Safe Pass is a safety awareness training programme for construction workers. It is a one-day programme to enable them to work on construction sites without being a risk to themselves or others. Employers are required by law to ensure that employees on construction sites carry Safe Pass cards. As a result, employers must ensure that all employees are properly trained.
The Safe Pass programme is operated and managed by SOLAS and aims to:
All workers in the construction sector, including apprentices, trainees and on-site security workers, must have received safety awareness training and have a Safe Pass registration card before they can work on construction sites.
Every contractor (or other person working on their behalf) is required by law to ensure that everyone under their direct control on a construction site has received Safe Pass training and has been issued with a current Safe Pass registration card. Under health and safety legislation, employers are required to allow their employees paid time off from work to attend safety awareness training.
There are FAQs about the Safe Pass programme on the Health and Safety Authority website.
You will be issued with a Safe Pass registration card once you successfully complete the one-day Safe Pass training programme. This card lasts for 4 years from the date of the training course. If you later leave the workplace, you can still keep your registration card, provided it is in date. When it expires, you must then attend a further Safe Pass training course.
It is illegal to forge or alter a registration card or to make any other card that resembles a registration card. All of the personal details on your registration card must be accurate and it is illegal for you to provide false information to SOLAS.
The training modules in the Safe Pass programme are:
Prospective Safe Pass tutors must have a recognised training or education qualification and meet certain criteria (pdf). Priority will be given to candidates who can demonstrate that they can deliver the Safe Pass Programme on a regular basis.
Generally the employer pays for the Safe Pass course. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, the employer must allow employees time off from their duties for awareness training as may be reasonable having regard to their health and safety without loss of pay.
Your employer cannot require you to reimburse them for the cost of the course if you subsequently leave your job, (unless you have signed something in your contract of employment stating you will reimburse any training fees incurred before you have given a certain period of service).
If you are currently unemployed, have got a job on a construction site but are required to have a Safe Pass Card before you start work, your local employment services office may be able to help with the fee.
Employers, trainers or individuals wishing to participate in the Safe Pass Programme may apply by contacting an approved Safe Pass tutor on the register of Safe Pass Accredited Tutors.
If you are looking for accreditation as a Safe Pass tutor you should apply with a copy of all relevant construction, safety and training qualifications on the Safe Pass tutor application form (pdf)
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.