Written answers

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Department of Education and Skills

SOLAS Administration

Photo of Verona MurphyVerona Murphy (Wexford, Independent)
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676. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the provisions being put in place to move the Safepass training course online; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13191/21]

Photo of Niall CollinsNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail)
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Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013, craft and general construction workers, persons undertaking on-site security work and persons or classes of persons as may be prescribed by the Minister are required to hold a safety awareness registration card (Safe Pass card).

In March 2020 the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation amended these regulations to extend the expiry dates of valid Safe Pass cards due to expire after the 1st March 2020 for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency period. General provision of face to face Safe Pass courses is currently suspended for the second time in two years with the shutdown of the general construction sector in January.

SOLAS is continuing to work on the development of an alternative delivery model for Safe Pass training which is equitable with existing Safe Pass, CSCS and QSCS course delivery in being accessible to all eligible workers, providing real time course participant supports and ensuring assessment integrity.

While general provision of face to face training has been temporarily suspended, given the continuation of essential construction activity, provision of Safe Pass training may take place to meet the needs of new workers accessing critical projects under certain specific conditions as follows:-

1. Training providers must inform SOLAS in advance of their plans to run a course and demonstrate the immediate requirement for the training.

2. SOLAS will approve the running of Safe Pass courses on a case by case basis based on training being limited to (1) workers engaged in essential construction work and (2) those not currently holding valid cards.

3. Any permitted training activity should be in accordance with the COVID-19 safety arrangements developed by SOLAS.


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