Earlier today, Highways England officially launched its Health and Safety Passport scheme at the Highways UK Conference in Birmingham.
The scheme, which is part of Highways England’s 5-year Health and Safety Plan, introduces an industry-wide common health and safety induction and is a significant step toward the vision of ‘One Industry One Card,’ with its supply chain and employees required to have a Passport Smartcard to gain access to work on Highways England sites.
The technology behind the new Passport system is provided by Reference Point and the system will be used to record and provide evidence of individuals who have passed the Highways England Common Induction (HCI), as well as other training, competences and credentials that workers need to gain access to work on the Highways England estate.
The introduction of the common induction means that all workers will, by 2019, achieve a common standard in health and safety, reducing the amount of time spent on duplicate training and other events like repeat Drug & Alcohol tests as the information will be shared across sites and employers. The HCI does not replace site specific induction training which will still be undertaken.
The two-year pilot scheme was led by Simon Jones, South East Regional Director: "The passport scheme is a significant step forward in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all those who work on the strategic road network. Our smartcard and common training will help road workers maintain their basic statutory health, safety, environment and wellbeing requirements. It also provides a great opportunity to work collaboratively with the supply chain to improve standards across the Highways industry. I believe modernising the process which enables workers access to our network is the right thing to do. It will improve how we work; it will allow us to report in real time and above all shows our commitment to safety, for our workforce, their families and our customers."