The Importance of a Safety Passport
Working in the construction industry exposes you to plenty of hazards. From dangerous substances that can cause serious diseases to heavy equipment that can cause injuries when handled incorrectly, multiple risks surround you at any worksite no matter how big or small it may be.
This is why safety education is paramount for those who work in the construction industry. If you’re a business owner or manager, you need to think about providing your employees with comprehensive training; if you’re an independent contractor or PCBU, consider enrolling in a programme to acquire the necessary certifications.
In particular, you may want to acquire a construction safety passport. This is a document that proves that the person has received ample training with regards to workplace health and safety and.
Who Should Get a Safety Passport?
Every workplace has its own safety hazards, so when you consider this matter-of-factly, everybody needs one. It is not only proof of someone’s knowledge of workplace requirements and the law. It can also be used as a tool to promote a culture that puts emphasis on the holistic wellbeing of everyone in the workplace—be they fellow workers, clients, or business partners.
Specifically, a safety passport is recommended for the following:
- Persons who want or need to demonstrate that they are knowledgeable about standard workplace health and safety requirements
- Persons who want or need to fully understand the rights of workers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA)
- Persons who are responsible for work site safety
Of course, most people who work in the construction industry also need (oftentimes require) a safety passport.
Why Should You Get a Safety Passport?
There are three primary reasons to get a safety passport. These are:
- Safety. The reason itself is in the name: you get a safety passport for reasons centring on workplace safety. The concept is simple: the more you know about health and safety laws, the more you know what to do to address related issues. You can even prevent or minimise the risk of these issues from happening in the first place.
- Compliance. As an employer, providing your employees with a safe place to work is part of your responsibility under the HSWA and other relevant laws. Included in this responsibility is ensuring that there are individuals within your organisation who can be considered experts in workplace health and safety. Meanwhile, as an independent contractor or PCBU, you’re expected to be properly certified for the job you’re trying to do. When it comes to high-risk work, such as those in the construction industry, it is, therefore, part of your responsibility to get a safety passport.
- Work Quality. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, a safety passport can give you confidence and peace of mind while at work. When you know that there’s someone or you yourself are more than capable of handling safety concerns. Ultimately, this can translate to better work quality and an overall better work ambiance.
Are There Different Kinds of Safety Passports?
There aren’t specific kinds of safety passports, per se. However, most safety passport courses help you achieve NZQA Unit Standard 497. With this certification, you’re expected to be able to demonstrate knowledge of New Zealand’s workplace health and safety requirements.
Aside from this main subject, training programmes for acquiring safety passports include topics like:
- Principles of workplace safety
- How to identify workplace hazards
- Effects of common workplace hazards
- How to control hazards and minimise their effects
- Demonstrating safe work practices
These safety passport courses can be taught either online or on-site, so you or your employees can choose the most ideal set-up for their convenience or unique learning style.
There are also more intensive training courses that specialise in safety in high-risk environments like construction sites. Again, there are more and bigger risks in these workplaces so it’s only logical to have more comprehensive training that covers more than the basics.
If you’re interested in this type of safety passport course, you can expect to achieve NZQA unit standards 14609 (describe risk factors that contribute to injury on construction sites), 21209 (demonstrate knowledge of and carry out health and safety procedures for a building construction site), and other related standards.
Ultimately, the “kind” of safety passport you need will depend on the kind of work you do. If you work in an office environment, then you can probably fulfil your tasks with a basic certification. If you work in a high-risk environment, then you’re definitely going to need something more advanced and detailed.
The bottom line here is that everybody benefits if a workplace is safe. For individuals, it means greater productivity and a broader career scope; for employers, it means abiding by the law as well as being morally upright. In short, if you’re a professional of any capacity, it will be in your best interests to get certified and acquire your safety passport.