The Blue Card Ensures Safety Education on Australian Construction Sites

In order to work in construction activities in Australia, it is necessary to complete an Occupational Health and Safety Construction Induction course. On completion, the participant will receive a construction induction card as proof of training. This required certification is commonly known as a construction Blue Card, although the cards are now actually white in color. The new white card serves the same purpose, to promote safety education, and is recognized nationally. The white card allows workers to perform services in all Australian states and territories without having to repeat the program and carry a separate card for each state or territory.

OHS Construction Induction is a process, required under the law, which trains those working in construction in the fundamental principles of construction safety. The object of the course is to attempt to prevent serious construction accidents whenever possible. This is why these inductions may also be known as Construction Safety Training. The OHS Induction Blue / White Card is the proof that persons working in the residential and general construction sectors have undertaken the proper risk management training that is consistent with the National Code of Practice for Induction for Construction Work.

Whatever name is used for the actual training or the proof of certification document, the reason behind the required training program is the same: to be sure that all those involved are adequately educated in basic construction safety principles. This includes those in charge of any work performed, as well as those employees carrying out the work. Project managers, general contractors, subcontractors, employers and those who are self employed must all have the proper certification.

In fact, there are only a few who are exempt from being certified. These would generally be visitors on a construction site, but are allowed only when they are accompanied by a qualifying person that has acquired a proper Induction Card. Another exception would be in a case of someone who is temporally at a site to deliver supplies and is accompanied by a fully inducted person at all times.

Tasmania and the Northern Territory have only recently introduced the requirement for construction induction training and have given existing construction workers time to complete the Nation Standard course, CPCCOHS1001A – Work safely in the construction industry. Except for these specific arrangements all Australian states and territories require people to complete the course before they commence construction work. Citation notices may be issued to those who are without the proper certifications and they will be removed from workplaces.

The Induction Training is provided by an RTO, or Registered Training Organization. The actual training is comprehensive, but is usually condensed into a simple 6 hour program. All participants will be required to complete an assessment at the end of their program in order to demonstrate their competency and understanding of the course material covered.

Some of the topics covered will include Hazard Identification, Incident Reporting, Material Safety Data Sheets and Risk Management. Some of the other subjects are Emergency Procedures, Fire Fighting Equipment and High Risk Construction Activities.

Persons who have a valid Blue Card will not be required to replace them with the new White card. In any event, proof of induction is mandatory and ensures that workers do not undertake construction work without completing the training.