The UK construction industry is one of many facing a skills shortage, and one of the areas that’s lacking is management. While there’s a lot to the role, a pillar of site management is site safety – ensuring that everyone around you is going about their jobs in a safe and legal manner.

The Site Manager Safety Training Scheme, or SMSTS, is the UK’s most popular site manager safety training course, and not without reason. Here are five key benefits SMSTS training provides to site managers, and why training as a site manager could benefit the lives of you and your colleagues.

Keeping your colleagues safe

Fundamentally, SMSTS training is a way to improve the safety of your workplace, wherever that happens to be in a given week. The SMSTS course gives you a grounding in every aspect of a worksite you might encounter, and how to ensure that the work is done safely. This doesn’t just come down to wearing hardhats or securing your harness at height, but in how safety is prioritised, communicated to your coworkers, and generally taken seriously.

Being a site manager means more than just applying safe systems and procedures, although that’s a big part of it. Ultimately, the rules you put in place only matter if people follow them, and the equipment you provide only works if they wear it. Your job as a site manager is about showing that you take safety seriously, and ensuring everyone else does the same – and SMSTS training gives you the knowledge and confidence to achieve that.

Keeping yourself safe

It may not be there on the course page, but an investment in SMSTS training is an investment in your own safety and wellbeing. Worksites pose a number of risks, and this is equally pertinent when doing manual tasks yourself, or when guiding others. Because it requires you to develop and apply safe methods of working, SMSTS training requires you to have an understanding not just of health & safety laws, but the best ways to reduce common accidents and injuries.

Taking a Site Manager course will teach you about all of the common hazards on a worksite in more depth than you would typically find in a basic site safety course. As such, you’ll have a complete picture of risks such as slips, trips and falls; electricity; excavations; demolitions; confined spaces and more. All of this will help you to be more aware of risks in and outside the workplace, and improve your general approach to your own safety.

Keeping the public safe

You and your colleagues aren’t the only ones impacted by worksites. Oftentimes, work goes on in and around occupied areas, with pavements, pathways or corridors veering under and close to sites. In these cases, ensuring the safety of others is as important as protecting yourselves. A mistake or oversight may not be a direct threat to your safety, but it could easily pose a threat to someone who isn’t prepared for it.

There have been numerous cases over the years of passers-by being killed or permanently injured due to poor safety protocols. Most commonly this is due to objects falling from scaffolding, though a 2013 case in the United States also showed the dangers of a botched demolition. In either case, it’s important to remember the potential for collateral damage in and around the worksite, and factor in everyone who could be affected – something SMSTS training will help you achieve.

Working more efficiently

It’s a common misconception that working safely means working slowly – and one often held by people whose safety isn’t at risk. Yet the evidence has repeatedly shown that this isn’t the case. As well as the potential loss of income and reputation should you ever be found to be working u safely, safe methods of work can often be productive ones too. The fact is that knowing how you’re supposed to be working is often more efficient than relying on experience.

Part of the process of learning to be a site manager is learning how things should be done. In many cases, the safe way to do things is also the best way to do things – not just because it’s quicker, but because it reduces the strain on people’s bodies, and the likelihood of them getting injured, or suffering long term complications. What’s more, people who are working safely tend to be happier, and it’s well established that people who enjoy their work do a better job at it than those who don’t.

Progressing your career

Career progression may seem like a selfish benefit of SMSTS training, and in some ways it is. Taking an SMSTS course involves learning about the responsibilities of a site manager, and gives you real life examples and experience in managing people, as well as implementing safe systems of work. All of this will make you more confident in your role, and give you the best chance of success – ensuring that you not only take to the role like a fish to water, but have a chance of progressing beyond it.

With all of that said, your success is also good for the business. A site manager who’s taken our SMSTS training course is a better site manager: one who’s prepared to balance the responsibilities of working, delegating, communicating, and keeping people safe on site. Working safely and smartly means working happier, with fewer injuries, fewer absences, and greater productivity. What’s more, the knowledge and experience you accumulate will give you the tools to carry that change further up the chain – and the trust shown in you by the business may keep you around longer than if you hadn’t been trained and promoted.

SMSTS training is a pillar of our safety training calendar, and a huge reason why the rates of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry are continuing to fall. To learn more about SMSTS training and book your place on one of our online courses, get in touch with us today.