SMSTS, SSSTS focused on reducing the construction site accident injury rate
18 December 2023
CITB exams changes for SMSTS, SSSTS and associated Refreshers were developed to address the systemic failure of management on the construction site to prevent accident or injury.
The SMSTS & SSSTS Exams are more difficult as a result
Keeping just one step ahead of the regulators isn't managing safety - which is why CITB have changed the SMSTS, SSSTS and associated Refreshers exam format. If you fail one safety critical question, you fail the exam.
Housekeeping by site managers and supervisors strongly correlates with site safety performance
Commitment and hard work are needed at all levels for a good safety culture, because studies have pinpointed the level of housekeeping by site managers and supervisors strongly correlates with the level of site safety performance. Poor safety culture has long been recognised as a significant factor in safety performance. Many businesses are focused on keeping just one step ahead of the regulators - rather than promoting a positive safety culture and committing the realistic level of resources, training, commitment and hard work needed to change needed attitudes.
HSE considers the following are attributable to the poor accident injury rate within the Construction Industry:
- Lack of forward planning
- Poor control and supervision
- Lack of attention to high-risk operations
- Breaches of safety regulations
All of the above are management functions therefore: Accidents are caused by management failure.
75% of fatal accidents result from ineffective management action (HSE)
Despite changes in legislation and advances towards an integrated project wide approach to health and safety management - ineffective management is still a major problem. The key to improving this and developing an effective management strategy is monitoring and providing a detailed understanding of the effectiveness of different approaches to intervention. This must start by looking at the top reported causes of accidents on site.
Common reasons given for the root cause of accidents on site
- The demands of the job are not familiar (e.g. inexperienced operators)
- Poor supervision
- No feedback from the system (disciplinary procedures re-violations, safety performance)
- Violations of safety rules
- Failure to recognise danger or carelessness on the part of the employees
- Hostile environment (e.g. weather, noise, dust, toxic materials)
- Lack of training (e.g. equipment use, hazards)
- Time shortage (‘cutting corners’)
- Health (e.g. injuries, illness)
- Tiredness (after physical effort)
- 1Poor tools/equipment (e.g. difficulties using, old, worn out)
- PPE deficiency (not provided, poor quality)
- Alcohol abuse (hangovers, over the limit)
- Information overload (too many procedures, too complicated, difficult to implement)
- Monotony and boredom (due to a dull routine without variation in the task)
- Substance abuse (e.g. drugs)
Source: The quality of accident and health data in the construction industry: interviews with senior managers. Construction Management and Economics
Why CITB SMSTS & SSSTS is crucial to the safety of workers on construction sites
SMSTS & SSSTS equip individuals with the management knowledge to help prevent accidents and promotes a safe working environment. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is the official training board for the UK construction industry. Its courses are the backbone of health & safety for employees across the sector. Construction sites are hazardous environments and it is essential every construction worker both understands and adheres to health and safety regulations.
Completing a SMSTS or SSSTS course is beneficial and a legal requirement for individuals acting as a manager in the construction industry. These courses are focused upon ensuring you gain the necessary knowledge and skills to maintain a safe and compliant worksite. With comprehensive course content and experienced trainers, you’ll be equipped to understand health and safety laws, promote effective site organisation and enhance leadership and worker engagement. These courses and qualifications play a vital role in ensuring the safety of workers on construction sites.