Why Should I Do a Civil Engineering SMSTS?

The SMSTS scheme stands for the Site Management Safety Training Scheme and was introduced by the CITB in 2002 as a result of an increasing number of construction site deaths and serious injuries.

The civil engineering SMSTS is increasingly becoming a must have for civil engineering professionals and management.

civil engineering smsts

What is the Civil Engineering SMSTS?

It is a five day training course, often held at a local college. The content of the SMSTS is the same whether you are a civil engineer or in fact in any construction trade or occupation.You learn about the management and communication of health and safety regulations under the various legislations, in particular the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.

Content includes:

  • Health and safety management methods
  • Risk awareness and mitigation
  • Specific dangers such as demolition, excavation, scaffolding, working at heights or underground
  • Construction design and management regulations
  • Handling hazardous materials and substances
  • Personal Protective Equipment

After the training there is a test and if you pass you are awarded the civil engineering SMSTS certificate. It is valid for five years, at which point you are required to attend a two day refresher course.

Each part of the course is tested so the aim of the scheme is to create a management team with a wide range of health and safety skills irrespective of their trade.

The course is a mix of classroom studying, case studies, group and individual work, presentations and practical tests.

Click here to register for an SMSTS course

How do I get the SMSTS?

Book a course at a local college and attend. You will need a thorough understanding of basic health and safety regulations before you attend and a detailed understanding of health and safety in civil engineering projects.

Some employers may provide funding for the course and the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineers has resources available to help you prepare.

If you fail you can retake the whole course or part of the course, depending where you failed. This has to be discussed with the assessor.

Will it improve my career as a civil engineer?

Many construction sites are not open to senior staff, managers or professionals, such as engineers, unless they have the SMSTS qualification. It is thought that senior staff have overall responsibility for health and safety on site and it is unlikely you would get the job without it.

However, on a more positive note, civil engineers face daily health and safety dangers and the SMSTS course will help you be more professional and reinforce your skills and value to your employer.

This will help in promotion, securing new jobs and getting better pay.

Health and Safety law changes rapidly in the UK and a commitment to learn and keep up-to-date will make you look more employable and more professional as an engineer. Also your role on site is to provide professional expertise in key areas of the project. Projects can fail if you do not apply your health and safety knowledge and skills from a civil engineering perspective to the work.

To be the best civil engineer you can you need to have the SMSTS qualification.

image source: flickr

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