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Chase Co-operative health and safety engagement

What is the CHASE project ?

Logo - Euro Agency for Health & Safety at WorkCHASE is an acronym for Co-operative health and safety engagement. This project was organised by Congress and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) through the Joint Safety Council for the Construction Industry. The project developed original training material for delivery jointly to safety officers/advisors and worker safety representatives in the construction industry. Three pilot courses were delivered to experienced safety officers/advisors and worker safety representatives. The feedback from these pilots was used to influence the contents of a guidance manual on consultation for the construction industry.

  • The course was innovative in terms of the construction industry in three main respects:
  • It was jointly delivered to managers and workers
  • As well as dealing with risk assessment the courses involved modules on conflict resolution and communication strategy which are vital topics for safety practitioners and are rarely dealt with on safety courses
  • There was particular emphasis on the need to develop and the advantages flowing from a formal consultation structure on sites.

The guidance manual will be useful for all in the construction industry who wish to improve their safety performance by involving the workforce. The manual contains a generic consultation structure that can be tailored to the needs of any site.

What was our target group, what were our objectives and how was the project developed?

Our target group was safety advisors/officers and workers safety representatives in the construction industry. Our objective was to develop training material for a two day course suitable for joint delivery to the above target group. We were anxious to test this material on a number of pilot courses and to produce a guidance manual on safety consultation that would be a template for consultation at site level in our industry. We ran three pilot courses with experienced people from the target group to test the material. We also used the courses to help identify what topics should be dealt with in a guidance manual which will be used as an ongoing resource in the current campaign to promote safety consultation in the Irish construction industry.

Methodology

We assembled a team of highly experienced safety tutors, all of whom have a background in the construction industry. These tutors worked with a focus group that included a number of safety officers/advisors and safety representatives. We developed original training materials that are designed for trainees who already had a good knowledge of the technical issues around construction safety. The material, as well as dealing with risk assessment, also covered issues which are not generally dealt with on safety courses, but which had been identified by the focus group as desirable in order to get the maximum benefit from consultation structures. These included conflict resolution, communications strategies and making the most of safety meetings on site.

In April 2002 we produced a brochure advertising the courses and seeking applications from suitably qualified and experienced people to participate in the pilots. We circulated this brochure widely within the construction industry. We had an article published in "Health and Safety Review" - one of Ireland's leading health and safety publications. Initially the take up was slow but, by the time the second pilot had taken place, there was a surge in interest and we could not accommodate all those who applied for the third and last course.

The first two day training course took place in Limerick on 22nd/23rd May 2002. Two courses were held in Dublin on 12th/13th June and 26th/27th June 2002. In total, 38 trainees from 16 SMEs participated (our objective was to train 48, but we had a serious problem in that some of those selected did not attend on the day).

Materials

Guidance Manual

The manual is a comprehensive guide to many of the issues that need to be confronted when developing an effective consultation structure. You can download the manual by clicking on the cover page below.

The Minister for Labour affairs, Mr Frank Fahey TD, presented the manual to the industry at an event on 9th October 2002.

The guidance manual has been circulated free of charge to the workers and managers in the construction industry and is available to others at cost of postage from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, 31/32 Parnell Square or can be downloaded here. The initial print run for the guidance manual was for 1,500. It runs to 34 pages, covering issues such as:

  • why consult about safety
  • the roles of the main safety players on site
  • communicating the safety message
  • safety consultation structures
  • template for safety meeting agenda
  • harnessing conflict for positive safety outcomes
  • inspection sample checklist
  • List of useful contacts

Trainers' Pack

All the training course material, including modules, role plays, worksheets and overheads were provided to course participants in a hard copy ring-binder format with a compact disc of the slides attached. Click below for further information about this material: