Construction Safety Bill 2023

Construction Safety Bill 2023

Construction Safety Licensing Bill 2023 Published

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has announced the publication of the Construction Safety Licensing Bill 2023.

The bill was published on Friday 24 March and it will reform and modernise the existing model for the sector. This will make construction an even safer place to work and make the industry more attractive to future workers.

It is a key element in the department’s response to meeting construction skills needs and workforce requirements to meet Housing for All and National Development Plan targets.

Safety skills will be embedded into worker skills development, making the workplace safer and making safety management easier for employers.

The new legislation also gives recognition to people on site who are not qualified apprentices or professionals but do have relevant construction skills. They will be able to obtain a licence which recognises their skills as they relate to the person’s activities on site.

One of the significant changes to the industry will be the establishment of a new licensing authority. The authority will replace the existing training model where qualification certificates are issued for life.

Workers will now have to hold a licence and will have to renew those licences periodically to keep their skills and training up to date.

The new authority will keep a register of licensees and will also act as the competent authority to recognise qualifications gained from outside of the State.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said:

“I am delighted to formally publish the Construction Safety Licensing Bill, which is a central pillar to my department’s response to Housing for All skills and workforce needs.

“This is a hugely important day for our construction workers. Health and safety training is absolutely paramount to workers as they go to site each day and carry out what can be very hazardous activities.

“This legislation’s core objective is to raise the standard of health and safety awareness in the construction sector, through skills training. Workers will now be required to hold a licence rather than a certificate and will be required to undertake reassessment periodically to renew their licence for a specified activity.

“Making these licences renewable ensures that workers remain competent, that they have the tools and knowledge to act in a safe and reliable manner and will help to ensure that they are not a risk to themselves or others in their workplace.

“We have continually produced highly skilled workers for our construction and quarrying sectors, and this legislation will ensure that our impressive output continues.”

Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins added:

“The licensing model will introduce reassessment for renewal, which is key reform necessary to the current process.

“Our aim with this Bill is to make our workers feel safe at their workplace, building on a review on that very topic, which was conducted in 2017. This legislation clearly demonstrates the value that our construction workers play to our economic and societal goals, and their safety and wellbeing at work should be central to this.”