If you work in the construction industries, you know it can be a dangerous working environment. Busy building sites present many potential accidents, and a well-run site is one that takes health and safety seriously. The whole team is safer when each individual is well drilled in the correct health and safety protocols. If you are working on a construction site in Ireland, the law requires that each worker complete a SOLAS Safe Pass qualification, in order to maintain safety standards across all construction workplaces. At ASM Group, we are experts in health and safety education, and can help you learn the best ways to keep safe whilst gaining the certifications you need for your job. Here is our guide to the SOLAS Safe Pass course.


What is a Safe Pass course?

The SOLAS Safe Pass course is mandatory training for all those involved in the construction industries in Ireland. The course is designed to maintain a high standard of on-site health and safety awareness, and to qualify all workers to gain access to construction sites. The content of the course is wide ranging, covering everything from legal regulations to hygiene. On the ASM Group SOLAS Safe Pass course, you can expect to learn about:

  • Health and safety legislation – your rights and responsibilities
  • Construction regulations – the dos and don’ts of working on site
  • The duties of employers and employees
  • Accident reporting protocol, and accident prevention systems
  • Working at height – safety tips and rules for elevated work
  • Personal protective equipment – when to use it, and how to use it
  • Safe use of hand-held portable equipment
  • Noise and vibration – how to contain it, and how to protect yourself and others from dangerous levels of either
  • Manual handling health and safety
  • Working near excavations
  • Working with electricity, overhead and underground services
  • Health and hygiene – how to maintain hygienic conditions on-site


Who is the Safe Pass course for?

The SOLAS Safe Pass course is a requirement for anyone working on a construction site in Ireland, but it can have benefits for anyone involved in manual work, who is interested in improving the safety and wellbeing of their team.

The strict legal requirement for the Safe Pass, under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 Safe Pass / Safety Awareness Programmes only applies to –

(a) Craft and general construction workers,

(b) Persons undertaking on-site security work, and

(c) Persons or classes of persons as may be prescribed by the Minister.

However, there are many permutations in the workplace, so here are some examples of those who do and do not require a Safe Pass:

Category of personnel involved in Construction Projects Is Safe Pass or equivalent mandatory
Craft Workers, apprentices, general construction workers, working chargehands, on-site security workers, contractor drivers on-site, delivery drivers on-site (i.e. concrete trucks), students on placement on-site. Yes
Project managers and site agents who are not involved in construction activities, site managers who are not involved in construction activities, safety advisors or safety officers who are not involved in construction work, PSDP / PSCS, inspectors, consultants, clients and client reps, delivery drivers who are not on-site (i.e. delivering to compounds, canteens, offices), canteen staff, site office staff, architects, surveyors, engineers, supervised visitors, archaeologists (but see extra note on archaeologists), sales representatives, visitors to show houses. No


The table above details the strict minimum requirements, but an employer or contractor may require that all personnel entering their site have a Safe Pass. The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 obliges employers to provide any information, instruction, training and supervision needed to ensure the health and safety of their employees at work.

A note on archaeologists and Safe Pass regulations

Archaeologists are not technically construction workers and as such there is no mandatory Safe Pass requirement. However, much of their work is in a construction-type environment, and so the employer should make an assessment on a case by case basis, as to whether a Safe Pass would be a useful asset for the archaeologist given their circumstances. It may well be that obtaining a Safe Pass would help the employer comply with their obligation to provide any necessary safety training for those working on their site.


How long does the Safe Pass course last?

The SOLAS Safe Pass course is a one day training session, after which all successful participants will be awarded their SOLAS Safe Pass card. The course timings are 8am – 5pm, with attendees requested to be at the venue 15 minutes before the course starts.


What requirements are there to do the SOLAS Safe Pass course?

Those wishing to do the ASM Group SOLAS Safe Pass course must be over 16 years of age and have a good standard of English. Additionally, they will need an Irish PPS number, a passport photo, a stamped and self-addressed envelope, and their photo ID (a passport, driving license, or public services card).


How long will my SOLAS Safe Pass qualification be valid for?

Once you qualify on the SOLAS Safe Pass course, your Safe Pass card will be valid for 4 years, after which time you will be required to refresh your knowledge. The ASM Group SOLAS Safe Pass course is suitable both for those who need to refresh their cards, and those who are qualifying for the first time.


How much is a SOLAS Safe Pass course in Ireland?

The ASM Group SOLAS Safe Pass course costs €170.


Who pays for the Safe Pass course?

Generally the employer pays for the Safe Pass course. Under section 10, 25 & 26 of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005, the employer is responsible for allowing employees time off from their duties for awareness training as may be reasonable having regard to their health and safety without loss of remuneration.


Can Safe Pass be done online?

The ASM Group SOLAS Safe Pass course takes place in person. We are currently running courses in Cork, and are available at other locations in Ireland if required. Get in touch with ASM Group today if you need help obtaining expert health and safety training for yourself or your workforce.


Is the SOLAS Safe Pass course hard?

The SOLAS Safe Pass course contains a lot of information and needs to cover a lot of ground in a short space of time. However, it has been designed to be approachable for everyone, and our experienced course leaders are ready to aid anyone who is struggling with an idea or concept. Some of the issues Safe Pass touches on are complex and will require your concentration. But there is no need to feel intimidated about doing the course; ASM Group are proud of their friendly team who can help everyone learn what they need to learn to be safe at work.


Can you fail a Safe Pass course?

The SOLAS Safe Pass course is a very well regarded qualification, and as such it isn’t simply handed out – those who wish to obtain the certification must prove that they have learnt and understood the course content. This is an important way to ensure a good standard of safety within the construction industry, and so, yes, it is possible to fail. However, our course instructors are experts in the field, and will be ready to help out anyone who is struggling. They are experienced in coaching a wide range of attendees with varying needs over the finish line. So if you turn up willing and ready to learn, you are very likely to achieve your Safe Pass qualification.


What age can you do the Safe Pass course?

Participants of ASM Group’s Safe Pass course must be over 16 years of age. All ages are welcome on the course, and it contains essential knowledge for those working in the construction industries, whatever your age.


What other benefits are there from doing the SOLAS Safe Pass course?

If you are involved with working in the construction industries, the chances are you will need a Safe Pass at some point in your career. Being qualified is a big bonus for prospective employers and so gives a boost to your CV as well as helping you stay safe on the job. The course is a great way to meet others in similar roles and even do some networking. Knowing you are Safe Pass qualified can help increase confidence and prepare you for taking the next steps in your career.


Do you need to do your SOLAS Safe Pass qualification?

If you are looking for health and safety training in Ireland, look to ASM Group. As leading providers of essential courses across the construction industries, we can ensure that your team are fully prepared for the challenges of their working environment. Our health and safety courses are renowned for their easy-to-understand efficacy. Whether you are an individual looking to attend a training session, or a company hoping to run a course for your team, we can help. Get in touch with ASM Group today if you are looking for Safe Pass Courses in Cork.