A large number of our delegates have been questioning us as to why we do not offer evening classes?  In truth we didn’t really have an answer for them other than to say we weren’t sure if there was sufficient demand to justify running them.  At the time that was the best answer we could give however, after some discussion throughout the company we had to agree that we were not actually sure that was necessarily true at all.

Being innovative as we are (after all we were the first to bring you weekend CITB training!) and being conscious that it is you (our delegates) that drive demand we have decided that we really need to challenge our perceptions here, so by popular demand we have decided to trial the running of CITB: Site Supervisors’ Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) evening courses from September through to November 2019.  The courses will run for four hours per evening on four consecutive days enabling us gauge demand and determine whether we should consider running the full suite of CITB: Site Safety Plus courses in the same manner.

The SSSTS two day course is intended for those who already fulfill or are about to take up supervisory responsibilities on a construction site and provides with a good ability to understand health, safety, welfare and environmental issues, as well as their legal responsibilities relevant to their work activities on site.

The course highlights the requirement to promote health and safety through effective supervision and is endorsed by the United Kingdom Contractors Group (UKCG) as the standard training for all supervisors working on sites within the UK.We will be running this course alongside our standard block week SSSTS and our weekend SSSTS courses and for those individuals looking to progress their career’s we would suggest that the five day CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) training course would be the next logical step.

Goldcross Training has added three additional training courses to its portfolio this month.  These courses are all focused in Mental Health First Aid and we hope that they will aid employers and their employees in providing for a safer workplace. They are all OfQual accredited and sit at Levels 1 to 3 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).  All three of the courses recognise the impact of Work-related stress (WRS) which is now recognised by the HSE as the second most commonly reported cause of occupational ill health in Great Britain, which when prolonged can lead to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression (HSE – Health priority plan:Work-related stress).

In fact research undertaken by the Centre for Mental Health suggests that the cost impact of mental health problems within the workforce of the UK cost’s employers in the region of £35 billion annually, figure 1 provides a breakdown of these costs.

 

Figure 1.  Cost Impact within the workplace (adapted from: Centre for Mental Health).

 

The additional courses now being provided by Goldcross are:

Level 1 – Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health (RQF)

A ½-Day training course is course aimed at providing delegates with the skills and knowledge to start a supportive conversation, recognise a range of suspected mental health conditions, and be able to signpost an individual towards appropriate professional help.  The course is suitable for any individual seeking to gain an understanding of mental health or with a requirement to provide advice and practical support to others in the workplace.  More details are available here…

Level 2 – Award in First Aid for Mental Health (RQF)

A 1-Day course which builds upon the content of the Level 1 course and expands on the effects of drugs and alcohol.  It also incorporates the development of a First Aid for Mental Health Action Plan and discusses ways in which a positive mental health culture can be supported within the workplace.  The primary aim of the course is to provide delegates with the resources and knowledge to enable them to identify signs of stress and other mental health conditions, allowing them to guide individuals towards the correct support.  More details are available here…

Level 3 – Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health (RQF)

A 2- Day course covering the content of both the Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications and building upon the knowledge and skills provided.  It goes into detail on a wide range of mental health conditions and the support and help provided by healthcare professionals. It is aimed at managers, supervisors, trainer and assessors. More details are available here…

Construction scheme card fraud is an ongoing and serious issue for the industry, such fraud not only devalues the scheme but puts both employers and employees at risk, as fraudulent card holders will rarely have achieved or maintained the competence they claim.

The CITB work closely with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to gather evidence to prosecute fraudulent behavior and bring criminals to account.  They are also committed to preventing fraud and provide a range of tools and information to assist employers in identifying CSCS card fraud.

One such tool provided by the CITB is their online Card Checker – if it is a genuine card, you should be able to find it on the system.  Additionally some android and windows smart phones will also allow you to read the card with the appropriate app further details are available from the CSCS website.

We would suggest that it is good practice for all employers to make use of these tools periodically and especially on recruitment of a new employee.   

Identifying a Fraudulent Card

A number of security features are normally built into a construction skills certification scheme (CSCS) card.

