if different departments need specific training, and a number of other considerations can often make the task of sorting workplace training quite daunting.

With that said, we have put together a guide that aims to help those in the construction sector understand what training their staff may require.

First steps

The first step towards understanding a businesses training needs should always be conducting a risk assessment for each job role. This allows organisations to identify any risks that might be associated with a group of employees.

Remember: it is a legal requirement for all companies that employ five or more staff to have a written risk assessment.

Organisations should also have a documented Health & Safety policy if they have more than five employees. This policy should be regularly reviewed and shared with staff to ensure it remains effective.

Learn more about the basics of Health & Safety in your business with the HSE’s Health & Safety made simple guide.

What training is mandatory?

A good starting point for those trying to determine their staff’s training needs is mandatory training.

All staff are legally required to undertake some form of Health & Safety training, but there are a number of other more specific courses that staff will need to complete that employers must consider…

Fire Awareness & Warden training

Regardless of their role on the site, it is a legal requirement that all employees receive adequate fire safety training, as well as instruction from their employer.

Employers also have a duty to provide specialist Fire Warden training to appointed members of staff.

Finally, employers should also provide their workers with an up-to-date fire risk assessment so that they are all familiar with any known fire risks. This also gives them an opportunity to raise potential new risks.

Manual Handling training

Employees who are required to lift, lower, pull, or push as part of their work should be provided with manual handling training to help alleviate the risk of injury.

DSE (Display Screen Equipment) training

Any person who is regularly required to use display screen equipment (DSE) must legally be given DSE Training.

If you’re unsure what is considered DSE or whether your staff are considered DSE users, see our blog.

Organisations that are just looking to cover mandatory training can check out our mandatory training bundle.

​​Other training considerations for construction workers

Other core health & safety

COSHH - Despite the fact that training in this area is not strictly a legal requirement, it is highly advised that employees who regularly work with hazardous substances should be provided with effective training and instruction to help them mitigate any risks associated with their work.

Slips, Trips, and Falls - The construction sector is considered high-risk when compared to other industry sectors, and slips, trips, and falls account for many workplace injuries. Providing slips, trips, and falls training is a good way to help staff recognise risks and, in turn, avoid injuries.

First Aid - Every organisation requires ‘adequate and appropriate’ first aid provisions. This includes facilities, equipment, and personnel. First aiders must be provided with adequate training, including face-to-face training every three years, and regular refresher training in between.

Risk Assessment - As stated before, organisations with five or more employees are required to document their risk assessments. Those who carry out the assessments must be competent in doing so, and effective training will help.

Accident Reporting - Accident reporting is a legal requirement. Any accidents that occur in the workplace must be recorded, regardless of how big or small they might be. An organisation’s appointed person should have a great understanding of how to properly report an incident, and what can be done to ensure the incident doesn’t occur again.

Working at Height - Any person who is working from height, or supervising somebody that is, should be provided with an understanding of their legal responsibilities and health & safety principles.

Asbestos Awareness - Working in the construction sector often means working in a number of different environments. Many of those working in the sector are at risk of being exposed to asbestos. These employees must be provided with competent training to ensure they know what to do in order to avoid being exposed and if they have already been exposed.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Employees who are required to wear protective equipment as part of their job should be provided with an understanding of how to wear it correctly and look after it properly.

CDM Regulations - These regulations cover everything those in the construction sector need to know about maintaining everyone’s safety throughout a construction project. It is a good idea to ensure all employees are familiar with these regulations.

LOLER - The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 are in place to ensure that safe lifting operations are carried out to reduce the chance of accidents occuring when lifting. All employees involved in lifting operations should have a complete understanding of their responsibilities under the regulations.

Working in Confined Spaces - Anybody who works in a poorly ventilated confined space is exposed to a number of risks. Whether they work there all the time or only on some occasions, they should be provided with the correct training and guidance to ensure they minimise these risks.

Legionella - With legionella bacteria often present on construction sites, it is crucial that employees are provided with the training and information they need to protect themselves and others from harmful Legionnaires' disease.

Ladder Safety - Accounting for 40% of all falls from height, falls from ladders are far too common. Employees must be given proper instruction on how to use a ladder correctly, as well as given an understanding of their responsibilities under the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Hand Arm Vibration - Although the effects of vibration exposure are irreversible, they can be prevented. Employees at risk to HAVS should be provided with training to ensure they understand how to reduce exposure to vibrations, their employer’s responsibilities under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005, and how to recognise early signs of HAVS.

Noise Awareness - With hundreds of thousands of UK employees suffering from hearing loss as a result of work, it is crucial that those who work in loud environments are given a strong understanding of how to reduce risks associated with noise and noise limits under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations.

HR essentials

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion - Inclusive and diverse organisations tend to have better morale, staff retention rates, and reputation. There are many ways organisations can be more inclusive and diverse, and providing all employees with training is a great stepping stone.

Disability Awareness - In the UK, there are over 4.1 million disable people that are currently in work. Therefore, it is very likely that an organisation already employs, or will eventually employ a person with a disability. It is absolutely crucial that all employees are educated to understand the importance of creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace culture, including for those with disabilities.

Bullying & Harassment - All employees should be able to feel comfortable in their place of work at all times. Making employees aware of what is considered as bullying is a good starting point to prevent workplace bullying.

Sexual Harassment Awareness - ​​Roughly 60% of UK adults believe that better training on the topic of sexual harassment would be an effective way of reducing it in the workplace.

Drug & Alcohol Awareness - Each year, thousands of people suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. This results in roughly 17 million working days being lost each year. It is important to raise awareness of substance abuse to ensure that all employees know how to identify it and where they can find or point others towards help.

Bribery and corruption

In most organisations working in the construction industry, there are a number of staff that likely have to frequently deal with external suppliers, clients, and other partners on a regular basis and could fall victim to bribery or corruption.

Often, employees unintentionally get caught up in this type of corruption, hence why it is so important that these employees understand what to look out for.

Mental health & wellbeing

Poor mental health in the construction industry accounts for over 200 suicides per year. This is simply not good enough.

Employers must do what they can to ensure all their employees feel supported when it comes to their mental wellbeing, and one of the best first steps in doing so is breaking the negative stigma surrounding mental wellbeing.

With the construction sector being an industry predominantly made up of males, there is a 'macho culture' attached to construction sites and workplaces, and this often puts pressure on workers to 'suck it up'.

Providing employees with the tools they need to understand and improve their mental health & wellbeing not only allows them to take care of themselves, but also helps them look out for their colleagues.

Soft skills

Soft skills are more important in the workplace than ever before. In fact, 93% of employees agree that they consider Soft Skills to be either an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions.

Some key soft skills include: 

Looking for high-quality, cost-effective training?

Here at iHASCO, we support over 10,000 UK clients with our high-quality and cost-effective eLearning, many of whom work in the construction industry.

With a course library that hosts over 140 course titles, an easy-to-use Learning Management System, and unrivalled support, sorting workplace training has never been easier!

But don’t just take our word for it, see how the Bell Group use iHASCO to keep staff safe, happy and productive.

You can get started today with instant access to our entire course library! Alternatively, if you’re ready to get started you can request a quote and a member of our team will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your training requirements.

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