Site Manager Course Could Be Why Accidents Down 50%

The Site Manager Course, known as the SMSTS course, part of a regulatory and testing scheme that has reduced workplace injuries by almost 50% since 2001.

The Site Manager Course we offer has made construction safer for workers and managers alike. The UK passed the HSWA (Health and Safety at Work Act) in 1974. The Site Manager Course is a small part of the overall framework of HS&E regulations and procedures that have evolved since, a system which has seen a reduction of 86% in the number of accidents per 1000 workers in the UK since the HSWA was took effect in 1974.

The rates have kept falling, as well. The rate of injuries self-reported by workers in the UK was 3980 per 100,000 workers in 2000-2001. By 2014-2015 that number had fallen to 2030 per 100,000 – a drop of more than 48%!

Non-fatal injuries
(per 1000 workers)
Fatal injuries


Year Total Year Total
2001 3.980 1974 651
2015 2,030 2015 92


Of course, safety involves more than just accidents. The construction industry in particular is subject to many occupational diseases, from mesothelioma (from asbestos exposure) to ‘white finger’ and a host of musculoskeletal disorders. In 1990 there were 5940 work related illnesses reported per 100,000 workers. By 2014-2015 that number had dropped to 3940 per 100,000 – a drop of more than a third!

Particularly in later years, this continued sharp reduction can be attributed to the HS&E training courses mandated by most employers and administered by various certification agencies and training organisations like ours.

What does the Site Manager Course actually cover?

The SMSTS site manager course gives managers and supervisors a grounding in site safety awareness. It covers both the regulatory and standards framework that defines their HS&E responsibilities but also practical experience maintaining a safe working environment for everyone on site.

Over five days, attendees of the site manager course study:

  • The HSAW act itself
  • Regulations covering CDM (construction design and management)
  • How to perform risk assessments
  • Behavioural safety techniques
  • Occupational health management
  • Working safely with electricity, plants and equipment, demolition, scaffolding and other hazards
  • And the latest developments in safe working standards

Who should take the Site Manager Course?

The course is ideal for anyone who is currently working as a site supervisor, project manager or has any other management role in the construction industry. It is also an excellent choice for anyone who wishes to work their way up to a supervisor’s or manager’s role.

I’ve already taken the Site Manager Course. What do I do when it expires?

While your CITB site safety plus certificate does expire after 5 years, you do not need to take the entire course over again to renew it. We offer a 2-day refresher course which will extend your certification for another 5 years, but it must be completed prior to the expiry date. If the expiry date has already passed, you have to take the full 5-day course instead.

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When should I take the SMSTS Refresher Course?

Your SMSTS expires after five years. Attending a SMSTS refresher course before it expires saves you money as you don’t need to take the full course again!

What is the SMSTS refresher?

The Site Manager Safety Training Scheme is the flagship course of CITB’s Site Safety Plus scheme. Many of the largest names in the UK’s construction industry require their supervisory level employees to maintain their SMSTS certification, and almost all strongly favour managers who do. For example, here are Balfour Beatty’s safety certification expectations. Keeping your certification up to date with an SMSTS Refresher Course is vital.

When do I need the SMSTS refresher Course?

Your SMSTS award expires five years after you get it. To see when yours expires, look on the course certificate you were given after completing it. It is important that you renew your certification by taking the SMSTS Refresher Course before the certificate’s expiry date.

What is the last day I can take my refresher?

The Expiry Date listed on your certificate is the last day it is valid, and the last day on which you can take the refresher course to renew your award, rather than taking the full SMSTS course all over again.

Why is it important to stay current with SMSTS?

The two primary reasons to renew your certification before it expires are time and money.

  • Time – The full SMSTS course takes place over 5 full days, requiring you to miss a full week of work. The refresher takes only 2 days.
  • Cost – The price of the full SMSTS course varies, but can be nearly twice as expensive as the Refresher – so you stand to lose a lot of money if you fail to renew on time!

What happens when site managers let their SMSTS certification expire?

That all depends on where you work. Main contractors who are part of the United Kingdom Contractors Group (like Skanska, Costain, and many other big employers in UK construction) require current SMSTS certification to hold a Site Manager position. Other employers may not be quite so strict, but most will choose to employ a manager who is currently SMSTS certified over one who is not.

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