The Safe-T-Cert was established in 2000 by the Irish Construction Industry Federation (CIF), and Northern Ireland Construction Employers Federation, with support from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). The scheme was set up to assure clients that certified contractors have an effective safety and health management system, as well as with the expectation that insurance companies may look favourably on contractors who have taken a pro-active approach to risk management as demonstrated through the achievement of Safe-T-Cert certification.

CMSE has just assisted a client in setting up a full Construction Safety Management System. The process involved a number of CMSE consultants working directly with the company’s management team to develop the existing procedures and practices into a coherent and robust system that would not only conform with the Safe-T-Cert requirements but also could be easily integrated into the everyday operational activities of the company. So as well as writing and implementing a detailed written management system, CMSE consultants carried out site inspections and toolbox talks to ensure that all employees and contractors were aware of the system and that it could be implemented quickly and effectively.

The safety management system implemented covered a wide variety of policies and procedures within the organisation, including a training needs analysis, inductions and toolbox talks, control of contractors, site rules and emergency procedures, PPE policy, complying with PSCS and other statutory roles in the construction industry, equipment testing and certification, accident reporting, chemical and physical agents assessments, preparation of method statements and risk assessments and many more. It is important the client receives a ‘living’ system, which can be implemented straight away without causing major internal changes, and will also grow and develop as the company does.

As a final step, CMSE then carried out a rigorous pre-audit of the system, using an independent internal resource to cast fresh eyes over the system and iron out any last issues before the arrival of the Safe-T-Cert team. The lead Safe-T-Cert auditor praised the system during his visit, noting that the company achieved a higher grade than would be expected for a first-time audit. In fact, he also pointed out that up to 50% of companies fail their first Safe-T-Cert audit and that applicants usually have quite a lot of work to do before resubmitting for a second audit.

CMSE implements a range of management systems from ISO 9001 to OHSAS 18001 to internal corporate standards.