Is a Road Crew SMSTS Important?

Of all trades in the construction sector, road crew, and those working near or on roads arguably face the most danger, and the need for high levels of health and safety awareness is critical.

road crew smsts

SMSTS stands for the Site Management Safety Training Scheme and is a qualification needed by site managers on construction sites where road crews are used.

What is the SMSTS?

It is a qualification that is awarded after passing a five day course at a local college or similar venue. It is designed for managers who are responsible for the health and safety of a team. The SMSTS is the same test whether it is for a road crew leader or any other role on site.

Managers are expected to learn the following

  1. How to be aware of risks and to manager their impact?
  2. CDM, or Construction Design Management. How does the work plan create health and safety risks and how can they be managed?
  3. Equipment and signage
  4. Handling hazardous materials or substances
  5. Specific health and safety issues, such as excavation, demolition, working at heights, working at night, working near traffic.
  6. Overall health and safety management and communication to workers to create an appropriate awareness of risks
  7. A basic legal overview of latest regulations

The thinking is to create managers with a wide understanding of health and safety issues across the construction site so they can set examples and raise awareness.

Is it a test?

Yes. After five days of classroom based work there is a test. A pass will result in a SMSTS certificate. If you fail it is possible to re-sit.

The course is a mixture of the following practices:

  • Practical work
  • Presentation
  • Group exercise
  • Individual
  • Traditional work and case studies

The certificate lasts for five years and managers are then expected to take a refresher course to update themselves.

I’ve passed. What does this mean for my career?

The road crew SMSTS proves to employers that you are serious about your career as a construction manager. It proves you have a good overall awareness of health and safety issues and you can manage a team within these boundaries.

Many companies, especially the larger ones, will require a manager of a road crew to have SMSTS before they are allowed on site.

Other companies may allow you to work but will require a pass within a very short period of time.

Click here to register for an SMSTS course


As road crew health and safety requirements are so varied the road crew SMSTS is almost compulsory.

Key issues, such as signage, working alongside traffic, handling heavy machinery and working at night must all be managed and have individual plans to be communicated.

Having a road crew SMSTS will help ensure you are successful in getting jobs in the first instance and can also lead to promotion and better paid roles.

Above all a manager with a road crew SMSTS is able to reduce the huge risks workers take working on motorways and busy roads and ensure a reduction in injury and death.

image source: flickr

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