Health and Safety in a Construction Environment

Health and Safety in a Construction Environment

Are you dreaming of getting into construction? Are you a training manager who needs to convert bright and willing newbies into working construction professionals? Are you someone who fancies a change in career and is drawn to the unique challenges and rewards of construction? Are you a seasoned contractor looking to start your own construction firm and wondering what skills and qualifications your workforce will need to work for you legally? Whatever your reasons for considering joining the construction trade you won’t be able to set foot on-site until you can demonstrate your knowledge of the unique Health and Safety needs of the construction industry. And to do that, you need to know all about the CSCS card!

If you want to ensure compliance, you’ll need a CSCS card to work on-site

As of 1st July 2014, the old green Construction Site Operative (CSO) cards are no longer valid. They need to be replaced by the CSCS Labourer Cards for a compliant workforce. The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) may be unfamiliar to many, but in truth it’s nothing new. In fact it came into effect over 20 years ago after the HSE deemed that a lack of Health and Safety training in the construction industry had resulted in needless workplace fatalities. The CSCS test was enacted as a standardised way to measure health and safety awareness in terms of the specific needs of the construction industry. The CSCS Labourer Card is a qualification developed in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). At the time of writing there are over 2 million cardholders in the UK.

As keen as you may be to roll up your sleeves and get to work, the fact is that it’s much harder to do so without holding this important qualification. Why?



Construction sites are dangerous places!

Every workplace has its own inherent Health and Safety risks and construction sites are no exception. In fact, in 2017/2018 alone 144 individuals were killed in UK workplaces. Over 26% of these were in the construction industry. The ever-present risk of heights, moving objects, vehicles and moving machinery makes it an industry highly vulnerable to safety risk.

Workplace fatalities are a tragedy that businesses and individuals are understandably concerned about and keen to avoid. The CSCS Labourer card ensures that all employees on every site in the UK, regardless of level or specialism have the same basic understanding of the Health and Safety demands of the construction industry.

Having a CSCS card is a seal of quality, and most construction firms will expect it

A CSCS Labourer card is not, strictly speaking, a legal requirement. You will not get into legal trouble if you do not have one. However, many firms regard it as a seal of quality. It shows them that you will be capable of getting the job done to the best of your ability, and that you will do so with your safety and that of others in mind.


Construction firms work to tight deadlines and workforce productivity is extremely important to them. A workplace injury or (Heaven forbid) fatality could result in severe setbacks. With this in mind, why would they want to jeopardize the safety of their workforce by letting a labourer on-site without one?



How you can get a CSCS Labourer card?

To work on a construction site in 2019 it is a legal requirement to have at least passed the Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment or be in possession of a valid one-day Site Safety Plus Health and Safety Awareness Course certificate. The latter is a standalone qualification while the former will last you your whole life.

There is a single test for approval and re-approval which is retaken every 5 years.

Obtaining a CSCS Labourer card is a 3 step process:

  • * Step 1- Get your Level 1 Health and Safety in a Construction Environment qualification
  • * Step 2- Pass the CITB CSCS health, safety and environment test
  • * Step 3- Submit the application fee (£36 and an additional £21 for the CITB test) for the CSCS card.

How we can help

We are extremely well versed in the The Level 1 Health and Safety in a Construction Environment qualification and provide expert delivery of the course. We can either provide the course completely online or through a blended approach incorporating online and classroom learning. Or we can offer the course as a completely classroom based option.

We offer the knowledge, flexibility and guidance to make sure that you and / or your workforce can do a great job while honouring your legal commitments to health and safety.