A genuine CSCS card will have:

  • The CSCS hologram in the top left-hand corner
    • on moving the card slightly to an angle you will see the words ‘Construction Skill Certification Scheme’ in the reflective element
  • A recent photo of the person on the right hand side of the card
    • the photo should have been taken within the last five years and should be a good likeness of the person before you
  • The card holder’s name printed below the CSCS hologram
  • The card holder’s registration number printed below their name along with the card’s expiry date.
    • the registration number should also be repeated on the back of the card
  • The ‘HS&E Tested’ logo next to the ID photo
    • this will be in a silver coloured box next to the ID photo or
    • this will be in a gold coloured box next to the ID photo
  • The card colour going right to the edge of the card
    • some forgeries are known to have what appears to be a white edge to the front of the card
  • Sharp and clear printing and colours – some forgeries have blurred or dull printing
  • The correct spelling  – some forgeries have spelling mistakes

To find out more about how to tell a genuine CSCS card from a fraudulent one, visit the CSCS website.

Action to Take if You Think Someone has a Fraudulent Card

If possible check the details of the card with the CITB online Card Checker – if it is a genuine card, you should be able to find it on the system.

If you suspect a worker of using a fraudulent card to work or enter a construction site:

  • retain the card if possible
  • make photocopies of front and back of the card
  • record cardholder’s name and address
  • ask the cardholder where the card was obtained from
  • call the local police and report the matter
  • refuse the worker access to the site (subject to company rules)

If it is a suspected fraudulent CSCS card:

  • send copies of all evidence, marked “SUSPECTED FRAUDULENT CARD” with crime reference number given by the local police to:

Operations Team
CSCS Ltd
The Building Centre
26 Store Street
London
WC1E 7BT

  • inform CITB by post, marking it for the attention of the Fraud Investigator, or email making sure to include:
    • a copy of all evidence
    • the crime number given by the local police.

The CITB and CSCS will fully support any prosecution with technical and factual evidence.

Combating CSCS card fraud requires all aspects of the construction industry to remain vigilant: employers, contractors, sub-contractors, employees, certificating bodies and training providers.

As a training provider Goldcross recognises the importance of ensuring its delegates reach the minimum level of competence required to pass the courses they undertake (construction related or otherwise) and as an avid supporter of the CITB Site Safety Plus Scheme providing the following courses:

we will always ensure that delegates reach the required standard before we support the allocation of any award/certificate/diploma.

As an employer you owe it to yourselves, your employees and the industry to ensure you carry out due diligence in order to ensure that the individuals working for you either directly or indirectly have the appropriate competence and certification.

It is vitally important when undertaking any type of training course to ensure that you learn the course content to the best of your ability in order to give yourself the best possible chance of successfully completing any form of assessment – NEBOSH examinations are no different.

There is however another important aspect to consider when undertaking NEBOSH examinations and that is the use of ‘command words’ by the examining body.

Understanding NEBOSH ‘command’ words and what they mean can be the difference between a ‘pass or fail’ and delegates often have problems in determining what is meant by them – in short they are ‘action verbs’ and they provide an indicator with regard to how the examining body expect the question to be answered.

This is a short guide based on five examples contained in current NEBOSH Resources on how to recognise the ‘command words’ that you are likely to come across when undertaking the NEBOSH National General Certificate.

Command Word One:-   Identify

Meaning:  To give to reference to an item, which could be its name or title.

Type of answer required:  Normally a single word or short phrase answer is enough provided it is clear and concise.

Example Question:  Identify FOUR hazards associated with excavations?

Answer:

  • Underground Services
  • Collapse of the sides
  • Falling materials
  • Water ingress

Command Word Two:-   Give

Meaning:  To provide factual, short answers, such as an example or the meaning of something.

Type of answer required:  Normally a single word, phrase or sentence is sufficient.

Example Question:  Identify FOUR types of safety sign AND give an example in EACH case?

Answer:

  • Mandatory Signs – e.g. Wear Ear Protection
  • Warning signs – e.g. Caution Hot Surface
  • Prohibition signs – e.g. no smoking
  • Emergency or Safe Condition Signs – e.g. first-aid box

Command Word Three:-  Outline

Meaning:  To provide a short summary of the principal (important) features or different parts

Type of answer required:  Note an exhaustive description is not required, just a brief summary of the major aspects of whatever is stated in the question

Example QuestionOutline FOUR hazards associated with excavations?

