The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) plays a vital role in ensuring the UK has workers with the skills to meet the needs of the engineering construction industry.

This extends to ensuring workers hold the requisite health and safety skills and knowledge to keep both themselves and their colleagues safe.

The engineering construction industry has got a large footprint. Our employers work in renewables, nuclear, oil and gas, as well as other major process industries including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food processing, water and waste treatment.

Man working at height wearing PPE

They are responsible for the design, delivery, repair, maintenance and decommissioning of some of the UK’s most important infrastructure and work in some of the most hazardous and safety critical environments in industry.

Alongside these day-to-day risks, the ECITB needs to help industry tackle a looming workforce and skills crisis that has implications on safety.

The ECITB forecasts 25,000 additional workers are needed for major projects, including those related to Net Zero, by 2026, placing employers in direct competition for labour from £650bn of infrastructure projects in the wider UK economy.

Our Leading Industry Learning Strategy 2023-25 aims to help industry meet the workforce volume challenge and prepare for a boom in project activity for engineering construction employers.

With the increased number of new entrants needed to address skills shortages, we must ensure that safety training is central for these workers to reduce the risk of safety incidents, so as we strive towards Net Zero we must work towards a zero harm legacy.

Safety training reducing accidents

Health and safety training is one of the key contributors in helping reduce accidents and lost time incidents on sites.

The CCNSG (Client Contractor National Safety Group) Safety Passport is the nationally recognised safety card for the UK engineering construction industry with more than 100 safety passports, on average, issued to workers every day.

It has delivered industry-leading safety accreditation for more than 30 years, with 80 Approved Training Providers delivering the training across the UK to ensure workers have the underlying fundamental safety training they need to go on site.

CCNSG Safety Passport

Required as part of the induction process for many engineering construction sites, the programme is completed by around 30,000 people each year and is overseen by the industry-led CCNSG Committee.

Safety passport courses help to develop a positive health and safety culture, where safe and healthy working becomes second nature to everyone. There are, for example, 70% fewer fatalities in construction as a whole since 1993, when the ECITB launched the CCNSG.

However, while the CCNSG has played a major role in keeping accident rates in engineering construction lower than in the broader construction industry, the fact remains that, as an industry, we have not achieved ‘zero harm’.

This is why the ECITB is urging industry to make the quality-assured CCNSG Safety Passport mandatory across all sites, to help further reduce the number of work-related fatalities and injuries.

Employers want to send everybody home safe every day and we feel that safety passports protect workers and makes good business sense when it comes to operating a site.

CCNSG offers enhanced health and safety awareness

The ECITB has just released the eighth version of the CCNSG to meet the evolving needs of industry. The course now also covers new fire extinguisher updates, isolation procedures and testing for stored energy, alongside greater emphasis on equality in the workplace and mental health.

The two-day training course gives delegates enhanced health and safety awareness delivered through face-to-face training, delegate discussion and shared experience, followed by a knowledge test.

On completion, successful candidates receive a CCNSG Safety Passport, which is valid for three years. To remain valid, delegates must attend a renewal course or take an online renewal test at least three months before their safety passport expires.

Meanwhile, 46 International Licenced Training Providers deliver international versions of the CCNSG course in 19 countries.

Find a CCNSG training provider near you

About the author

This blog was developed from a presentation titled ‘Working towards a zero harm legacy’ that was delivered by ECITB UK Market Development Manager Nigel Taylor at the Hazardex in the Regions event in Swansea.

Nigel was sharing our experience around health and safety training and how our CCNSG Safety Passport has contributed to the reduction of accidents and ill health across the engineering construction industry over the last 30 years.

The regional Hazardex events, which include speakers presenting guidance and insight on hazardous area operations across all major industries, are free to attend, with the next event in Grangemouth on November 22.

Find out more here.

ECITB UK Market Development Manager Nigel Taylor speaking at the Hazardex in the Regions event in Swansea.

ECITB UK Market Development Manager Nigel Taylor speaking at the Hazardex in the Regions event in Swansea.