Safe Pass programme

Introduction

Safe Pass is a 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
  • Ensure that all construction site workers undergo basic health and safety awareness training to prevent accidents and avoid health hazards
  • Maintain a register of personnel who have completed the Safe Pass programme
  • Provide all Safe Pass participants with a Safe Pass registration card to confirm that the holder has attended a formal course in health and safety awareness.

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 attend the Safe Pass programme?

All workers in the construction sector, including apprentices, trainees and on-site security workers, must get 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 must allow their employees paid time off from work to attend safety awareness training.

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

What does the programme involve?

Content of the Safe Pass programme

The training modules in the Safe Pass programme 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.

Safe Pass tutor accreditation

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.

Getting a Safe Pass registration card

You will get a Safe Pass registration card when you have successfully completed the one-day Safe Pass training programme. This card lasts for 4 years from the date of the training course. If you leave your workplace, you can keep your registration card, provided it is in date. When it expires, you must then attend 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 of 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 from your duties for safety awareness training.

You are not required to reimburse your employer for the cost of the course if you 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 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 the Safe Pass programme

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

If you are looking for accreditation as a Safe Pass tutor, you should email safepass@solas.ie to request an application form.

Page edited: 22 October 2021