Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Education and Skills
SOLAS Training and Education Programmes Certification
204. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason SOLAS is continuing to add additional conditions onto the renewal of the safe pass cards in the absence of the proposed draft regulations (details supplied) which will provide the additional power to add their own conditions; if SOLAS will suspend these additional requirements until the draft regulations come into law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9355/19]
Safe Pass is a one day health and safety awareness programme, which aims to provide those that work in construction environments with a level of basic knowledge and awareness of evolving health and safety standards and practices. The Safe Pass programme is administered by SOLAS and operated by a network of mainly private SOLAS-approved training providers.
The primary objective of the Safe Pass programme is, over the course of time, to reduce construction related fatalities, injuries and illnesses by decreasing the number and frequency of construction site accidents by raising the level of health and safety knowledge and awareness across the construction sector. The Safe Pass Programme is continually adapted and developed in line with international best practice to ensure the content of the programme is current, fit for purpose and keeps abreast of changes in safety legislation, developing best practice in safe behaviour on site and the ever changing profile of the workforce and work environment in the construction industry.
A valid Safe Pass card can only be obtained upon successful completion of the Safe Pass Safety Awareness training programme. It is a condition of renewal of the registration card that participants must update their safety awareness training every four years, which in line with Section 10 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 and is fully supported by all partners within the construction sector.
The purpose of the current amendment to the regulations is to provide additional clarity to the renewal process. However, SOLAS are empowered to require the refreshing of safety awareness training before cards are renewed and this will continue.