Answer:

  • Underground Services – Contact with or rupturing of electricity, gas or water utilities
  • Collapse of the sides – Unsupported trench or incorrect angle of the sides
  • Falling materials – Spoil dug from excavation or materials and tools stored at ground level could fall in
  • Water ingress – Through heavy rain or burst water main

Command Word Four:-  Describe

Meaning:  To give a detailed information about the primary features of something or a subject, without trying to fully explain its operation or purpose. 

Type of answer required:  A description that is sufficient to allow an individual (in this case the examiner) to visualise what you are describing without attempting to explain.

Example Question:  Describe the mechanical hazards associated with a bench grinder?

Answer:
An entanglement hazard would be associated with the rotating spindle that the abrasive wheel is mounted on. Drawing in and trapping is associated with the gap between the tool rest and the rotating abrasive wheel. Friction or abrasion hazards would be associated with the surface of the rotating abrasive wheel and stabbing or puncture hazards could be created by flying fragments or pieces of ejected broken wheel.

Command Word Five:-  Explain

Meaning:  To give the reader an understanding and or make an idea/relationship clear to them

Type of answer required:  An explanation that sufficiently demonstrates a delegates knowledge or understanding with regard to ‘why or how’ something happens. The appropriate use of examples may be useful in answering such questions.

Example QuestionExplain how sensitive protective equipment (trip device) can reduce the risk of contact with moving parts of machinery?

Answer:
Sensitive protective equipment is designed to identify the presence of a person or body part within the danger zone of machinery. Examples of such devices include pressure mats and light beams which are connected to the machine controls and would stop the machine rapidly should a person or body part be detected.

General

Command words are specifically associated with the learning outcomes and assessment objectives of a qualification.  Knowledge of them is not only beneficial in answering exam questions but they can also be a very useful revision aid in confirming your knowledge and understanding of a specific topic.

Delegates should not let command words confuse them and they should not lose sight of what the question is asking them.  Delegates need to consider the following factors for each question posed:

  • What is the command word?
  • What do I need to say to gain marks?
  • What is or is not relevant to the question?

Use command words as a guide when answering questions which will enable you to demonstrate in your exams the level of knowledge and understanding you have regarding a topic.

The simplified guide above will help you understand what is required by each command word but better still review the NEBOSH guide in full alongside the specific course learning outcomes and assessment objectives.

When booking onto our NEBOSH Courses, our instructors will set delegates homework to help prepare them for the examination and this will include the use and understanding of ‘command words’.  Additionally Goldcross runs specific NEBOSH revision days for the benefit of all its delegates at very competitive prices.

Fell free to give us a call on: 0203 633 5505 or send us an email to discuss your NEBOSH training needs in more detail at: training@goldcross-training.com.

 

Acronyms are widely used in every walk of life and can be extremely useful particularly when producing a written document but sometimes we forget that not everybody will understand what they represent.  You can just imagine a keen 16 year old turning up at a building site and asking a foreman:

“Do you have any jobs going?”

Foreman’s response:  “Have you completed your CITB HSA course? and do you have a CSCS Labourer (green) card?”

I don’t know about you but at the age of sixteen (and if I’m honest a lot older) that would have left me scratching my head.  So what do these acronyms stand for:

CITB:  Construction Industry Training Board

The CITB are the construction industry training board and a major partner in the sector skills council.  They work with the construction industry to encourage training and develop a safe, professional and fully qualified workforce.

CITB HSA:  CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

Construction sites can be dangerous places for individuals that have little experience of working or operating in the sector.  Therefore, it is only sensible that everybody who intends to work on site undergoes some formal training to provide for their own safety and the safety of the individuals they may be working alongside.   The CITB HSA course is a one-day course that provides the necessary training to operate on a construction site and once completed individuals can then start to think about applying for their CSCS Labourer (Green) Card. The card helps to inform prospective employers that the holder has met a minimum standard of experience and training and it also enables them to check their credentials via the CSCS system (more on that later).  Whilst there is no specific legal requirement to hold the CSCS Labourer (Green) Card many construction sites within the UK mandate their use.

