Engineers team discussing issues at construction site flat vector illustration. Foreman looking at construction project plan. Building and engineering concept. Machinery and crane on background

What is competency on construction sites?

Competency is an important skill that all workers at a construction site should have. Competency is best defined as feeling well equipped to do a job. The skill becomes even more important when it is a high-risk environment in which a construction worker works.

One of the definitions of competency is the combination of knowledge, experience, skills and training possessed by an individual. Competency further includes the ability to apply these skills to work and safely do a job. A range of traits affect a construction worker’s competency, including their personality and physical capabilities.

Not being competent brings with it certain risks

Anyone who works at a construction site counters hazards on a daily basis. There are cases wherein manual handling and heavy lifting is called for as a part of a construction worker’s work. Such assignments are more common for high risk teams. In a few of the cases, a construction worker may be required to work at high heights. With low competency levels, such work becomes more hazardous.

Who withholds the responsibility to ensure competency at construction sites?

Employers should accept responsibility to gauge the site workers’ competency. This responsibility should then be segregated as training and risk assessment. So, an employer should figure out any gaps in employee knowledge and arrange training accordingly. In the same coin, employees should also be proactive in their approach towards competency. This keeps the site environment safe for themselves and everyone around them.

Job role specific competency

It is important for a construction worker to be competent in the specifics involved with their everyday job roles. Just as an instance, if someone operates a JCB machine, he would be required to have a different set of competency levels from any other construction worker.

It is therefore that different types of CSCS cards are made available for construction workers. When a construction worker holds a CSCS card, it implies that they have the required degree of the knowledge of safety associated with their job role.

Competency at construction sites – you can make a difference

Effective training for health and safety is among the key components of having a competent workforce. Herein, ensuring that the employees are trained regularly is important. The training that they access should be specific to their roles and responsibilities. Similarly, regular briefings on safety help keep workers safe.

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