Site Safe and industry experts enhance Foundation Passport training

Site Safe is committed to ensuring Kiwi workers return home to their whānau at the end of each day.

The company creates and continues to develop training such as its Foundation Passport – building construction and civil training courses as part of its pledge to build safer and healthier workplaces.

The Foundation Passport courses convey on-site health and safety responsibilities and introduce vital topics such as how to keep yourself safe, understanding and controlling risk, mental health and basic hazards and legal requirements.

Site Safe has recently been collaborating with industry representatives and subject matter experts to develop the updated foundational course-specific content.

Site Safe chief executive Brett Murray says he was pleased with the updated foundational courses and that they reflected the health and safety standards set by the industry.

“It is really important as an industry association that we work hand-in-hand with industry while developing our courses,” says Murray.

“The new Foundational Passport has been developed with industry input and consultation throughout and sets the standard for what the industry wants in a foundational construction course.”

The updated training offers plenty of new material for learners. Some of the key changes are:

• Staff will be able to identify the top critical hazardous activities in building construction and civil.

• Information on mental health has been introduced.

• Site Safe consulted with a neuro-diverse expert to ensure the look and feel of its presentation addresses the needs of staff who may have learning difficulties.

• Content focuses on the basic concepts of health and safety to keep it genuinely foundational.

• Handbook has moved to an eBook offering direct links to more helpful information.

• It now offers 20 ‘Review of Understanding’ questions instead of 10 (with the same 80% pass rate), providing greater assurance of each learner’s foundation health and safety knowledge.

The improved Foundation Passport courses were trialled across the country and were launched in September. It is expected staff will gain a better learning experience with a consistent, standardised course endorsed by those in the industry.

Naylor Love’s health and safety specialist Gareth Wood is one of the subject matter experts who helped develop the courses.

He says the enhanced training was a “big step up” from when he first did it.

Wood says it had become better targeted to those entering the industry, particularly foreign workers or those unfamiliar with construction in New Zealand and it was important to have these Foundation Passport courses available with more people entering the industry without construction backgrounds.

“It’s important they have… a basic understanding of health and safety and those fundamentals that they need when they go on-site,” Wood says.

Most major New Zealand contractors require a Site Safety Card when entering a site.

Site Safe has included a green foundation indicator on the Site Safety Card for anyone to see at a glance that you and your staff are foundation-level trained.

Those who attended the trial run of the new courses were asked what they liked the most from the new offering with one attendee saying they liked the aspect of working as a group to identify hazards before they enter the industry.

Others also highlighted the group activities and how this helped make the teachings easier to understand and encouraged everyone’s participation, while others appreciated the learning material, such as “engaging” slides and images.

Additionally, Site Safe has been working alongside the Ministry of Social Development and virtual reality (VR) company SkillsVR to provide a VR foundation training experience for jobseekers looking to join the construction industry.

Many expect the use of VR technology to ramp up significantly over the next decade. Site Safe wants to ensure it is at the forefront in offering opportunities to utilise the technology.

Further developments on the VR project are expected later in the year.

To learn more about our Foundation Passport courses or any other training courses, visit the Training section on the Site Safe website