CITB SSSTS:  CITB Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme

As individuals develop their expertise there is a natural tendency for them to take on more responsibility particularly with regard to younger workers and as a result many go on to adopt supervisory duties.  The CITB Site Supervisors Safety Training (SSSTS) course is a two-day course that teaches individuals (or simply brings them up to date) about their legal responsibilities regarding health, safety, welfare and environmental issues.  Once completed the award must be renewed at the five-year period (or before as if your certificate expires you will need to sit the full course again) by taking the CITB SSSTS refresher course.

CITB SMSTS: CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme

The CITB SMSTS course provides individuals with an enhanced understanding of their health, safety, welfare and environmental duties and responsibilities on a construction site.  The course is focused upon those individuals who have direct responsibility for workers on site or who are planning to adopt a role with such responsibilities.  The CITB SMSTS course is therefore suitable for: project/site managers, managers and supervisors, business owners and clients alike.  Once completed the award must be renewed at the five-year period (or before as if your certificate expires you will need to sit the full course again) by taking the CITB SMSTS refresher course.

CITB SSP:  CITB Site Safety Plus

The CITB Site Safety Plus (SSP) scheme is a suite of health and safety courses that assist in the development of the health and safety knowledge of individuals that operate within the construction industry. Therefore, the scheme not only aids to maintain a safe workforce but also assists in the career development of individuals.

The courses detailed above are designed to provide for a wide range of individuals undertaking various roles on site giving everyone from labourer/operative to senior manager the skills they need to develop their careers within the industry.

From the CITB Health and Safety Awareness (HSA) course, a fundamental step in acquiring the CSCS Labourer (Green) Card, to the CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS), the courses are designed to ensure that both individuals and employers benefit from them and most importantly that construction sites are operated as safely as they possibly could be.

Government policies, austerity measures and even Brexit are having a continuing impact upon business and with budgets becoming stretched it is without doubt becoming more difficult to ensure that your organisation is not only capable of delivering success today but is also prepared for the future – NEBOSH training can have an impact here.

Most large businesses have grasped the impact that a good health and safety management strategy has upon their ‘bottom line’ and in assisting them in meeting their corporate social responsibilities, even if they are found wanting on occasion.

However, sadly there are still many (particularly small and medium sized organisations) that fail to understand the importance of such a strategy and the benefits it can bring.

Developing a good health and safety strategy and effectively managing workplace risk not only demonstrates to your employees that their well-being and welfare is of importance to you. It also highlights to potential customers that as an organisation you take your responsibilities to the community in which you operate and the greater environment seriously.

It should of course also be remembered that many organisations will now only contract with other like-minded organisations i.e those that can demonstrate that they follow specific standards, of which Health and safety is generally of key importance.

A poorly managed company that is willing to take risks in such an area is not generally considered to make for a good business partner and puts you at risk both financially and reputationally.

As you move forward and implement your strategy you will begin to realise the benefits generated from implementing best practices not only in reducing accidents but also in; developing your employees, engendering trust, building in both efficiency and accountability, all of which will support your drive to increase productivity.  Additionally, it will aid to build your reputation within the industry/business sector in which you operate, not only earning you the respect of your peers but more importantly potential customers.

Selecting the correct training framework for your; line managers, team leaders, supervisors and staff with health and safety related responsibilities, will be key to your success in this regard and there is no better place to start than with NEBOSH training qualifications.

The National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) is recognised globally and is the most frequently demanded qualification by employers seeking to employ individuals with health and safety responsibilities.  NEBOSH qualifications are also recognised professionally by a number of institutes such as: the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM).

The NEBOSH organisation does not in itself deliver training but focuses on the development of appropriate course content/syllabuses and assessment methods.  The actual training courses are delivered by organisations such as Goldcross Training who have been fully accredited by NEBOSH to deliver the courses they provide giving assurance to organisations and individuals that they have met specific criteria.

An effective starting point is to determine who within your organisation fulfils health and safety responsibilities (not forgetting yourself of course) and booking them on a NEBOSH General Certificate training course.

This will enable you to begin building your own internal network of health and safety specialists who can then in turn provide you with the advice and support you require to drive your strategy forward.

If you think NEBOSH is the route for you in developing your organisation strategy or you are seeking to develop your own career, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We understand that training of any form comes at a cost and we will happily discuss our commitment to you in order to ensure that you receive value as a result of your commitment.