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Discover the benefits of a white card for construction work in New South Wales. Learn about the legal requirements, training opportunities, and advantages of having a white card on the job.

The Benefits of a White Card for Construction Workers in New South Wales

Acquiring a White Card is not only for compliance with the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017. Having your own General Construction Induction Card means that you have undergone the appropriate training for the job. It covers many areas to ensure you have knowledge of health, safety, laws, hazards, and risks on the site. So, a white card has many benefits for construction workers and the people around them in the workplace. Safework New South Wales lists the Registered Training Organisations that deliver the CPCWHS1001 – Prepare to work safely in the construction industry. Find out below where you may enrol in this training to start your career in the industry.

What is a White Card?

Safework New South Wales, the state’s workplace health and safety regulator, explains that a white card is required for workers who will perform construction work. 

Who is Required to have a White Card?

The regulator identifies the following construction workers that need a white card:

  • Site managers
  • Supervisors
  • Surveyors
  • Labourers
  • Tradespeople
  • Those who have access to operational construction zones
  • Those who need to enter operational construction zones routinely

Each person has a duty to health and safety in construction work.

What are the Health and Duties in Construction Sites?

Safework Australia’s Code of Practice for Construction Work outlines the primary duties of the following people involved in construction work:

  1. Structure designer 
    1. Ensure that the structure design will not risk the health and safety of the persons involved.
    2. Carry out the appropriate calculations, analysis, testing, or examination of the structure.
    3. Provide the information on the structure’s design to every person who will perform work on it.
    4. Create a written report that specifies the hazards relating to the structure’s design..The person conducting the construction business
    5. Consult with the designer on eliminating the risks to health and safety that may arise.
    6. Acquire a copy of the designer’s safety report and provide it to a principal contractor.
  2. Principal Contractor
    1. Provide appropriate signage for the construction project.
    2. Create the WHS management plan for the workplace.
    3. Arrange that the workplace complies with the WHS Regulations.
    4. Manage risks.
  3. The person with management or control
    1. Ensure that the construction site is secured from unauthorised access.
    2. Obtain essential services when there is excavation work.
  4. The person conducting business for high-risk construction work
    1. Preparation of Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) before work commences.
    2. Ensure that the high-risk construction is carried out with the SWMS.
    3. Release a duplicate of the SWMS to the principal contractor.
    4. Review and revise the SWMS when necessary.
    5. Keep a copy of the updated SWMS until work is complete.
  5. Officers such as company directors
    1. Ensure that the business uses appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks.
  6. Workers
    1. Take reasonable care of the health and safety of their own and other people.
    2. Comply with instructions and policies.
    3. Bring their general construction induction training card to work for the inspection.
  7. Other people like visitors
    1. Ensure their health and safety and follow the policies inside the site.
    2. All of these are found in the WHS Act.

What is the Law Governing the Health and Safety of Construction Workers?

The Construction Work Code of Practice is approved under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act). A copy of this is available on the website of Safework Australia. It identifies the possible risk and hazards in construction sites.

What are the Risks to Construction Workers in the Workplace?

Construction workers need to be aware of the following possible risks and hazards in their workplace:

  • Location, layout, accessibility, condition, and the construction site itself.
  • Setup and placement of different types of equipment.
  • Holes, trenches, lift wells, and shafts.
  • Penetrations and voids.
  • Unstable mobile platforms or scaffolding.
  • Fragile roofs, skylights, and formwork decks.
  • Falling objects such as debris, tool, and equipment.
  • Trench and/or structural collapses.
  • Transport and handling of hazardous chemicals.
  • Asbestos-containing materials.
  • Arcs, gases, and welding fumes.
  • Hazardous manual tasks.
  • The interface of other trade activities.
  • The physical working environment includes electric shocks, trips, and falls.

Risk control and management may help prevent these from happening on construction sites.

How Can Construction Workers Control and Manage the Risks at Work?

Construction works may need to assess risk first by doing the following:

  • Assessing the severity of the injury or illness.
  • Identifying the chances of accidents and/or which workers have high exposure to a hazard.
  • Determining the possible sources of risks and how to control them.
  • Checking the efficacy of risk control.

Construction workers may then minimise the risk by following the below methods:

  • Substituting a material or a substance with a better material or a less hazardous item.
  • Isolating a hazardous material to avoid exposing it to the workers.
  • Engineering controls to reduce the risk of trapping and/or crushing a worker.
  • Using administrative controls to improve security and limit access to hazardous areas.
  • Using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Construction workers must review and revise the measures taken to reduce risks when necessary. Training for risk management and awareness of the duty and the law may help prevent accidents in the workplace.

Why do Construction Workers Need a White Card?

According to Safework NSW, many construction workers acquire injuries and even death yearly. It is why a principal contractor is appointed for projects valued at $250,000 or more. Their job includes:

  • Creating a health and safety (WHS) management plan.
  • A safe work method statement.
  • Managing risks to health and safety.

Safework requires training for White Card for construction workers to understand all of these.

What is a White Card Training?

A White Card or General construction induction training covers the following:

  • Knowledge of the basics of a construction work
  • Information on the work health and safety laws
  • Common hazards in construction work
  • Controlling associated risks
  • Proper use of the PPE

The regulator lists the Registered Training Organisations that deliver this course on their website.

Who Delivers the White Card Training?

One of the Registered Training Organisations the Safework NSW refers to is Accredited Short Courses (RTO NO 21903). It is registered under The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the country’s vocational education and training regulator. It delivers the current CPCWHS1001 – Prepare to work safely in the construction industry, which supersedes the previous versions. It is the required course to obtain a white card for construction workers in New South Wales.

What is the CPCWHS1001 – Prepare to Work safely in the Construction Industry Training?

The training for a white card covers the following:

  • Demonstration of knowledge regarding health and safety legislative requirements
  • Working safely on the construction site by preventing injury to self and others
  • Identification of construction hazards
  • Risk control measures
  • The proper response to incidents and emergencies

Safework NSW outlines the requirements to enrol in the Nationally Recognised Training.

What are the Requirements to Enroll in the White Card Training?

The regulator outlines the following eligibility for the white card training:

  • At least 14 years old
  • Identification documents to provide 100 points such as birth certificate, driver’s licence, Medicare card, ATM card, and utility bill.

Safework NSW further states that the Registered Training Organisation sets the course fee independently.

How Much is the Fee for the White Card Training?

In Accredited Short Courses, the white card training is only $140 if you book online. The Registered Training Organisation keeps the prices low to make the course affordable for everyone in New South Wales. At the same time, it follows the recommended minimum time for the course.

How Long is the White Card Training?

The national requirement for the duration of the white card training is a minimum of 6 hours. So, Accredited Short Courses deliver it at the same length aside from the 15-minute pre-registration and 30-minute lunch break.

Where is the Location of the White Card Training?

Accredited Short Courses delivers the white card training at Unit 12, Level 3/325 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia.

How Long is the White Card Valid?

Safework NSW confirms that the white card becomes void if you did not carry out construction work for two consecutive years or more.

Conclusion

A white card has many benefits for construction workers in New South Wales. It includes knowledge of the site’s health, safety, laws, hazards, and risks. Each person doing a construction-related job has duties to ensure everyone involved’s safety. Safety measures and risk control may help prevent or minimise the hazards in a construction site. The Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act) outlines the Code of Practice for Construction Work. One of its requirements is for construction workers to bring their white cards for the inspection. Passing the current CPCWHS1001 – Prepare to Work safely in the Construction Industry training will allow you to obtain a white card. Accredited Short Courses (RTO NO 21903) deliver the white card at Unit 12, Level 3/325 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia.