Safe Pass

What is Safe Pass?

Safe Pass is a mandatory safety awareness training programme for construction workers. It is a one-day programme that allows you to work on construction sites without being a risk to yourself or others. Employers must make sure 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. It aims to:

  • Raise the standard of safety awareness in the construction industry
  • Make sure that all construction site workers do basic health and safety awareness training to prevent accidents and avoid health hazards
  • Keep a register of employees who have completed the Safe Pass course
  • Provide all Safe Pass participants with a Safe Pass registration card to confirm they completed the course

Safe Pass extensions during COVID-19

During COVID-19, special contingency measures allowed expired Safe Pass registration cards (cards that had expired after 1 March 2020) to remain valid. This measure came to an end on 13 October 2021, following the publication of SI 528 of 2021 (pdf).

If your Safe Pass registration card expired between 1 March 2020 and 31 October 2020, it is deemed valid for 71 months from the date you completed the programme.

If your Safe Pass card expired between 1 November 2020 and 13 October 2021, it is deemed valid for 62 months from the date you completed the programme.

Who must do the Safe Pass course?

All workers in the construction sector must get safety awareness training and have a Safe Pass registration card before they can work on construction sites. This includes apprentices, trainees and on-site security workers.

Every contractor (or other person working on their behalf) must make sure that everyone under their direct control on a construction site has completed Safe Pass training and has a current Safe Pass registration card.

Under health and safety legislation, employers must allow you paid time off to attend safety awareness training.

Read FAQs about the Safe Pass programme on the Health and Safety Authority website.

What does the course involve?

The training modules in the Safe Pass course are:

  • Site safety, site safety legislation and site accident reporting
  • Introduction to risk assessment
  • Risk assessment for working at height, working with electricity and when excavating
  • General site safety, including the use of construction equipment and the safe use of vehicles
  • Personal safety, using personal protective equipment, working with noise and vibrations, manual handling and personal health and welfare

Getting your Safe Pass card

You will get a Safe Pass registration card when you have successfully completed the one-day Safe Pass training course.

Your card lasts for 4 years from the date of the training course. If you leave your workplace, you can keep your registration card, once it is in date. When it expires, you must then do another Safe Pass training course.

If your card has been lost, stolen or damaged you can apply online for a replacement card. You can find details on how to get a replacement card on the SOLAS website.

It is illegal to forge or alter a registration card, or to make any other card that resembles a registration card. All the personal details on your registration card must be accurate. It is illegal for you to provide false information to SOLAS.

Paying for the course

Generally, your employer pays for the one-day Safe Pass course. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, employers must allow you paid time off for safety awareness training.

You are not required to refund your employer for the cost of the course if you leave your job. The only exception is if there is something in your contract stating you will refund any training fees before you have a certain period of service.

If you are unemployed, and have been offered a job on a construction site but need to have a Safe Pass card before you start work, your local Intreo Centre may be able to help with the fee for the training. Read about the Training Support Grant for more information.

How to apply for Safe Pass

Employers, trainers or individuals who want to participate in the Safe Pass course can apply by contacting an approved Safe Pass tutor on the Safe Pass Accredited Tutors register.

How to become a Safe Pass tutor

If you want to become a Safe Pass tutor, you must have a recognised training or education qualification and meet certain criteria. Priority will be given to candidates who show they can deliver the Safe Pass programme on a regular basis. You should email safepass@solas.ie to get an application form.

Page edited: 23 May 2022